Well, you know you had a pretty good time in New Orleans when the friend you stayed with comes to Memphis and leaves at your favorite neighborhood bar your Grizzlies cap you left behind, filled with gift boxes containing crazy-looking women s bracelets, and tells the bartender, Don t worry, he won t remember buying them, much less why. Luckily, when said friend is asked about more details of the visit, he astutely replies, What happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans. I say, amen to that, especially the incident that involved some partial nudity, shrimp shells, and a magnifying glass. Perhaps the greatest sight I ran across down there was a little shop in the French Quarter. The windows were typically filled with the ubiquitous feathers and beads and frilly glass things and all other manner of overdone crap. But just inside the open doorway was something a bit unexpected: a huge, motionless bulldog staring straight at us, with a look on his face that said one of two things: 1) If you don t take me away from all of this stuff I am going to jump in front of the next car that drives by, or 2) If you even crack a smile at me I will lunge out of here at you with the fervor of a spider monkey injected with crystal meth. Luckily it did neither. The thought of a mean spider monkey still scares me, though. I think it stems from a trip I took as a child to Opryland (enough to scare any child) and after watching one of their weird outdoor shows, I looked up only to see my mother hold hands with a show monkey. And in her always-cheerful tone, she said to us, Looooook. Look who s coming home with us! All I could envision was being tormented by this monkey much in the same way I was by our pet bird, which my parents never made stay in its cage, leaving it free to fly around trying to peck my eyes out at any given opportunity. Fortunately, when Mom was ready to leave the Opryland show area and take us on to the next nightmarish experience there, the monkey wouldn t let go of her hand and she quickly changed her tune and finally had to tell a worker to get this hairy thing off me! It s this kind of experience, followed by so many others as an adult, that have allowed me to come up with a whole new way of treating stress. Do this: Blink your eyes open and shut as fast as you can, making it look like you are in room with a strobe light. Do this as long as you can. Believe me: You will not be able to think about anything else and thus you will not be able to worry about anything else. You will be focused solely on the eye blinking. Kind of like structured breathing for those who use that as a calming exercise, which I do myself on many occasions, usually while driving. But the eye blinking, in some ways, is more fun. While doing this, put on your favorite fast-paced music. It makes it look like your cat is dancing when she hops on the couch and runs to the kitchen. In fact, it makes anyone look like a great dancer even straight white people. This could explain why I have a mildly sprained ankle, but there are so, so many other scenarios that seem just as feasible I just don t know. Because of the physical damage this probably does to your eyes, it s probably not a good idea to do this on a regular basis, and I suppose it could even be considered a vice. I, however, don t believe in that particular label. Vices are but pleasures offered to us to offset the predestined bad things that are going to f- with us anyway. Don t worry, there will be a chapter on vices in the book I am working on, which will be released at the time of my departure from this planet, after which I will be cloned using knowledge obtained by space aliens. What? You don t believe in space aliens? Have you seen our president on television lately? She might be the scariest-looking person on earth, but that Clonaid woman might just have something. First chapter in the book will be Reacting to the new Nazi law on maintaining a prescription database that will eventually keep doctors from prescribing pain medication. But until that time, here s a brief look at what s going on around town this week. Tonight, the locally directed and produced documentary about Memphis first African-American-owned radio station, The WLOK Story
, is being shown at Malco s Studio on the Square. And Memphis Music is at the Full Moon Club upstairs from Zinnie s East.