Bonjour, mes amis—
Ce est moi, Jean. My lovely Drusilla said I should write to you of something but, alas, she would not tell me of what thing to write. “Blog about your hobbies,” she said.
I did not know of these blogs or this hobbies, so I inquired of my friend Rene.
“Just means you need to write about shit you like to do—you know, for fun,” Rene informed me thus, and so I began to think upon this hobbies, and realized that, alas, I had none. Conducting my business of trade and tending to the affairs of the historical undead and wooing Drusilla tend to consume much of my time in the modern world.
Since making my accommodations at the Hotel Monteleone, however, I have found a series of young men and women—all of whom answer to the name “concierge”—to be most helpful.
And so it was this morning that I availed myself of a visit to the portion of the hotel occupied by today’s concierge, a young woman who wore, on her chemisier, an adornment that said “Tiffany.” Modern folk, I have learned, seem fond of wearing adornments with their names written thus, so I inquired of Mademoiselle Tiffany where I might find a hobbies.
Upon her initial response (which sounded somewhat like “huh?”) I suspected perhaps Drusilla and Rene had been making jest. If such proved true, I would be forced to seek revenge, as Jean Lafitte does not allow anyone to bring humiliation upon him. Concierge Tiffany, however, rallied with haste and proceeded to suggest several things I might procure as a hobbies.
I did not find the idea of footballgames appealing, and informed her that musicclubs would not suit me, as most of the modern world’s music was quite displeasing.
“Modern world. Huh.” She thought a moment. “Some folks like to go to movies.”
I have become quite familiar with moving pictures through the large box in the rooms of Eudora Welty which I occupy, and have, in fact, greatly enjoyed watching the pirate movies of Monsieur Captain Jack Sparrow. I should like to meet Captain Sparrow, as we perhaps might find much in common. Drusilla said he lived far away and has thus far refused to accompany me, however.
Upon hearing that I did not feel movies would be a suitable hobbies, Concierge Tiffany asked what things I enjoyed. “A fine sail on smooth waters,” I informed her. “Or a victory in battle on the seas.” Upon hearing this news, she made a snapping noise with her fingers and reached inside her desk for a stack of papers.
“You need to go on a swamp tour,” she said, shuffling her papers. “We have a Honey Island Swamp Tour, a Pearl River Eco-Tour, a Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour, a—eep!”
It appeared that my hand grasping her arm startled Concierge Tiffany, so I stepped back. Drusilla often says to me that I do not respect something modern folk call personalspace, although I believe it simply means people no longer care to be touched, which is a pity.
“Pardon, Mademoiselle Concierge Tiffany, what is this Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour? Is the esteemed Captain Lafitte on this tour?” Mon Dieu, if some blackguard was using the name of Jean Lafitte, he would not live to see the sunset.
“Of course not.” Her personalspace once again safe, Concierge Tiffany laughed. “Jean Lafitte has been dead forever. But the tour guides know all about him.”
I suspected, of course, that this might not be at all true. However, I did as Concierge Tiffany suggested and procured a taxicabride to go to the place written on a sheet of paper, which to my delight was Lafitte Parkway. It is quite gratifying to find oneself remembered thus in the modern world.
“Pardon, Monsieur, but do you know of Jean Lafitte?” I asked the gentleman who was captaining the taxicabride, shouting to be heard over the pounding, disturbing noises coming from the front of his automobile.
He reached forward and turned a knob, bringing a blissful silence to the taxicabride. “Sure, he was one badass pirate dude, man. Everbody knows ‘bout Jean Lafitte.”
“Indeed. This is most excellent news, although he was a privateer, not a pirate.” I settled back into the somewhat foul-odored but comfortable taxicabride seat and pondered this information. If even a man who performed taxicabrides for his occupation knew of Jean Lafitte, it ensures my immortality. If there were a Lafitte Highway, what else might one find?
I leaned forward again. “Pardon, Monsieur.”
He discontinued the bobbing of his head and again rid the taxicabride of that damnable noise. “Whatchu need, brah?”
Unsure what those words meant—perhaps it was a new form of Italian, which I always found a difficult language—I proceeded with my inquiry. “What are those things of which you know that might be named after Jean Lafitte?”
He glanced over his shoulder at me. “You serious ‘bout dat? Cause I can find you some stuff but your meter keep runnin’.”
I knew from taxicabride lessons with Rene that meterkeeprunnin meant that more gold would be required, but that was of no consequence. “Your meter may run as long as it wishes, Monsieur.”
“Well, all right!” The taxicabride captain performed an odd, fist-pumping motion. “Dat’s what I’m talkin’ bout. You mind if I go through da drive-thru?”
“Does it have milkshakes?” Drusilla had once procured a delicious concoction named thus from something she called a drivethru.
“Yeah, man, we’ll have us a milkshake.” The captain maneuvered his vehicle before a large sign filled with odd language I could only deduce was a Scottish dialect, as it contained many such words as “mcnuggets” and “mcgriddles” and “mcflurry.”
After a conversation in Italian, the captain steered his automobile to a window and turned to looked at me. “You got money, doncha?”
“Doncha,” I assured him, and handed him one of the American bills of currency featuring that American buffoon Andrew Jackson. It remains a mystery to me why he should have been made president.
In return I received a large vessel made of paper filled with sweet and cold milkshake, and was delighted to find it had a delightful cocoa flavor.
The taxicabride captain steered the automobile toward a corner of the drivethru store land and stopped. From his pocket, he pulled one of the cellphones of which Rene and Drusilla were so fond.
“Okay, let’s see what we can find,” he said, moving his finger atop the cellphone. “We done got you on Lafitte Highway. We got us a Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, there’s a Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, Jean Lafitte’s Absinthe House. Oh, and they got a town over across da river called Jean Lafitte.”
Such riches—and an entire village named after myself. I leaned forward. “Will you take me to these places in your taxicabride?”
The captain turned and looked at me, setting his milkshake aside. “How much money you got on you, dude? It’s gonna cost ya.”
“Meterkeeprunnin,” I told him. “Take me there. Tout de suite.”
To be continued….
DJ here. Rene says Jean was called away on a smuggling emergency and asked me to tell you he would continue his tale on Tuesday. I hope he doesn’t end up in jail.
In the meantime, here are this week’s winners. If you see your name, please don’t contact me—email Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, where did that pirate go???
AQUARIAN DANCER won the ten-book giveaway from Rene this week. Need a snail-mail address for this one!
EVA MILLIEN won this week’s Readers Choice giveaway and chose Jennifer Ashley’s Mate Bond. Your choice of print or ebook on this one.
Note that the giveaways for Julie Kenner are being handled by her tour organizer and you’ll be notified directly if you’re one of her winners.
Stop by tomorrow for a new Readers Choice!