Spitting on white boys


He calls himself "The Legend," and says he has been shining shoes on Jackson Square in the French Quarter for 32 years. He tends to attract customers with discreet remarks like, "Either you're going to come to me now or you're going to come to me later," or by shouting lines like, "Free beer, free shoeshines, free bullshit." He finishes with what is traditionally known as a "spit shine," in which he lets loose with a projectile of saliva onto the leather, which leaves the shoe -- as indicated here -- brilliantly shiny. "This is the only time I get to spit on white boys," he told me as he was completing the endeavor. "And they like it, too." Only the bullshit is free. The Legend charges six dollars per shine, and before the customer pays, he reminds him that "Tips is my middle name."