Monday, January 15, 2007. 10:52 a.m.
Chef's first view of sunlight since sometime Sunday morning after Cafe 641 relocated its movable playoff feast to Molly's, then the Goldmine, then some apartment floor near end of Bourbon.
Chef's first line of business? Prove to himself that it really happened, that he had been there, that this wasn't just another dream in black and gold (w/ compliments to Lolis Eric Elie).
Here's how the Chef recalled the Playoff Feast: (Who Dats invited to post revisions/additions to this chronology as comments. Chef will promptly make changes. We're rollin' wiki style!)
12:53 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Chef and Mrs. Chef drop off kids. Chef receives final training room treatment to protect groin muscle. The Mrs. gives it a good test and declares it ready for Cafe 641 action.
1:51 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Chef meets with recently hired Cafe mixologist, Diva Vidrine, about final preparation of Who Dat Cocktail menu. The Diva unveils a Cafe 641 surprise: Who Dat Medicine bags! Chef samples Payton's Playoff Punch. Welcomes Baton Rouge Barbara to the Cafe family. Declares Diva Vidrine a cocktail genius. Hitches ride with three hot Cafe Who Dats.
3:15 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Chef and the glamour girls stop at Juan's Flying Burrito on Carrollton for Joe Horn-itos Margaritas and Tailfeather Tacos. Chef applies freshly groomed lip hair.
3:47 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: The Cocktail Chef orders a stop at Finn McCool's on Banks St. for a go-cup of Guinness, a roll-a-day, and distribution of Playoff Feast Menu. Savvy Finn McCool's customer asks Chef about his groin tribute to Joe Horn. Spontaneous, celebratory groin bump occurs. Chef blushes.
4:02 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Cocktail Chef offers passengers a Drew Brees demonstration: a thread-the-needle parallel parking job that rivals a Brees to Colston first-down pass. On walk to the Dome, the Cafe 641 glamour girls catch the eye of a true Southern Who Dat from Hattiesburg, a young man whose good looks are rivaled only by his enthusiasm for Our Saints. Chef confers with the girls and agrees that the Hattiesburg Handsome is Golden Spoon-worthy. True to his Southern roots, Hattiesburg has his body guard confer on Chef a custom-printed "Brees Warning" t-shirt.
4:30 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Chef and the Mrs. make their way onto the concourse for pre-game meeting with other Cafe 641 family members. Chef takes time to invite Philly fans up to the Cafe for Westbrook Trout Manure.
4:37 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: The Holy Father stops Chef and orders a Who Dat blessing and breaking of the Cafe 641 French Bread. (Bread is later confiscated by dedicated Dome personnel who recognize that french bread is greater security threat than the 50 Golden Spoons Chef carries in same bag).
4:53 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Chef and the Mrs. locate a crowd of Cafe 641 family members: Nacho Libre Hogan & friends/family. True to Hattiesburg form, the Hogan Who Dats have been at it since sunrise. Chef apologizes profusely for case of mistaken identity: after Hogan introduces a family friend as the "lady who delivered both our children," Chef is puzzled and asks, "You're the surrogate mother?" "No, Chef. I'm the gynecologist." Chef recovers, slightly, and tries to impress by stretching a roasted rubber eagle to its breaking point.
6:15 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Chef finds Dilly (or Berto?) and Ashley waiting at the Cafe 641 entrance. Dilly (sorry, Chef couldn't remember which sibling was Dilly, which was Berto) declares the pre-game meeting of Section 635 and Section 641 as the Who Dat equivalent of the meeting of the courts of Rex and Comus, minus the boring tableauxs. The men look each other in the eyes and exchange the unspoken recognition that greatness will indeed happen tonight.
6:21 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Chef awards a custom "Eat Bird" chef's hat to one of the youngest, loudest Who Dats in the Cafe. Three pitiful Philly fans boo. Chef thanks them for their support.
