Where are we?

Sorry we haven’t posted anything in a while. We’ve been busy working on a new Quarter Rat project for all of you.

You are just so Punk

So did you go down and get the COVID jab? Did the needle go through your “BORN TO DIE” tattoo? I bet you were wearing your favorite “SUICIDAL TENDENCIES” sleeveless T-shirt too. You look so anti-establishment with that anarchy symbol on your state-mandated face mask.

Nothing to do Nowhere to go
I wanna be vax’nated
I can’t go to the airport

And I can’t get on a plane
Worry worry worry
now here I go insane
I like to point my fingers
Fauci controls my brain

Oh no oh ho oh oh

Please don’t try to come across as a tough rock and roller who is a rebelliousness and fearless individual while simultaneously lecturing others on the importance of being vaccinated and wearing a mask. “Because our government and mainstream media says we have to. I don’t want to die!”

You’re not being very Punk, you’re being very very Karen.

I hung out with a few punks back in the early 1990’s. I was drawn to the “anti-establishment” narrative of the culture, but soon saw through the facade. A group of rebels is an oxymoron. “We’re rebels, you can tell because we all dress like this and listen to this music.” Rejecting establishment norms of status and conformity by creating their own society of status and conformity. Explain to me again how you are different to the YUPPIES?

While I’m at it, let me go off on the smelly hippies too. For nearly six goddamned decades, I have been getting lectured by all of you concerning healthy living. Healthy eating and meditation boosts your immune system. Then the vegans go off on how they are healthier than mere mortals because they don’t consume animals. Meat and dairy are bad for the immune system, so you should be OK then.

You’re all about organic foods and holistic medicine, so I bet you wouldn’t take the jab in a million years. Big pharmaceuticals are the bad guys, correct? Price fixing, price gouging, dangerous side effects, addiction to products, high profits, lab animal research, CEOs earning tens of millions and pulling strings in Washington D.C. Just such evil men controlling the industry.

But wait, did someone say FREE vaccine?

Let’s scroll down your social media posts, “capitalism bad,”tax the rich,” “Fuck Trump,” a kitten meme, oh look here! “I just got my first shot from Pfizer, I feel safer already!” Virtue signaling, propaganda and an endorsement of a billion dollar corporation all in the same post. Facebook is so proud of you. By the way hippy, I’m wearing a mask and staying six feet away from you not because of COVID, but because you smell.

I’m not saying that all of you are a bunch of pussies, but the vaccine really should come in a douche version too. Just saying.

Breaking Stupid

(All art by Eric T. Styles)
Author’s note: the incident in this story took place in 2009. I DON’T do pain pills or cocaine anymore. If I tried to roll like that now I’d be dead or hospitalized!

Publisher’s note: Some references to local establishments were omitted.

Warning: graphic violence, strong language and drug use.

A true story by Jay Slusher… Some time ago, in New Orleans, it was mid winter, leading up to the Saints’ victory in the Super Bowl. The vibe in the city, especially in the French Quarter, was awesome. Steady business and great people for the most part. I was slinging booze out of the alley bar and making stupid money and doing stupid shit too. I’m probably at the high or low of my drug abuse and alcoholism. I was going through a couple of eight balls each weekend and popping Vicodin like Tic Tacs. I HAD help with the former though: a crew of friends and hangers-on. I was 43 and at top of my game.

I’d gotten off work early that busy Saturday night, at 4 a.m. and I headed up to a certain bar on Toulouse Street. My plugs had all shown up that night, and I foolishly DID NOT go to my apartment behind Stiletto’s and and put most of my stash up. I wasn’t thinking straight at the time, but was far from wasted. I had one-quarter ounce of Columbian bambam, 20 Percocets, six grams of fire weed, a collapsible baton and the felony slam dunk–a loaded Smith & Wesson hammerless .38. The pistol was registered in my name and I had valid concealed carry permit, but with the weight in narcotics I had and $700 cash, it would have been armed trafficking had I got busted. I WAS NOT dealing! It was for personal use, but it wouldn’t have looked good.

I was supposed to meet up with some of my guys at the bar. I knew most everyone who worked and hung out. It was not virgin territory for me. The Tropical Isle Club had burned out a couple weeks before and I could still smell the smoke despite the fact that it was shuttered and had a temporary chain link fence surrounding it. Trash littered the street and I stepped over some fresh puke on the sidewalk, looked like crawfish etouffee? Probably smelled better when they first ate it.

I exchanged greetings with Jordan, the doorman at The Dungeon, walked into the bar and ordered a drink–my standard, Jim Beam and Coke. The new bartender was vertically challenged, but incredibly cute. She was an Irish girl from Boston named Maeve. We introduce ourselves and made chit-chat. It was her first night working there and on graveyard, the silly shift.

