Twenty or thirty of my closest friends and family and I take a trip to New Orleans once or twice a year. We've been doing this for ten years now so, as you can imagine, we have many stories. One of the best parts of these trips is that you never know what combination of people you'll end up drinking with and dancing with and doing bad karaoke with at any given moment. A person you hardly know on Friday morning is the funniest damn person you ever met by Friday night and you've told them things you swore you would take to your grave. Of course, Saturday morning, everyone is a little more subdued (hung over). But, never fear, here comes Saturday night.
The first story I'll share with you involves Jim and Tim and, peripherally, Jim's wife Christi. Okay, try to keep up now. Christi is my sister's husband's sister. Still with me? Jim is Christi's husband. Tim (a/k/a Stuart) is my brother. My brother's name is Stuart and his name has always been Stuart. He has been called Stu, Stu-bee, Stu-bob, Dingles (a story for another time), "water buffalo" and sundry other things. However, he has never been called Tim. He is married to Kim which might explain Jim's later confusion.
In 1995, When Jimmy and Christi made their first trip to New Orleans with the group, we hadn't known Jim very long. My sister, Terry, had been married to Christi's brother, Dan, for twelve years at that point so we knew Christi quite well. She was about twelve years old when Terry and Dan started dating.
On the first day of the trip, Jimmy was trying his best to be the wonderful, sweet, charming man he always is and putting forth his best efforts to get to know everyone. Try as he might, though, he just couldn't seem to make a connection with my brother. While walking through the French Quarter, Jim turned to Christi and whispered, "I don't think Terry's brother likes me." Christi said, "What?! Are you kidding? Stuart likes everybody. What are you talking about?" Jimmy said, "Well, I keep calling him and he won't turn around. I've been trying to talk to him all day. I'm going 'Tim, Tim...' and he just ignores me." Christi said, "Jimmy, his name is STUART."
Needless to say, by the end of the night, Jim and "Tim" were inseparable and Jim had so much fun that night that Christi made him apologize to everyone the next morning. We still don't know why.