Friday, October 7, 2011

Things to do Before Leaving NOLA, #4: Go on a Date with Uncle Lionel Batiste

I told you he was a semi famous figure down here in the Quarter.



And he's everywhere.  The other night we went to The Spotted Cat to see a show...



Even the bathroom at the Spotted Cat is 'cool', complete with a piano that Summer played for 10 minutes.


...and there he was.  Uncle Lionel Batiste.  I've never seen him wear the same outfit and I've never seen him without his sunglasses.  He told me that when he was a young boy, they would wear monogrammed belt buckles, and the ladies would dance so close the belt buckles got a good shine.  So they had to wear sunglasses all the time.



If you look closely in the mirrors, you can see Lionel and me canoodling.


He also told me that he was the first black man sent to jail for DWI.  He was driving with his niece in the car and was pulled over.  This was in the days before disposable diapers, and so he had a burlap sack with her cloth diapers in it.  The cop was convinced there were drugs in the bag.  Lionel tried to warn him not to put his hand in that bag, but the cop wouldn't listen.  He stuck his hand in, and pulled it out.  I'm quoting Lionel here: "his hand had baby yellow sh*t on it.  Like stickin' a paint brush in a paint bucket."

I asked if he got some measure of satisfaction from seeing that cop with baby yellow (beep) on his hand.  Lionel said, "It was a joy for me."

When asked how many children he has, he pauses, then says, "a considerable amount."

I asked him to hold my chair while I went to the bathroom.  He said, "if somebody more attractive comes along, she gets the chair."




He kept laughing at my Lindy Hop dancers.  "Every song that band play, they do the swing dance.  If I was dancing, I'd do the shuffle."
I said, "Let me know if you want to dance, Lionel."
He said, "You step on my feet I'm gonna get off the floor."

I caught Summer's eye and mouthed the words "I'm. So. Happy."




It's clear that you don't want to upstage Lionel.  It's also clear that I wasn't quite getting what he wanted me to do.  He doesn't so much dance with you as for you.  But it was a blast, and afterward he told me, "you did pretty good.  You didn't step on my feet."


OMG!  Our knees are touching!


There, that's better.


6 comments:

Kerry said...

This is cooler than cooler than cool. Sorry, I'm a little inarticulate, but WOW!! So jealous.

Kady Hexum said...

I only wish cool came by osmosis because I could use a little for reals.

See? I just said for reals. Lionel Batiste probably doesn't say for reals. He probably says something much cooler.

Kady Hexum said...

Like, yes indeed.

beth said...

I like how he's basically telling you to stay put while you're dancing...with good reason I might add.

Kady Hexum said...

I know, and I kept testing it. Nope. Again? Nope. OK. I'll stay back here.

Jacqui said...

I'm so disappointed. I thought I was gonna see you shining his belt buckle. :(

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