About that time a guy comes in wearing Pat O’Brien’s gear, including white pants and shirt and green jacket. He’s Black, late 30s and fucked up! Looking like a Johnny Cash song. He immediately orders a shot of Bacardi 151 and cup of black coffee. Maeve evidently knew him because she refused to serve him alcohol and caffeine, given that he was already intoxicated, diabetic and epileptic. He argued his case for a minute and suddenly he turned paler than he already was, his eyes rolled back and he collapsed to the floor, looking like a zombie Richard Pryor!. Me and the barback–the always awesome Billy from Philly, RIP–helped him and cushioned his head. He was seizing and foaming at the mouth.

Maeve called 911 and they showed up surprisingly fast. We explain to the EMTs what happened and they bundled him out on a stretcher. That pretty much cleared out what little customers she had, too. It was pretty late and the crowd had dwindled due to cold and intermittent rain.

I slipped into the bathroom to do a maintenance bump off my keys–a lil dab will do ya! One up each nostril. It hit my brain like a sledge hammer. One second of burn and then an instant drain down the back of the throat. Goddamn!! I said GODDAMN!?!? Instantly, I’m cool and articulate again, at least for a minute.

I returned to the bar and ordered another drink, and discussed what just happened. Suddenly there was a commotion at the front door. People were getting kicked out of The Dungeon by Walter and Jordan, the security. It’s James, my friend I was supposed to meet up with. James was a really intelligent and articulate guy, very talented tattoo artist and had just done a cover piece on my right hand a month prior. However, he had ZERO filter! Combine that with a 6 feet 2 inch and 250-pound frame with extensive training in Muy Thai, and you’ve got your hands full! He also had an Odinist symbol on his face that caused him to be a shit magnet at times.

His girlfriend Sam, bartender and manager at The Dungeon, was off duty at the time and comes in to tell me that I need to go outside. As one of the few people who could handle James, talk him down, etc., I walked out to the front of bar. Walter and Jordan were posted up at The Dungeon’s door.

I immediately recognized the couple James was arguing with: both were White, early 30s, albino-pale with bleached-out hair, meth sores and dilated eyes. Both were dressed in black looking like inbred brother and sister. I’d heard the rundown on them; they were staying at a skid row motel on Tulane Avenue and the dude’s claim to fame was he’d worked at The Dungeon–five years ago for a couple of months. He was about 5 foot 6 inches and a buck fifty at most, twitchy and wearing Himmler-style glasses. She was 5 foot 8 inches and about a buck eighty. Both were pale and flabby and looked like they hadn’t slept or eaten in weeks.

She’s went on about James being a tourist and a Nazi and being a local. I’d been living here and hanging out and sometimes working at these three bars for a decade-plus and I’d never seen them until recently. She’s running her cock holster and the dude is silent, and creepy looking. What the fuck? “James!” I said. “Fuck this shit! C’mon in and I’ll buy you a drink.”

The bitch was still mouthing off. The word I heard on her is that she had been trying, with little success, to hustle guys for drinks and money. They were trick-rolling and playing Murphy games. It’s very common down here: a dude from out of town, probably married, meets woman in bar, then she lures him somewhere and the boyfriend shows up and robs him. Seen it a million times. She’s pretty skanky though, even in the dim light of a dive bar.

I’ve got my arm around James and we’re about to walk into bar when she screamed, “Yeah you pussy motherfuckers better walk off! My husband will cut your fuckin heads off!”

Next thing I saw was the little troll coming at us with, for fucks sake, a straight razor in his hand! Where the FUCK did you get that?! The cliche mine? James whirled around as the dude slashed at his face and I hear a click, or the sound of James’ four-inch combat knife extending from his hand just before he stabbed into the dude’s skull, ripping a good 5-inch gash into his scalp as he took a couple slashes to his face.

I reached for my 24-inch collapsible baton located in the holster at small of my back, underneath my black Dickies jacket. I tried to get in and break up the fight, I really didn’t need this bullshit, especially with felony weight narcotics and a handgun on me.

The bitch jumped on my back screeching about tourists and Nazis, and tried to jam a lit cigarette into my eye, while clawing for the other one with her nasty thumbnail. I flung her to the sidewalk and extended my baton. It’s my weapon of choice for close combat; effective and intimidating, not as messy as a knife or a gun. I used them many times before. A straight razor, though? On paper or in movies it’s scary, but not so much in a brawl. The blade won’t lock back and unless you hit an artery, the cuts are fine but not deep. I thought he’d gotten James in the eye!

