Skip to main content

The Rat Free Meal by Mark Anthony Given

The ax forgets but the tree remembers. -African proverb

             BACK WHEN I was kicking down hundred dollar bills like cigarette butts (See Another Hot Grand hereto), I used to frequent the finest restaurants in the New Orleans French Quarter, Galatoir's, Brennan's, K-Paul's Kitchen, Commander's Palace, and many places you never heard of. This is the mid-eighties during my One Man Crime Wave Split Deposit scam, resulting in me spending the next twelve years doing a five-year sentence with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and their fuzzy math...
AFTER A HOT DAY in the office in the front seat of a luxury rental car with the air conditioning blasting and having defrauded a half a dozen banks out of ten thousand dollars in brand new Benjamin's before my afternoon siesta.  Ten grand would last me maybe a couple weeks to buy hotel rooms and whores and feed a hundred dollars a day smack habit, and just generally run of the mill debauchery for the historic den of inequity.  One night I'm melted into a back booth with a new hot young hopeful having spent several hundred dollars on wine and steaks and seafood and New York Cheesecake, the waiter's pouring the wine again and I ask to see the bottle, I wanted to see the date.  He hemmed and hawed about me handling it and tried to show me the label I grab the bottle out of his hand partially covered with a sparkling white linen, and as soon as I have the bottle in my hand the label slid right off like it had been just placed on there and the glue had never even dried they sold so many bottles of fake two hundred dollar bottle of wines, they were cooking them upright in the back room.  Like in a strip club where they badger you into buying the dancer a glass of wine for fifteen bucks or so, and it's really 7-Up or something.  I get that part; the broad would be slammed before she got off work, I can understand that.... but the old fake wine in the bucket trick at such a famous restaurant, really pissed me off, not to mention having pissed away thousands of dollars on Boone's Farm and Wild Irish Rose at two hundred dollars a liter, that's a helluva markup!    I looked around the table at my guest and back at the look on the waiter's face and everyone knew exactly what time it was, but I didn't say nothing and kind of sliding the old ancient looking handmade label back in place and acted like it just didn't happen....
             ABOUT A WEEK later on my birthday, I show up in a packed restaurant in the middle of the French Quarter Festival a line out the door and down the block I went around to the kitchen entrance with my whole posse and walk thru the kitchen into the restaurant and climb into my usual booth.  They were so busy they never even noticed and we started ordering the most expensive stuff on the menu.  They set us up a banquet table and a private party partition between us and the rest of the restaurant we preceded to whoop it like drunk Arab sheiks pissing away the family fortune.  I hate to admit this, but I used to wear a small black leather fanny pack where I would dispense hundred dollar bills and change.  It had a big pocket and a small pocket, and before the festivities began, I stopped at a pet store on Decatur Street and bought the biggest, meanest, most dirty looking fat black rat they had.  And I had them stuff him in my fanny pack, and that son of a bitch wanted up out there in a hurry....  And I couldn't wait to let his ass go...

I FOUND OUT later from police and news reports that the Ladies Auxiliary of the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Tourist Bureau was having their annual gala.  Twenty and thirty deep ole biddies in flowery period dresses and colorful hats tipsy on pink champagne and who knows what.  I have never seen party goers and drunken revelers with businessmen and politicians and sixty percent tourist getting smashed in the middle of the afternoon.  When we hit the two thousand dollar mark, they moved our table to the front of the big bay windows where tourist stood in the hot sun looking in at us like we're somebody and we looked at them like they were nobody.

SOMETHING ABOUT RAT'S make people go batshit crazy on site.  Especially women and Asian people and little girls.  Jump straight up in the air scratching and clawing at anything heading for the door, en mass.  Screaming, cursing, fist fights, things sailing through the air at high speeds that ain't supposed to fly.  It looked like a terrorist act without the terrorist unless you count this big ass sewer rat part alligator and part Louisiana coon dog that will chew his ass through a concrete wall for breakfast.  I knew I needed to be as far as possible from this fat rat bastard when he made his debut in the crowded fancy restaurant held to a capacity of one-hundred and twenty-five, with two hundred standing out in the Louisiana hot Sun to get in.  Bowl of Gumbo that looked like something you would eat out in the woods when nothing else was available is sold for eighteen dollars! 
Chocolate Mud Pie for dessert and a mean two hundred dollar a bottle Mad Dog 20/20....  

Copyright 2017 by Mark Anthony Given
All Rights Reserved

Popular posts from this blog

My Appointment With the Devil by Mark Anthony Given


We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet,  but we can at least respect his talents. -Mark Twain
  MID-THIRTIES I found myself alone at a lonely interstate rest area in Florida in the middle of the night, having driven from  New Orleans for the last several days, I went from rest area to rest area withdrawing from Methadone, starving but couldn't eat.  Dying of thirst, but couldn't drink.  Throwing up, diarrhea, high temperature and worst of all, I couldn't sleep.  Beg for sleep for three or four hours and sleep for ten minutes and start all over again.  I was at probably the lowest point of my life.  And I still had an appointment with the devil.    And he's going to be here in a minute.....          THE DEVIL IS REAL.  I met him.  Twice.  I know you're not going to believe this but I don't care.  I ain't got a reason to lie to y…

Circle Jerk City by Mark Anthony Given

 My father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet. -Rodney Dangerfield

I BUSTED OUT OF every juvenile home they placed me in when I was a kid.  Industry, The New York State School for Boys, fifteen miles south of Rochester, New York where my parents were, was the largest juvenile reformatory in the Empire State. I thought of this escape hundreds of times throughout the years as the seminal moment I became bad. Not real bad mind you, but bad none the less. Still thinking I was Matt Helm or James Bond, I plotted my daring escape from the moment they brought me there from a local juvenile detention facility which I also broke out of. To be honest with you I thought it was my duty to escape. I don’t know really why like I said I was a bad kid. Rolling thru the beautiful upstate New York countryside in the back of state car in the early morning hours to the famous “Industry,” the place you didn’t want to be, I considered for a few minutes the possibilit…

ONE RAT AT A TIME by Mark Anthony Given

 Information is the currency of democracy. — Thomas Jefferson
              THE FEDERAL REPORTER’S come out every few weeks in paperback. The latest United States Court of Appeals decisions, and the Federal Supplement’s containing every case worthy of publication from the lower or United States District Court’s. This is where the Rubber Meets the Road when determining WHO’S A RAT or who isn’t. If you are named in a Case as a Confidential Informant or Cooperating Witness; it’s written in stone. When I was the Head of the Inmate Law Library at the Federal Correctional Facility at Seagoville, Texas, just minutes from Dallas-Ft. Worth, in the early 1990’s, we had a file called “The Cut Case’s.” Guy’s would literally run from the Bus that brought them there, many Self-Surrender, to the Inmate Law Library and surgically cut their Cases right out of the Law Books. Or make the book disappear.              NEARLY ALL the cases brought to me involved Ra…