Burning Couches Is OK For Frats, Bad For Hotels

The marketing phrase is “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” (hi Tuffy!), but that can pretty much apply to New Orleans as well. After all, it was Sin City when Las Vegas was still a barren desert wasteland without a single Mafia member buried in a nearby shallow grave. This is especially true on Bourbon Street, where the only thing that flows as freely as the drinks is the vomit after people indulge in one or 20 too many of said drinks.

Bobcat Goldthwait and Kelly Messenger

(If you’re going to set furniture on fire, at least do it on national TV.)

However, if you want to keep your drunken indiscretions to yourself, there are still a few basic rules you should follow. Right at the top of the list is this: don’t set fire to a couch in a ritzy hotel lobby, especially if there are security cameras all over the place. THE ADVOCATE says that Kelly Messenger, an assistant basketball coach at Woodlawn High in Baton Rougue, learned that lesson the hard way after he was arrested early Saturday morning for engaging in some spontaneous combustion.

Messenger is a former member of the LSU cheerleading squad, so maybe he got confused and thought that the Westin Hotel was the Phi Kappa Epsilon frat house after the Tigers beat Georgia. That’s as good of a guess to the motive as any, although I feel safe in assuming that the phrase “alcohol was a factor” will be used at some point.

This also might be a good time to note that there have been a string of apartment fires in Baton Rogue that police say are caused by arson. I’m not going to tell the Baton Rogue police what to do, but I’ll just politely suggest that they might want to interview the guy from their town who likes to get drunk and set hotel couches on fire. Or barring that, see if somehow Led Zepplin time traveled from 1974 to party in Baton Rogue.

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