Both of them moved in a scuffle down the sidewalk towards Bourbon Street. James basically kicked at the dude, who’s down and blindly slashed at James’ legs. With James wearing knee-high Doc Martens straight out of Romper Stomper under his camouflage battle dress uniform pants, the slashes had no effect and James continued kicking the little shit in the face.

I tried to break it up, but the skank jumps on my back at least three more times. In the three or so minutes that have elapsed since the altercation began, I saw two NOPD cruisers pass by on Bourbon Street. James has kicked the little shit within 40 feet of Bourbon Street. The dude still hasn’t said shit and just grunted from the impacts of James boots.

The skank continued to scream at us, calling us Nazis and while they claimed to be locals. I flung her to sidewalk several more times. They had to be tweaked out of their minds taking hits like that from me and James. I’m 6 feet 4 inches and was 230 and a veteran nightclub bouncer at the time. Not my first or 500th street brawl. I showed restraint, all things considered, but worried about cops rolling up with the narcotics and pistol in my possession. This escalated quickly.

The dude and James were both covered in blood, including the whole right side of James’ head. The scuffle moved across the street and James kicked the dude into the fence surrounding the burned out shell of Tropical Isle Club, located in the 600 block of Bourbon Street. The air reeked of scorched wood, puke and blood. I finally got between them before I pushed James back and extended baton in my left. James staggered into street wiping blood from his eyes.

I stood over the dude, who’s laying on his back in the street, a bloody mess and head swelling up like the goddamned Elephant Man. Where’s the girl? I stomp on his right forearm, he’s clutching the razor and still not talking. I told him to drop the razor and he grunts. I rapped him sharply across his nose and heard it crunch. He let go of the razor and I switched hands, baton in my left, and I dumped the knife and razor into the storm drain. I stood up just as the bitch came back and swung a U-shaped bike lock on a chain into my back, hard. Goddamn it! The fuckin’ tweaker cunt was still screeching about tourists and Nazis.

The dude rolled in the mud, blood and beer and holding his face, crying. Sam tried to pull James back across the street. The bitch hit me again but this time I hook my baton into the chain and ripped it from her possession, flinging the chain and lock combination across Bourbon Street. A small crowd gathered to watch the fight. I grabbed her by her funky peroxide hair.

“You like to play rough bitch?” I said, slamming her face first into the post of the chain-link fence. She stopped screaming and fell to the ground, twitching. Goddamnit! I expected to go to jail any fuckin’ second. I heard several people in the crowd gasp and comment, but I didn’t give a fuck in that moment.

At this point I’ve had enough. I pulled the .38 out of my Dickies jacket and popped open the cylinder to show her it’s loaded. “If y’all come at us again, I’m gonna waste both of y’all,” I said.

I shoved James and Sam into the bar and Maeve yells last call. As Billy from Philly closed the bar, the bitch came around yelling about calling the cops! Fuck me. The bar is closed but you can’t see inside. The tweakers staggered around the Tropical Isle and the female goth-tweaker continued to run her mouth. The damage to James’ face was minimal, only superficial cuts, although it looked worse than it was. The slashes missed his eye. I immediately chopped out a dozen lines to compose ourselves and I hand off my whole stash–pills, blow and weed, about $500 worth–to Billy from Philly, bless his heart, who put it all in an envelope and hid it under a full trashbag lining a can.

I told Maeve to get a bar towel and handed her my pistol. She didn’t bat an eye, wrapping the pistol with the towel and hid it under bar. I tossed the baton, my knife and little flashlight under the pool table and onto the dirty saloon floor. At that moment, we heard a quick blast from a police siren, followed by a rap at the shuttered door. It’s showtime!

As I’m the only one not drenched in fuckin’ blood, I told everyone to stay in the bar and let me talk to the cops. It’s kind of my superpower and know what to say (my dad is a retired police officer and military pilot). I stepped outside and expected a SWAT team to greet me, given there was bloody brutal fight with multiple people, multiple witnesses and weapons were involved. At least no one got stabbed with a trident.

It’s one cop and a rookie by the looks of him. He was very casual and actually had his hands in his pockets. “What’s going on?” he said.

Nancy-fuckin-Spungen across the streets starts yelling, wait for it, wait for it–about us being tourists and Nazis and wasn’t making a bit of sense. She and her trollboy are a bloody goddamned mess, like they’d been dragged across concrete by a bear. Trollboy can barely walk and his head’s covered in blood and swelling. She was still yelling, but now they’re walking away. Was meth the only reason why they weren’t dead? We had beaten the cowboy-tweaker-shit outta them.

