Apple juice and Conjure make ‘em get naked
Me I just drank mines straight with no chaser
Luda get wasted on an everyday basis
So tell the bartender bring some Conjure cases
From “Wasted” by Ludacris
Thirty minutes before joining the crowd outside Fernandez Liquor, I was sitting in my cubicle scrolling through Twitter looking for something, anything to take my mind of the afternoon’s to-do list. And like a lucky speculator sifting through a river of gravel I spotted some bling. Ludacris was in town hosting a bottle signing to promote his new cognac, Conjure. A few minutes later, I was in the lobby asking the receptionist to call me a cab to take me to Mattapan—one of Boston’s most distressed neighborhoods.
As the taxi muscled its way through gridlock on route 93, I wondered two things. First, why is there traffic at 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon? And second, what the hell am I doing? Maybe it was because I had such poor luck with the Miami Heat the night before. Maybe it was because I figured any explaining I had to do to my boss would be worth the story. Or maybe I am an addict that just needs a fix.
I handed the driver thirty dollars (ugh) and took my place in line outside the liquor store, observing the onlookers and the heavy police presence. The line was short due to the price of admission, a $30 bottle of Conjure which Ludacris would sign. As I approached the door, I spied Luda posing for a picture with a fan in front of a Conjure promotional poster, the camera flash sparkling off his impossibly large diamond bracelet and watch. A few minutes later the police officer guarding the door said it was my turn and I was ushered to the counter where I handed over my cash and received a bottle of Conjure in a paper bag. I pulled it out of the sleeve and was bummed to see it has been pre-signed in silver paint pen, the autograph worn from what could have been weeks rubbing against the side of the cardboard carton.
Before I knew it, I was handing my camera off to a store employee and standing next to Luda who was about six inches my junior. I asked him to personalize my bottle which he was happy to do before cautioning me to wait for it to dry before putting it back in the bag (I know Luda, I know).
Was he going to the Celtics/Heat game tonight?
“Nah. I think…House of Blues.”
“Oh, you are playing a show tonight?”
Some fan I am.
Walking out of the store, two things came to mind. First, Ludacris couldn’t have been nicer. And second, after deciding I wouldn’t spend another thirty bucks on a cab, I realized I had no idea how to get back to my office. And I was standing on a sidewalk in Mattapan holding a bottle of cognac like a trophy. The adventure was just beginning.
Three other observations from the Ludacris bottle signing:
• Ludacris also signed a baseball for me despite appearing a bit confused by the request.
• I’d like to give props to @megansarahj who tweeted about the signing.
• I’m probably never going to drink the Conjure (and not because it’s autographed). If you’ve had it I encourage you to post a review in the comments section below.