Chris Owens on film!

Bourbon Street’s most beloved entertainer is still spreading her wings and taking on challenges. The famous live performer is turning her talents to film. Ms. Owens is eager to commence filming her movie debut. “When I saw the photos of that handsome all male chorus line, I couldn’t wait for them to pick me up and spin me!”

Asked about the production company, “I had never heard of the company before. I believe it’s a Chinese movie production. The producers are two brothers named Bang.” Her reason for starting a film career at this point her already noteworthy life, “I think the older you get, the more you need to stretch yourself as a performer. I’ve been bending over backward to be the best performer I can be my entire life.”

A Rat and a Cage

A number of years ago I was working nights as a dishwasher at Little Vic’s on Toulouse. I can’t remember exactly when it was, it might have been around Mardi Gras because we were slammed. Every seat full inside and out, the counter had a line going out the door. Customers wall to wall, a long line for the restroom, drunks pissing in the courtyard next to others who were dining. A situation both profitable and volatile.

The head cook was pissy and slamming shit around, the wait staff frantic with the demands placed on them. I was elbow deep in suds for hours as well as bussing the tables and trying to police the bathrooms. It was a single use bathroom and groups would go in, one would use the toilet while others would piss in the sink and in the drain on the floor.

By ten o’clock we were all ready to choke one another. I had turned a deaf ear to the complaints of the raging cooks. Suddenly I heard a commotion in the front of the house. Was there a fight? Did someone pass out? Did someone puke on the bar? I went out front to see what chore awaited me. Almost the entire restaurant was standing by the front door gawking. “What da fuck now?” i asked myself. As I pushed through the crowd I spotted a black car on the sidewalk. The two left wheels inches from both of our stoops. Great, an auto accident I thought. I pushed closer.

There it was, a stretch limo parked on the sidewalk blocking our doors. I see some idiot standing up through the sunroof waving to the gathering crowd like he was the fucking Pope or something. “What da fuck?” I blurted out. A random guy grabbed my arm and exclaimed like a screeching teen age girl “IT’S NICOLAS CAGE! IT’S NICOLAS CAGE!”

I was about ten feet away from the limo when he turned our way with that goofy fucking face of his shaking as many clambering hands as he could. “I don’t give a shit who it is, get the fuck off of my sidewalk!” I screamed and returned to the kitchen. The raging chef asked me what was going on in the front. I told him that evidently Nic Cage thinks we have a fucking drive thru window or some shit.

He screamed “NIC CAGE?” and dropped everything and bolted to the front of the house to see for himself. I just started throwing pans into the sink mumbling about how much I hated every soul in the Quarter right now.

“Celebrities” there’s not a goddamned one I would shake hands with.

The Quarter Rat’s TOP 20 Memes of 2020

(All memes by Eric T. Styles)
The only folks who loved the “Year of the Rat, 2020” were those of us who created memes. Here are the Top 20 Memes from TheQuarterRat.com.

20. We could only find 19 memes, NEXT!

19. I posted this in February before Mardi Gras ’20 as a warning. Back then it was all in the back of our minds about the potential for an outbreak from Corona but no one even dared to utter it. I caught a few comments from “No way! Really think they are?” to “Well, what are we supposed to do? Cancel Mardi Gras? NEVER!”

18. We got to see how the mayor handled hurricanes and natural disasters.

17. It took 10 months to recover three bodies from the Hard Rock Hotel collapse, which occurred in October 2019. Months after the tragedy, a leg of one of the victims dangling from the rubble could be seen from Canal Street. Mayor Cantrell was outraged that a photo was taken of the leg and posted on social media. We were outraged that there was a leg sticking out months later to photograph.

16. Bourbon Street hadn’t been this empty or clean in over 300 years. An eerie silent street with windows boarded up. I was told that it was busier in the days after Katrina than during the shut down. A couple of friends messaged me and asked if I needed help to actually paint this on Bourbon. As tempting as it was, in my older age wisdom I decided not to. Such public messages are only tolerated if it’s approved by the establishment to promote their agenda.

15. If anyone exemplifies a political “Karen” it’s our Mayor.

14. The George Floyd protests came to our city. Thousands went out to protest in various parts of New Orleans over the course of a week. With the exception of a few protesters getting pepper sprayed by cops on the bridge, they were all peaceful. No charges were brought against any city official for the deaths of three and injured dozens of construction workers. Selective outrage.

13. LaToya Cantrell thought that this summer was a great time for a photo-shoot to update her pictures on social media. Like somehow a resting bitch face would instill a sense of confidence in a community locked in their homes from a pandemic and collapsing local economy. I didn’t think the original City Hall background did her justice.

12. Admit it guys, who hasn’t at least once.

11. Ah yes, nothing like the classic memes.

10. The Hard Rock Hotel became a great example of incompetence from the city and it’s hired contractors. “How can we fuck up a collapsed building?” “I know! We’ll set it on fire!”