“Why don’t y’all go one way and you sir go back in the bar?” the cop said, still cool and casual as fuck. What the fuck? I haven’t said a word at that point.

“Yes sir! Have a good night!” I said and walked back into the bar, locking the door behind me. The Gods of Alcohol have smiled upon me once again! We poured more drinks and chopped out more lines.

Epilogue

Two weeks later, our lives went back to normal, as normal as it gets for the life in the French Quarter, slinging booze and talking trash. The cuts on James’ face were basically scratches from forehead to chin and they healed quickly. Fucker had narrowly missed his eye, though.

When I got home that morning, Melissa, my girlfriend at the time, had heard about the incident and she pulled my hoodie and jacket off. My back was pretty stiff despite the cocaine, pain pills and alcohol I’d ingested. A big horseshoe-shaped bruise across my shoulder blades from the bike lock faded quickly. Maeve’s and Billy from Philly’s bosses, a really awesome husband and wife team, had heard the watered-down version of the fight from me. I left out the pistol and narcotics parts, though. They were cool about it because it went down outside and no police report was filed. Again, the Gods of Alcohol stepped in.

Roughly two more weekends went by and I heard from several sources in my network of spies and informers that the bitch and her trollboy reappeared at the bar and The Dungeon. They were with a posse consisting of several tweaked-out emo kids and a big fat kid in a Babylon 5 shirt. They asked who I was and threatened to kill me.

I paid Dani, my co-worker, to takeover my shift. I called my crew, who were working out in the Quarter that night. Frankie, Nick, Dustin, Avery and, of course, James. All hard-bitten Dog Soldiers who didn’t give a fuck and down for anything. “Meet me in front of The Dungeon, boys.”

Me and my crew of baggage-smashers arrived at the Dungeon. Jordan already knew what was about to go down and met us at the door. “Jay they left and headed to lower Decatur,” he said.

We proceeded to hit every bar on Decatur Street and beyond, from Molly’s at the Market to The John on Burgundy Street, in the Marigny. No trollboy and no fat kid in a Babylon 5 shirt. I was hitting the Columbian bambam pretty hard at the time and could be a ruthless motherfucker. After a hour or two of this, we walked back to The Dungeon and Jordan and Hoss met us at the door.

“Look Jay, the dude talked to some people and him and the girl got in a argument,” Jordan said. “He took his friends and left. He’s scared shitless and still stitched up and in a neck brace.”

James busted up laughing. James was 86’ed for life, anyway. Hoss tells me no trouble and Rachel, the owners wife and a bartender, is about to kick the broke bitch out cuz she’s still trying to hustle dudes. She’s still got multiple stiches and a taped up nose so no one is giving her any play. I tell ’em I’m cool and just wanna talk but I refused to check my pistol. James and Dustin waited outside while Frankie, a lifetime regular, Nick and I go inside. Avery takes a seat in courtyard.

I immediately spotted her sitting at the bar. She’s hard to miss: two fading black eyes and tape across the nose and a few sutures on the forehead. I smiled at her and sit-down, with Frankie and Nick flanking me.

“Hey boo how’re you doing?” I said, oozing charm.

“A lot better now that you’re here,” she said. I bought her a drink and she warmed up. She put her hand on my arm. I buy a round of shots for us and she’s practically in my lap, dry humping my leg. I’m gonna have to burn these pants, I thought. She’s not as tweaked-out but still looking like 90 miles of bad Bakersfield oil patch road. Leaning towards her, I asked if she remembered me.

“Why no, I’d remember a big good looking guy like you,” she said. I told her I’m the guy that did the damage to her and she immediately becomes defensive. Her story was that her ex-husband put her up to it and none of it was her fault. She was sorry and that he’s all spun-out on meth, etc. I told her she’s full of shit and lucky they’re not dead. She said her husband had a broken nose, jaw, collarbone and 60 stitches in his head, etc. I hold up my hand to stop her. I told her my full government name, where I worked and if her and her husband/ pimp ever wanted to find me, that I’m not hard to find. None of us ever saw them again. If I have gained anything from this, it’s don’t take a straight razor to a street brawl.

Fuck Bruce Springsteen

Let me take you back to when I was driving cab at night on the Jersey Shore back in 2008. I’d go in from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., six days a week. My evenings started in a tiny cab stand/dispatch office right off of Main Street in a town notorious for rowdy summertime drinking, and popular with tourists from Northern New Jersey and New York area.

