Friday, February 23, 2007

Shake It, NOLA

I had one objective during Mardi Gras. Care to guess?

“Drink yourself into a stupor,” you say. Hush! Don’t you know my parents read this blog? You’re wrong, anyway. Halloween ended my quest for the Holy Grail of Drunkenness -- that one drink suspended mystically between “buzzed” and “incoherent.” Fortunately, Gennifer Flowers witnessed only the happy start to my journey. Excalibur was within my grasp at the third vodka-tonic. Kinghood didn’t drift into hara-kiri until much later in the evening, as I slugged from someone else’s Abita. Overdue apologies to the owner of that beverage. Had the words from my mouth matched the thoughts in my head, I would’ve apologized and offered to pay. Rest assured, your Abita did not stay with me for long.

Guess again.

“Get beads?” A worthy goal, but no. I’m still sifting through beads from Mardi Gras '06. Seems anti-patriotic to throw them out. Not only did I fail to gather more than four strands -- I did not see a single parade. Blame Highlights. Had Mary and I not met as editorial interns, no one would’ve visited me at Mardi Gras. (Sniffle.) Like Gallant, I would have clapped politely for Orpheus and Zeus, before slurping a crawfish milkshake and nodding off to the Land of Dreamy Dreams.

Gallant maps the parade schedule and collects commemorative cups from each float. Goofus spends each evening dancing in the Quarter, then sleeps through the following afternoon.

We did drink, a little.

Give up?

“Spend quality time with a good friend.” Well, that’s nice. I hadn’t seen Mary since June, so bonding was definitely in order. By “bonding,” of course I mean “hiding behind Mary, as a man with gold teeth proffers packets of ‘extra-large’ Trojans.” True friends are a blessing. Tall friends (or friends taller than oneself) are far more practical on Bourbon Street. How lucky that Mary is both.

The dancing was fun, too. On Monday night, we took a taxi to d.b.a., where the Fessters were playing. None of the band members looked anything like this, so I can’t tell you where the name came from. In fact, it took a (sober) Tuesday trip to Google to discern “Fesster.” Most of the night, Mary and I called this group the ‘Fessors -- as in Pro-. This was after discarding Westerns and Dressers.

“Make a fashion statement.” Ah, close! I wore my cowgirl boots to Bourbon, and I quickly gained the friendship of a gray-haired Texan who introduced himself as George. George was with his wife. “My best friend!” he exclaimed. “We’ve been married for 20 years, and every night I tap her on the butt and say, ‘I love you.’” True love amongst the neon stripper signs...who’da thunk? George was also wearing boots. “Ostrich or cowhide?” he asked me, gesturing to my toes. Unsure of the correct answer, I ventured my most accurate: “TJ Maxx!”

Hint: think “fashion statement.” Think Halloween.

Wear the pink wig! Right! And I did! I wore on the day of Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, while Mary and I strolled around the Quarter. This time, no one asked me to sing, though I bet I could’ve managed a few chords of “Jambalaya.” Way too many distractions. People dressed as bears, and (many) people barely dressed. One guy sporting an appropriately placed sign reading: “Nowhere near Anna Nicole.” (RIP, Anna. Hopefully she would’ve appreciated the attention.) Also: the Three Little Pigs, Elvises, clowns, cheerleaders, pirates, monarchs, devils, deities, drag queens, and two tomato plants. At one intersection, a guy dressed as Santa Claus bumped into a Jesus carrying a giant cross. They kindly posed for photos. I got a picture of some Snorks. Always liked that cartoon.

Didn’t snap too many photos of myself, though. At least, not in the Quarter. My real Mardi Gras objective was to get a Christmas card pic. I missed sending cards in December, so I was going to mail some out this week. Sorry, everyone. Maybe the wig will reappear at Easter. Pink is good for bunnies, right?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love Poetry For Modern Times

Roses are red
Like so much NASA blushing
If you choose to drive 900 miles for me, please leave the diaper at home -
I quite prefer flushing.

Roses are red
Like the herring, Iraq
If you fail to find WMDs and fall into a quagmire of sectarian chaos
I got your back.

Roses are red
Like Anna’s lips used to be
In a line-up of baby daddies, all after my fame and fortune
I pick you, #3.

Roses are red
Like spilt Mugwort blood
If you want to avoid typecasting by stripping in a play about bestiality
Your name I won’t mud.

Roses are red
Like most Southern states
As we consider the future of the presidency, my love for you outnumbers
‘08 candidates.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! Verse dedicated to W. (not that one), with whom even the proverbial nights are better. And to The Artist Currently Known As E-Squared -- if you said goodbye to me tonight, there would still be bad poetry left to write.