9. The Quarter Rat publisher kept after me to make a temperature gun meme. I think this one is now my favorite from 2020.

8. Remember when Mayor Cantrell went off on a reporter during a press conference about opening up businesses?

7. For those of you familiar with the humble beginnings of The Quarter Rat Magazine, you would agree that no one would ever dream that it had much potential to ever be taken seriously. In 2020 this web site has shown otherwise. The talent and professionalism of Dave Minsky has shown the QR as an emerging reliable source of news information. City officials now actually take the call without saying “The WHAT?” Don’t get me wrong, self-improvement is a lifelong journey and we still have a lot of work to do. Thanks for keeping the faith.

6. In the spirit of wokeness, DIXIE beer has decided to change it’s name (we know there’s a misspelled word in there; that’s the pint).

5. We couldn’t help noticing that those who pushed for a longer shut down seem also to be the same fucks always bitching about their jobs, getting fired a lot and are, coincidentally, Bernie Sanders supporters. Just saying.

4. Best. Headline. Ever. We may never be able to top this.

And the follow up meme.

3. When it comes to making memes, sometimes things just click.

2. The intent for us is not to make light of deaths of those construction workers. Our condolences go out to their families and loved ones. We do how ever wish to see justice, and want to see those responsible for deaths due to incompetence to be held accountable.

1. As if 2020 hadn’t been scary enough for us, NOLA had the distinction of being threatened by two hurricanes simultaneously. This meme got way more likes and shares than anything else posted. It just shows where all of your heads are at.

What will 2021 hold for us? I’m not optimistic. I think a year from now we will be looking back on 2020 as “The good old days.”

Knock Knock

I’m just a janitor in a dive bar who heard sirens. We in the Quarter generally ignore it as background noise. When I saw emergency vehicles race past the windows going in the opposite direction of the one way on Toulouse Street, I stuck my head out. The next block was taped off due to the stand-off on Dauphine Street. I strolled down, found crime tape marked US MARSHALS draped across the street and unmarked vehicles.

Standing at the tape was a tradesman with a tool bag on the sidewalk next to him. He told me he was trying to go to work but his work truck was in the middle of this unfolding drama. He was the first to tell me about an armed man barricaded in a house and in a stand-off with law enforcement. We watched the US Marshals in full tactical gear pace back and forth with long guns.

I gathered details from both media and the locals standing in front of dive bars. I spoke to several who were familiar with the house and occupants. Apparently, in the weeks prior there had been conflict and drama among roommates. One person (who wished to remain anonymous) said they knew Eddy Roche and claimed to have allegedly snorted drugs with him on several occasions. Recently, according to this individual, Mr. Roche had become very erratic in behavior and had been seen flashing a .22-caliber pistol. A second individual, who was acquainted with one of the roommates, also noted Roche’s behavior had become so unpredictable that the roommates had to move out.

Roche

I was later contacted by a third individual who worked on that block and who stated that he was not surprised that Roche made the news. Those on the block were suspicious of the residence being a location for drug deals. People in and out daily, only staying for a few minutes at a time.

The NOPD narrative is: A contractor thinking the unit was empty, entered and was confronted by Roche who fired several shots at the contractor. The contractor was not struck by gunfire, fled and called the police.  NOPD arrived, the suspect discarded his weapon and retreated to the house and barricaded himself inside.

The “contractor” angle smelled like bullshit. As much work as the structure needed, the tradesman I interviewed said he never saw anyone doing work there before. Was the landlord aware of the conflicts between roommates?

I have other questions: Did he confirm sending a contractor to the location with a key? Was he sent to do work or to evict? Why did the property owner assume the apartment was empty? Did he contact the tenants prior? Having worked as a house painter in rental properties, I never assumed any unit was empty upon first entering. You always knock loud and announce yourself.

I know a Quarter resident who bartends at night and sleeps during the day. She was awoken one afternoon to the sound of mens’ voices in her living room. They were greeted by a naked woman pointing a gun at them screaming “Who the fuck are you and how did you get in?” It was a case of a property manager not making the proper arrangements with the tenant. The manager had relied on a morning text message to the sleeping bartender: “We’ll be over in a few hours to look at the leak in the roof,” and didn’t wait on a confirmation reply.

Something about this part of the story sounds shaky to me. As many times as I have been questioned by cops over the years, I would like to ask the NOPD a few. Did you speak to the property owner to confirm the authenticity of the contractor’s story? Why did he tell the contractor the unit was empty when there may have been at least three occupants? Any sign that this incident might have escalated from a drug deal gone bad?

I went over the next day to take some photos of the house from Dauphine Street from the stand-off. On the stoop was a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of “DC comic Bombshells” and a package of tampons. Wassup with dat?

A jigsaw puzzle and tampons found on the stoop of the house involved the police standoff in ithe 500 block of Dauphine Street Friday. Photo by Eric T. Styles.

These are the questions that have been bouncing around my head as I sweep the floors of a dive bar.