I even had the asshole dudes from the MTV show “Jersey Shore” in my cab one summer night. It was during the first season and I never heard of them or the show. The guy with the spikey hair jumped into the front seat and barked to me “Jever hear of the show Jersey Shore? We’re on it!” I responded “Never heard of it, the fare is still $17.” If I had only known, I would’ve driven all of us head on into a New Jersey Transit commuter train. I could have been the one to have ended that show in the first season if I had any idea of what the future would be. It’s like having been Hitler’s baby sitter and looking back on how you could’ve saved humanity needless suffering if you had only drowned the little shit in the bath tub.

All artwork by Eric T. Styles

I digress. I would sit in the small office waiting for my cab to show up from the day driver ending his shift. We had this one dispatcher, I’ll call him Ron. The time would drag on for what seemed like hours as I sat there and listened to this man. Chronic bullshitter. Nonstop. Only he believed his own bullshit stories. Pathological liar and a pretty crummy human being.

Racist too. Not like today’s “racism” you know, milk is racist, time is racist, math is racist, crosswalks are racist, etc. I’m talking actual, hateful ignorant racist. Always used the “N-word” whenever Black people weren’t around. Constant use of the word, belittling and demeaning comments about Blacks and Mexicans. A true racist.

In 2008, I was mildly following the primaries for presidential nominations. I never would vote for either a Republican or Democrat, which are the same things in my view. I won’t partake in your farce of the two-party system. I follow politics the same way some guys follow sports. During elections I like to say, “When watching a knife fight, I’ll cheer for the knives.” Politics are a dirty business of manipulation and spin.

Barrack Obama was just starting to come out of virtually nowhere and was the center of attention for being the first establishment black candidate that might have enough support to win the nomination. The press was fawning over him and it would only get more and more cringe. I even kind of liked the guy and hoped he would get the nomination just to flip out assholes like Ron.

Ron: “Can you believe the Democrats are actually thinking of nominating an (N-word) with an Arab name? 9-11 was only seven years ago and they want to elect a fucking towel head to President.” (His words, not mine)

Night after night he would go off on Obama. Watermelon and fried chicken in the White House jokes, Black House jokes, spinner wheel rims on the POTUS limo jokes. I couldn’t wait for my Mercury to pull up so I could get out of his fucking Klan meeting. We drivers kept our mouths shut. He would’ve given anyone who contradicted him the crappiest car in the fleet just for chastising him. You can’t fix other people’s stupid.

I came in after my one day a week off and walked past Ron’s pick up truck in the parking lot. Yes, a raised Chevy 4-wheel-drive pickup truck. Talk about stereotypes, we had them in Jersey too. I noticed on his back bumper an “OBAMA BIDEN 08” bumper sticker. I laughed my ass off. Someone had trolled him good by slapping that on his pride and joy. He will flip the fuck out when he finally sees it on his truck I thought.

I could hear his bellowing blow hard voice 20 feet from the door of the office. He had a “dry drunk” personality. Sober for a decade or more but still that loud, obnoxious opinionated drunk character. “Christ, he’s talking politics again.” As I stepped into the office while he was spouting off.

“FUCK John McCain! That mother fucker will just get us in more damn wars like Bush did. He’ll ban abortion, you know it. No, I listened to Obama’s speech and that man is a fucking genius. Best thing for America right now. Fuck Republicans.”

I stepped back out and checked to make sure that I had the right building, went back in. Yep, it was dysfunction junction all right. I sat down to start my paper work and to try and understand the slip in the space time continuum that I was experiencing.

Only 48 hours earlier he was using terms like “tap-dancing monkey” now he is campaigning for Obama. What the actual fuck was my mantra as I jumped into my rig and headed to the 7-Eleven on Ocean Avenue for my first 20-ounce coffee of the night. I got back in my cab and turned-on the radio for news from an New York City AM radio station.

“On Sunday New Jersey’s favorite son Bruce Springsteen announced his endorsement for Presidential hopeful Barrack Obama.” The dark roast coffee ejaculated from my nose onto the steering wheel mid sip.

THAT’S WHY!

Reason number one why I hate Springsteen: So many fucking people in New Jersey think the sun rises out of Springsteen’s ass crack every morning. They all claim to have met him. Guys from the ages of 40 to 90 claimed to have gone to school with him, or lived next door to him.

He was from our area, Belmar, New Jersey. The music store where he bought his iconic guitar was in the center of our town. Shit, I even lived in an apartment on Eleventh Avenue and E Street. I used to pick up or drop off at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park every weekend. I got really sick of even hearing his name and listening to bullshitters like Ron talk about how Bruce was their best buddy.

