If you walked into Molly’s on Toulouse and thought that boasting “I’m friends with the owner” would give you any clout, you would be met with four out of five patrons raising their hands and saying, “Us too. What’s your point?”
The passing of Erin Churchill is devastating to so many people that she has touched over the years. Even as a casual acquaintance with Erin, you knew how much of an exceptional person she was. For those of us with a close relationship with her, it is deep personal loss.
It’s a great loss to the French Quarter, a successful business person and a wonderful soul is gone. I could write a thousand words praising her qualities, but they all would fall short of describing her remarkable character.
We are all fortunate to have even known her, we are better people for having done so. There will forever be a void in our lives and in The French Quarter without Erin Churchill.
Our latest Quarter Rat Newspaper is our 7th issue in the past year. There were times we had editorial discussions asking ourselves if we were crossing any lines. Nope, we pretty much ran with every stupid juvenile idea we came up with. Brains on Bourbon Street, celebrity gossip, porn for hobos, accusing the First Lady of France of being a shape-shifting reptilian, mouth to ass recipes and page 3 girls with ample cleavage. Add to it Jay Slusher’s true stories that read like Tarantino scripts rejected for excessive violence.
A Mardi Gras issue is a must for us, but they are so boring. We locals don’t want to read about the time of the year we dread the most. Quarter Rats drink to forget Mardi Gras. We all know the history, the krewes and traditions. Parade routes can be found anywhere online so why waste the newsprint.
We figured if anyone was going to bitch about anything, it would be about our “FUCK MARDI GRAS” headline. That’s like a newspaper in Rome running the headline “FUCK THE POPE.” Some sacred things can trigger zealot outrage if disrespected. Over the past year and all the shit we have printed, the only negative feedback so far has been Issa’s centerfold in this February issue.
Really? This is The French Quarter, correct? Technically, she isn’t even nude. She could wear that to the beach if she wanted some amusing tan lines. We all walked past “Nipple Glitter” stands on our way to work this season, but a Vargas like pool table pose is too much for some Quarter Rats sensibilities? Most all of you loved it and were proud of Issa. One of her co-workers commented to me: “I am impressed by her being so comfortable with herself and the don’t give a fuck attitude.”
So are we, that’s why she is part of our QR team. After she contributed her hilarious deadbeat Nicolas Cage story, this paper knew it needed her to contribute more. This issue was just a quick 8-page issue just to say we did it. For the FUCK MARDI GRAS issue, a middle finger and titties seemed like a great cover idea, let’s ask Issa.
No one has directed negative comments to the editorial staff of this fine publication, instead they were directed personally at her. That pissed me off. Issa is like a daughter to me, Ok, a stepdaughter. Maybe more like a cute stepdaughter in a Florida trailer park kind of way. We all love her and let her be her.
One person said to her: “Why did you do this? You must have been manipulated or coerced into doing it.” A real insult to any person, especially her. That statement implies weakness and a lack of self-agency on her part.
She was asked a week prior to the shoot and could have backed out at any time. As we shot the photos, she reviewed every one and gave feedback. Her boyfriend was there. Issa got to approve the final layout prior to being sent off to the printer. The readers I ran into who saw it cheered for her.
One of you fucks actually commented to her about a “double chin.” I’m sure the one who made the comment is a chiseled like a sculpture. What a dickhead thing to say. It’s socially unacceptable to say to a woman “Nice tits” but it is somehow socially Ok to say, “Nice chins?” Go back, apologize to her and buy her a shot.
No man has the right to tell a woman what she can or can’t do with her own body! Only a woman is allowed to tell another woman what she can do with her body.
If you are a 300-plus pound feminist with a shaved head objecting to a sexualized woman, I get it. If you are a male feminist objecting to it, you probably have never even touched boobies. Wait until your balls drop then comment.
We didn’t have a misleading headline with no hint as to the content. Big words above the fold “OUR VERY FIRST CENTERFOLD ISSA!!” Only after you unfolded the paper did you see electrical tape over her nipples. If that was too shocking for you then proceeding to the centerfold was probably a poor decision on your part.
The actual centerfold was totally absurd. A parody of sorts. Did we do the cliche’ accompanying text of: “This hot European import is Issa. Her turn-ons are Harry Potter and puppies.” No. Our centerfold was cluttered with Steve Buscemi trivia and a 9/11 reference. What kind of a fucked-up publication would print such dumb-ass shit?
Oh wait, yea.
Her body, her choice. Picking up the paper, your choice.
This sexy little European import is Issa. She tends bar evenings at the Toulouse Dive bar and Molly’s Irish Bar on Toulouse Street. Years ago Issa bought this dress for a Spice Girl costume with her friends. The next July Fourth she grabbed it from her closet to wear since it was the only thing that she had that was red, white and blue. It was only later that someone pointed out to her the irony of wearing a British flag on Independence Day. Being Swedish, she knows how to be a good troll and has worn it every July Fourth since!
Issa can be found at Molly’s Irish Bar on Wednesdays 10pm – 6am and Thursdays 10pm – 6am. You can also find her working at The Toulouse Dive Bar on Tuesdays 10pm-6am and Fridays 11pm-7am. Stop in just to see what she’s wearing, it’s always interesting!
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