Rune Rofke - Glenn Emery

Bayou Lafourche

All Souls Day

Yesterday was truly a day of miracles. We had a small team: Steve Rappoli, Diane Bentstoder and me, led by Christopher. We did small towns along Bayou Lafourche and did pretty well. Everyone had at least $150 by 6 o'clock.

Most of the businesses along the bayou were tied to either fishing or offshore oil drilling. A lot of boat and engine repair shops, and steel fabricators with yards full of drilling pipe. Inside the cavernous shops were guys with welding helmets and heavy leather gloves, and every time they touched the rod to metal it would create a brilliant spark that would light up the whole room. The air was thick with the smell of ozone and hot metal. I loved it and wanted to stay and learn how to to weld. One of the guys handed me a helmet to watch, because it was too bright to see otherwise. They told me I would burn my eyes out and go blind if I looked directly at it too long. They said it was just like staring at the sun.

Farther down the highway I fundraised a helicopter service that takes crews back and forth from the oil rigs out in the gulf. The pilot was in the break room having black coffee in a styrofoam cup. He looked like the Marlboro man. He was leaning back in the chair, his cowboy boots propped up on the table. He had mirrored sunglasses and a mustache and smoked a little cigar and wore a leather jacket and a Saints ball cap. Even sitting down he had a swagger. He looked like he was on top of the world. And he had a lot of money. But he only bought one box -- "for the office," he said. I could see he had a huge amount of pride in what he did, and the shiny blue helicopter in the yard was his baby. I really envied him. He was so cool. I wanted to fly helicopters.

At lunch I went into a convenience store and on the counter were several big jars and a crock pot. One jar held pickled pigs feet and the other had pickled eggs in beet juice, just like my mother used to make.

I looked in the crock pot and saw about seven or eight big fat links of sausage. I asked the man what it was and he looked at me like he was surprised I didn't know. Obviously, I was new in town. "Boudin," he said. He had a heavy French-Cajun accent, and just the way he said it -- "boo dahn" -- sounded exotic and delicious. So I bought two links, a bag of Doritos and a Dr Pepper and went outside and sat under a tree covered in Spanish moss. It's almost November, but it was still warm and humid down on the bayou. It felt like rain was coming.

The boudin was more fantastic than I could possibly imagine. The combination of spices with the pork and rice was heaven. It was the best possible lunch I could have had. I felt one with the bayou. I couldn't wait to tell my team about it.

Around 10:30, while we were blitzing the bars and anything else that was still open along the solitary highway along the bayou, we all got arrested. Turned out the sheriff had denied Christopher permission to fundraise in the parish earlier in the day. We all got off on a $50 bond and drove back to New Orleans in the pouring rain. We blitzed around, and it's a miracle we ended with a $237 average.

Today was a totally different story. We went back to Lafourche and did parking lots. I didn't get started until almost 1 o'clock because we got up late. I hate being in the van that long. It makes it hard to get started. Satan uses our inertia to make us lazy and not want to fundraise. But I've learned the best way to overcome this negativity is to just jump out of the van with a loud "Monsai!" and start running around like crazy. It always works. Even if people don't buy right away, the high energy allows me to break through the satanic spirit world and subjugate the area.

By 6 o'clock I had almost $170. At 6:15 I got arrested by the same cop who busted me yesterday. I paid the $50 bond and was back at the parking lot by 7, but I couldn't sell because the cop was parked right there watching me. He was also waiting for the van, because as soon as Christopher showed up at 7:30 he flipped the lights on his patrol car and dragged me and Christopher back down to the police station. Their intention was to arrest Christopher.

In the meantime, another cop found Steven, who was still out fundraising, so while Christopher and I were in the station they brought Steven in. They set his bond at $500. Christopher and I talked them into letting us go so we could get the money. We went back out to the van. We only had about $400 and they still hadn't found Diane. We went to pick her up, but she'd only made $85 all day. She said she had seen the cops looking for her, but she'd managed to stay out of sight. She also got a case of candy stolen.

So we went back to the police station with $485 and counted out $15 in silver to spring Steven from jail. I drove us back to New Orleans. We had zero result for the day, except for about $25 in nickels, dimes and quarters. Christopher's spirit was crushed. We didn't even blitz when we got back into the city. We just went to the center, which was an apartment out in Kenner, and went to bed. The rest of the team was still out because we were in the middle of a competition and we were supposed to keep fundraising at least until 2 am every night. I should have pushed Christopher to go back out, but I didn't. 

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