That was why Ron had flipped a full 180 degrees on Obama. His hero, his man love, his idol Springsteen had endorsed him. A few nights later during a rant, I guess he caught my smirking to his praising of Obama. “Yea I know I was talking shit about Obama in the beginning, but I’ll vote for a (N word) before I vote for McCain.” Now that would be a hell of a campaign bumper sticker I thought to myself.

This also why I hate pop culture getting involved with politics and I think it’s much more prevalent in 2021 with social media. Mindless sheep who put no thought into issues, consequences or policies just regurgitate whatever their pop icons push. The same talking points and narratives, just like their favorite Hollywood actors or pop singers.

If you control the news and entertainment media, you can control the nation. Why I bring this up, today on my day off I had a long on-going debate on Twitter with a YouTuber film critic over Springsteen and his pompous air of “working class hero.” Man of the people in a multi-million dollar mansion, his daughter competing in the equestrian competition in the Tokyo Olympics. No White privilege to see here.

Rumor has it Bruce worked at a gas station in Freehold one summer when he was a teen. That’s the extent of his blue collar experience. His father was a union bus driver in Monmouth County, and supported and financed his musical career at an early age. I actually ended up driving that same bus route in the 1990s, by the way.

Another reason to despise him: Bruce will sing about mills closing down, bad economies, oil refineries not hiring veterans, etc. Yet he fully endorsed Joe Biden for president even after Biden made it clear he would not allow new oil pipe lines and help to expedite the end of the oil industry in America.

Bruce will sing songs about pointless wars and disenfranchised vets. Yet he endorsed Obama twice even though Obama had more wars than George W. Bush and killed more Muslims than George did. Twenty years later, we’re still there and Biden extends it even more after Donald Trump tried to bring it to a close.

Who the fuck are you trying to fool, Bruce? You are an establishment elitist. There is fucking nothing “Rock and Roll” or “Working class hero” about you. You are an arrogant corporate shill. Bourgeoisie hypocrite.

(BTW, you should have called a cab to pick you up, it would have saved you the D.U.I. charge.)

If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are.
Alice Cooper

The Regulators

A true story by Jay Slusher …

Some time ago, in New Orleans… I was walking home to my apartment in from the Central Business District, where one of my best friends had her first bar shift at a little joint off Lee Circle and I went there give her my support. I had a few cocktails in me but I had also eaten red beans and rice, and was only a little buzzed, but not ‘faced. It was about 2 a.m. and I was walking through a desolate area on the edge of the French Quarter.

I find myself in a lot of dark desolate areas on the regular and I wasn’t too worried. I had a cell phone, clip knife, flashlight and doctor’s Smith and Wesson on me–the Quarter is a high crime area! The section I was walking through has a notorious reputation in New Orleans criminal history. The 100 to 300 block of Burgundy Street, back in the day from about 1880 to 1910, had been known as Smoky Row. It was a decrepit rats nest of shotgun houses, and a maze of courtyards and old slave quarters inhabited by low-end prostitutes, pimps and hustlers, who were known for luring in tricks off the streets, then robbing and sometimes killing them.

Legend has it (I think it was around 1910, maybe?) they discovered a room full of bloody clothing and a pile of old wallets 7 feet high. In addition, several human remains were found buried in a courtyard. No one was ever charged. The Encyclopedia of American Crime has a detailed chapter on it.

As a matter of fact, my girlfriend and I were robbed at gunpoint along the same section of the Quarter back in 1999.

Back to the night in question. As I’m walking into the 200 block of Burgundy Street, I noticed a commotion about a half block away. On the opposite side of the street from me, I see a Black couple. The dude looks really wasted and the woman is on her phone with a 911 dispatcher.

“They fighting up here!” the woman said into the phone. “Buncha White boys. They about to kill that man! Y’all need to get here now!”

I see men scuffling in the street, about 150 feet away, screaming and cursing. A couple of guys are down and another one is staggering away. I see two large men dressed in black, with radios and “SECURITY” emblazoned on the back of their shirts. In one uniform and coordinated move, they both lift a tall, skinny dude by the arms and legs, and hoisted him over their heads, ran across the street holding the man above their heads as he screamed and cursed, and double body-slammed him hard, cage match-style onto the hood of an old Buick Roadmaster. I could feel the impact.

The dude went silent, limp and twitched on the hood of the car. I’m walking up cautious, revolver in my hand. I don’t know what the fuck is going on?! Then a guy staggers up to me, bleeding from the mouth and nose, and with a big gash on his forehead. His hoodie was ripped in half and he’s already bruising up where they’d kicked and stomped him. He looks like a Johnny Cash song and I KNOW him!

