The following tale was originally told on July 9th, 2000.
Hi neighbors! All my friends keep on yellin’ “Tell me a story, tell me a story!”, so I reckon that’s what I’m gonna do! So everybody gather ’round—-
get nice and cozy— and listen up to a little tale
that I call——–
Many long years ago, the guys in the band and I decided to make a break from the South where we were from for a while, (the heat from the local authorities helped us make up our minds, too!), and go hang out in someone else’s South! We picked New Orleans.
What a place! I firmly believe that everyone at one time in their life should pay a visit to that magical town! You may love it. You may hate it. You will never be able to forget it. There are about 6 or 7 towns in the world that have their own smell. Not a good or bad smell–just a unique scent that seems to live only in that city. New Orleans is such a place. I could get off of a plane blindfolded and tell you if I was in the Big Easy because of the aroma! Also, there’s something pretty mystical about a group of people who decide to evolve their own language! Cajun is such a lingo! Hell, even the French can’tunderstand them!
We worked at a little club on Bourbon Street called The Gunga Den for more than a year. We would start at 7 P.M.— play 1/2 hour, then another band would play for 1/2 hour. Then us. Then them. Do you get the picture? This went on until 6 A.M. the next morning. Every Day!!! For a damn year!!! Whew!
Well, anyway, before we got this job we had to find a place to live. In New Orleans itself, we found nothing! Oh, there were some beautiful places there, don’t get me wrong. All of them, though, were either too small, too expensive, too dilapidated, or sitting next to some voodoo village!! We ended up an hour or so away in Long Beach, Mississippi. Times were hard in those days, and eating became a lost art. Even though we played a lot during this time period, the pay was skimpy at best, and we also had our girlfriends with us—- and boys, we gotta take good care of those girls— ’cause Lord knows they take good care of us! There were many days, though, when there was no food. Not just some; not just a little; we’re talkin’ NONE!
We had made a few friends after a while in the area. People would come to our rehearsals at the house, show up to chat, and occasionally bring us any food that they could sneak out of their parent’s refrigerator! Young, beautiful girls seemed to be especially good at this for some reason!
One day, we had been rehearsing for quite awhile that morning working up new songs when a station wagon pulls up outside. Out jumps these two good ol’ boys that we knew— and told us that they had a surprise for us! They knew that we were foodless at that moment, so they had a surprise for us!
Those boys had broken into a poultry farm the night before–and, being drunk out of their minds, got us a few eggs. SIXTY-EIGHT DOZEN DAMN EGGS! We were tickled to death over the whole situation, I’ll tell you that for sure!
We formed a relay line kinda like the old firemen used to pass buckets of water… and started bringing in them eggs. Them damn beautiful eggs! The refrigerator was almost full of eggs after about 30 minutes of this, but we still had tons of eggs left—-and didn’t want to lose even one! We were so intent on our good fortune that we didn’t even realize the police had pulled up and were standing there until they cleared their throats right behind us! Now I don’t know about you, but with it being the 1960s, and two fully dressed policemen watching eight longhairs unloading sixty-eight dozen stolen eggs, I began to think that this situation was as screwed up as a box full of coat hangers!!
The two cops looked at us for a long time without saying anything. Our butts were so tight that you couldn’t drive a straight pin in our asses with a sledge hammer! Finally, one of the officers kinda smiled and said, “Boys——-we’ve had a complaint about ya’ll practicing your music a little too loud. Do you think that you could kinda tone it down?”
Have you ever heard eight people give a sigh of relief at the same time? Well, I have!!
“We are finished rehearsing for the day, sir,” says us.
“Thanks, guys,” says he. I don’t remember the other cop doing anything but laughing!
Well, for the next month, we master the fine art of egg-cookin’! Every conceivable way that a person could cook an egg was done by us. Meals of fried eggs, hard-boiled eggs, omelettes, scrambled eggs and a hundred others! Boy, did we get sick of eggs! I always wondered, though, what the penalty would have been for that crime!!!???
Until next time, my friends, be good to each other. Help out a brother in need sometimes. Kiss your beautiful wife for no damn reason at all except for the fact that she deserves it. And be good to each other!
Copyright © Rickie Lee Reynolds