Big Talkers, Long Talkers

This is the latest post in a series about a road trip to New Orleans that starts here.

I mentioned in a previous post that the owner of our B&B, Nancy, displayed photos of Donald Trump on her wall.  There was also a picture of her with Bill and Hillary Clinton.  As you walked down the hall toward our room, there it was on the left, and the Trump photos were on the right, appropriately enough.  But there were about six photos of Trump vs. one of the Clintons.

I knew from stalking her online that Nancy had been the executive producer of Trump’s show, The Celebrity Apprentice, before moving to New Orleans and opening a B&B.


To make you travel lovers drool, she also produced The Amazing Race, in which pairs of contestants complete challenges in exotic locations, and she traveled around the world four times.

Amazing Race

Nancy now had a darling six-year-old daughter who flitted around the B&B and they lived above us in their own snug quarters.


Running a B&B wouldn’t be for me.  The first time some guest asked for vegan Andouille, I’d put up the For Sale sign.  But Nancy was endlessly patient and sincere.  She grew up in the south and went to graduate school at nearby Tulane.  She loves New Orleans and seemed to truly enjoy helping other people explore the city.  Maybe she didn’t get demanding guests.  Maybe if she did, they were nothing compared with working for Donald Trump.  Her time on the show would have been a great informal apprenticeship for running a service business.

The photos didn’t bother me; I thought they were weirdly amusing, but they bothered Molly, who is a Bernie Sanders fan.

“How can she have pictures of Donald Trump on her wall?!  She’s so sweet!  He’s a misogynist!  He’s a racist!  He’s a smug, arrogant asshole!”

So I asked Nancy, “We’re curious to know what Donald Trump is like.  Is he the same now as when you were working with him?”

Nancy seemed to consider her words carefully.  “He’s a very good businessman.”  We waited for the rest, and we got it, but I won’t quote her.  She only used one word, but that said it all.

“She must get asked all the time,” I said to Molly after Nancy left us to help another guest.

“Leave it to you to ask!” Molly replied, laughing at me.

I get this all the time.  In my job review a few months ago I was faulted for being “too direct.”  I really must practice hinting more, instead of just saying what I’m thinking.

Nancy had a guy working for her named Johnny.  He cleaned, baked, fixed things, and most of all, talked.  He was the southern version of our friend David at the Old Chicago Inn.  Johnny was one of the reasons it took us so long to get going in the morning.  He would plunk himself down in a chair near the four of us and talk.  And talk and talk and talk.  He talked about his previous jobs, being in the marines, and the secrets of making kumquat marmalade.

People who play wind instruments like the flute do something called circular breathing which allows them to play without interrupting the music to inhale.  I think long talkers do something similar so there’s never a pause where you could interject, “I’m sorry, but we really must leave now.”  The good thing about one-way talkers is that—usually—they know they talk too much.  You can be direct with them and they don’t take it personally.

“We have to leave now, Johnny,” I would say.

“Ha, ha, ha!  Ah know ah talk a lot.  Ya’ll have a wonderful day now.”

We wandered for an hour trying to find the stop for the Hop On Hop Off bus, which had been rerouted due to the festival.  We finally caught sight of one of their familiar red double-decker buses and rode it to Lafayette Cemetery Number 1, which is where I got the call about my car.


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