His street name is Ice: a skater and BMX guy. He worked occasionally on Bourbon Street as a barback and barker for daiquiri bars. I’ve known him forever. He’s a pretty cool guy, but like a lot of us, his addictions sometimes got the best of him. In addition, he’s noted for dramatic relationships with women. He wasn’t a kid anymore, probably in his early 30s at the time and looked way younger despite his lifestyle.

Ice falls against me and I’m holding him up, trying to hold him steady. He’s bloody as fuck and reeking of puke and cheap wine. I slide my revolver in the pocket of my Dickie’s jacket. I hear several sirens crank up from Bourbon Street a couple blocks away.

“Ice? Wtf bruh?!” I said to him. He looks at me, trying to focus.

“Jaybird? They, they beat the fuck outta me man!” Ice said. “The dudes would have killed me if those bouncers hadn’t shown up!”

He slumps to the ground as NOPD cruisers, with lit-up sirens blaring, turned onto both ends of the block. That’s when I noticed three other dudes laid out on the sidewalk. Two of them were unconscious, and the other was moaning and holding his crotch. They looked like typical wanna-be gangsta White boys, you know the type; $20 gram bags and gratuitous use of the N-word. Punks.

More NOPD units pull up, followed by a fire truck! This is turning into a Shit Circus quickly! Ice was slumped against me and I’m covered in his blood. The cops have gotten out of one car and a rookie–a White boy looking like he’s 15 years old, all new gear belt and shiny boots and badge–orders me against the wall and spread em! I know the drill. He’s looking at the sprawled bodies, confused. The sergeant gets out of his car, a grizzled veteran with 10 hash marks down his sleeve. I know him, too. A big, evil looking bastard. Think Yaphet Kotto crossed with Sam Jackson.

He was cool as fuck, though, and we had positive history. He deputized me during some street brawls and riots back when I was a Razzoo bouncer in the notorious red shirt era. Yeah I was one of those guys.

“Roll EMS, two units, 200 block Burgundy,” Sarge said into his shoulder mic. Also, he tells the rookie to stand down. He’s about to search me and I have a piece in my pocket.

I couldn’t remember if my concealed carry permit was still valid. And I had been drinking. And there’s five fuckin’ dudes laid out and I have blood on me! Fuck!

Just as he’s about to pat me down, the Black lady comes and points at me.

“Officer, that man was not fighting! He was trying to help that man!” she said.

“If you weren’t fighting why do you have blood all over you?” the rookie responded.

Ice, supported by two firemen, is kind of incoherent at the time. He had just taken a bad beatdown.

Two ambulances have arrived, adding to the sound and fury. This is turning into a bad episode of “Cops” with me front and center. Sarge asks me what happened and tells his men to kill the sirens. Thank God! It was really obnoxious.

I told him that I didn’t know and that I walked up at the tail end of it. I saw two guys in security gear, one Black and one White, body-slam the dude in the Scarface hoodie, then disappear up the street. That’s really all I saw. The Black lady is giving a statement to another officer and her boyfriend is drunkenly leaning against the lamp post, smoking a cigarette. I think he was a cook at Deja Vu. He’s muttering something about White boys.

Two paramedics have Ice on a stretcher and he’s coming around. Firemen and other medics are tending to the others and cops are searching them. Scarface ain’t looking good. He’d pissed himself and the medic said something about him coding? One of the other guy’s knee is broken and he’s crying when they load him on stretcher. Another one had his face smashed-in, nose broken and he’s gurgling blood. The third guy is still holding his crotch and throat, and crying.

Meanwhile, all sorts of contraband is piling up on the hood. Sure enough, a dozen gram bags of weed, several bindles of white powder, four knives, a set of brass knuckles and the federal felony grand slam–a POS 32 revolver with tape around the barrel, grip and trigger! It’s loaded with the numbers filed off. Cops are all excited and joking about it. Also, one of the medics informs Sarge that Scarface is wearing an ankle monitor from the bonding company.

Not a driver’s license among them. Sarge says they’re all in their early 20s and from Metairie, a suburban part of the New Orleans metro area located west of the city in Jefferson Parish; and Westwego, part of the West Bank located across the river and also in the same parish. They were all on probation or parole. Not exactly archcriminals we’re dealing with here.

Ice is propped up on a stretcher and drinking water, with the medic suturing his head. Ice is drunk as fuck, but alert now. The rookie asks him to make a statement. Ice looks angry for a second.

“I ain’t no fuckin’ snitch bruh!!” Ice proclaimed. Ice’s social skills aren’t the best. He refused to make a statement to the policeman himself and instead makes his statement only to Jay. (Updated 2:08 a.m., June 8, 2021)

“That’s not how we do things. The policy says…” the rookie said before Sarge cut him off.