6:23 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: After passing out Playoff Feast menus, Chef is stunned by three successive acts of generosity from the Cafe 641 family. Proud Mary and son John award Chef with the largest Golden Spoon known to man, decorated with a fleur de lis. Homer announces to the Cafe that it's time to start ladling some playoff victory and awards Chef the Cafe 641 Fleur de Ladle. Jacob then takes centerstage and presents Chef with a commemorative Cafe 641 playoff menu poster. Chef is moved to tears by the love and the realization that the Cafe has transformed itself into a true Who Dat family.
7:01 p.m. - 10:32 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Noise and hysteria reach undocumentable levels. Highlights include: a Who Dat baby naming contest that spontaneously erupts in the Cafe in honor of Mark and Kristin; the Who Dat conversion of a Eagle fan in the final seconds of the game . . . (more to follow)
10:33 -10:57 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Cafe 641 celebrates the Saints 27-24 victory over the Eagles. Tears shed all over the Chef's table. Jubilation carries over into the escalators.
11:15 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: Mrs. Chef looks up and announces, "This is not football. This is life. Our team. Our city. Our Saints."
11:22 p.m. Sat. Jan. 13: On party parade to the Quarter, Chef and Mrs. meet two of the nicest Who Dats along the Gulf Coast, a couple from Meridian, MS who confess they've eaten in Cafe 641 once earlier this season. Mr. Meridian shows true Who Dat love by spreading the Cafe's favorite "Deuce Upside Your Head" chant to Section 605. "Chef, I've got to tell you the truth. It's poultry season. And we can't stop eatin' the bird!" Mr. Meridian confesses his dream job: workin' as a chef (keep the dream alive, brother!). Near Canal and Bourbon, Chef and Mrs. bid the Meridian Who Dats goodnight and more love.
12:01 a.m. Sun. Jan. 14: Molly's at the Market is transformed into post-game Cafe 641 with the unexpected, non-stop arrival of Cafe Who Dats. Mrs. Chef sets up shop with Wisconsin Who Dats, while Chef formally meets Sean, a committed Cafe 641 Who Dat who celebrated his one-year anniversary on December 30, 2006 by masqueradinng as Scott Fujita. (Sean, Chef wishes he had your knack for romance!). Chef's longtime road chef, PK, arrives at Molly's in taxi from Metairie and nnounces that bird tastes better with beer.
Chef re-applies eye black.
More Cafe 641 Who Dats pile in, making informal plans to caravan to Chicago if need be. Chef gets pulled aside for an impromptu meeting with an anonymous 641 Who Dat. "Chef, I gotta confess. I don't take menus from you anymore inside the Cafe. You see, Chef, the last time I took a menu was for the Baltimore and Cincinati games. And I've avoided eye contact with you ever since. But, tonight, Chef, tonight I need a menu. I'm jones-in' for a menu. Hook a Who Dat up, Chef." After Chef hands over the Playoff Feast menu, the anonymous 641 Who Dat calms down, announces that he's auditioning for a part as a Saints fan in a major TV commercial spot the next morning. Chef rubs his eyes and smiles.
A French Quarter Who Dat in uncomfortably tight gold lame pants has his ass repeatedly slapped by passing female Who Dats. Chef cringes with jealously. Gold Lame borrows Chef's Golden Spoon to assist in feeding the Molly's crowd celebratory drinks. Chef leaves after leading Molly's in the "Deuce Upside Your Head" chant.
2:15 a.m. Jan. 14: Mrs. Chef and PK announce that it's time to hit the Gold Mine for a little dancing. Chef offers up a little Saute Sashay and Grill and Grind, as Baby Boy pours "This is How We Live" over the crowd.
3:31 a.m. Jan. 14: The Wisconsin Who Dats invite Chef, Mrs. Chef, and PK to sleep on their Bourbon St. apartment floor. Chef fades quietly into sleep, the Who Dat lip hair still firmly in place.
Who Dats, we did it. The dream is alive.