“I’ll allow it,” Sarge said. He takes out a cigar, a Cuban by the smell of it and clips it before jamming it into the corner of his mouth and chomping down.

“Jaybird, consider yourself deputized…detective!”he added, chuckling, then looks to Ice. “Proceed young man.”

Ice perks up; the center of attention. All around us cops, firemen and medics are busy as fuck. The punks are handcuffed to the stretchers and cops are taking pictures of everything. Eighth District detectives have showed up and taking notes.

“So tell me what happened, Ice? ” I ask.

“OK Jay, I got into a fight with my girlfriend at Armstrong Park earlier and I left her there!” he said. “Bitch lost our money! I slammed a fifth of Night Train and I wanted to pass out.

“I saw a pile of cardboard and fell out, I don’t know for how long? I woke up to puke and next thing I know, these bastards are stomping me and calling me a fa- – – t?!”

“So what happened then?” I prompted. The rookie is scribbling furiously.

“Dude, these bouncers showed up outta fuckin’ nowhere man?!” Ice said. “It’s like a miracle! Saved my ass man!”

“What did they look like?” I asked again.

“Big dudes, like you and Sarge” Ice continued. “All dressed in black, radios and gloves. They tore those dudes up man! Like a goddamn movie!

“One white dude, one black dude, big tough bastards! Didn’t say shit either. Just kicked ass!”

This WAS strange. There were no nightclubs or strip clubs anywhere near this section of the Quarter. Bourbon Street was blocks away. They didn’t look familiar either and I’m a card-carrying member of the Brotherhood of Evil Bouncers.

“And then they slammed that dude and took off,” Ice continued. “I’d buy those fuckers a beer man! They came outta nowhere and didn’t even know me!?”

One of the medics was hooking him to an IV. The rookie was still writing on his pad like a madman. Sarge asked me for a light and I hook him up. He rolls it in the flame to get a nice and even ember. He smells like Bourbon and gun leather. He puffs contently.

“And what’s your opinion on this, Jay bird?” Sarge asked me.

I saw a great opportunity to paraphrase the great Michael Parks from Kill Bill, Vol. 2:

“First off, as a professional, I appreciate the precision of the carnage. Throat, knee and crotch strikes, and that sweet double body slam at the end? Nice, they are definitely pros. No squirrely-ass amateurs. Zero fucks given. I’d say they probably had to escort some dancers or bartenders to one of the parking garages here and on the way back, they saw poor Ice here getting stomped out–and they intervened. They didn’t just beat ’em down, they MAIMED them! Then, like true vigilantes, they disappeared and remain anonymous.”

Several officers and detectives have gathered around. The poor rookie is still writing on this pad. Kids are gonna be doing paperwork till noon on this. Sarge takes the cigar out of his mouth and grins, teeth like broken tombstones.

“Jaybird, I think we both know exactly who these badasses are?” Sarge asked me.

I had absolutely no idea.

“In recent weeks, we’ve had several reports of a group of young men,” Sarge said, gesturing towards the ambulances, “matching these knuckleheads’ descriptions, robbing and assaulting gay men and homeless people in this area.”

I had heard the same thing and I thought if there’s been a half dozen complaints filed, they’d probably did it a BUNCH of times and gotten away with it. Most of the homeless people in this area are their own worst enemy and while a lot of them can be assholes and annoying as fuck, the majority of them are harmless and I’ve always thought guys who went gay-bashing were weak punks trying to prove how tough and hard they were. Scarface was the oldest and by the IDs and probably the brains of the outfit. And I’m using that term loosely.

They definitely bit off more than they could chew with some real fighters and hard men. My hats off to them.

“All in all, some excellent police work by those two,” Sarge said, referring to the mysterious bouncers. “They totally regulated on their dumbasses and when those idiots get out of the emergency room, I’m going to hit them with some serious felony charges. They’re all probation and parole, and the gun we found on Scarface alone is a federal felony charge with a minimum 10 years sentence.

“They gonna find out just hard they are in Angola!”

Ice ended up taking an ambulance ride. I saw him a couple more times since I moved back to New Orleans and got back in the only life I know. Ice is not is real street name. I wish him the best. I never had to testify and I heard nothing else about the incident. I’m sure the Sarge handled it. In New Orleans, street justice can be harsh and brutal.

And the regulators, whoever they are, excellent work and good looking out. Hit me up and drinks on me.

Questions or feedback? Art by Eric T. Styles. Edited by Dave Minsky. Email dave@thequarterrat.com or styles@thequarterrat.com.