Eleven or twelve years ago, I went to New Orleans (after a week in Gulf Shores, AL) with my friends Melissa and Adrienne and Suzy and Frank. It was May but it was already a hundred and sixty-seven degrees, and for some reason now lost to the fuzziness of time and probably also the fact that you can drink liquor drinks all hours of the day even right out on the sidewalks, as we prepared for our evening out on the town, I decided to wear a red bobbed Prince Valiant wig...you know, like one does. This item belonged to Adrienne, who had quite the wig collection, and I suppose she dared me to wear it. She apparently under-estimated both my daringness and my sobriety! But if it's anything to judge by, one girl in the group was wearing a denim ball gown with the Hee Haw logo printed all over it.
So anyway, there we were, the five of us, traipsing up and down ye olden Rues of New Orleans. Being a five-some of not-uncomplicated tastes and needs in food, we did what every tourist in New Orleans does: we ate at an Italian restaurant. Then we went from bar to bar, where I swang high on a swing above a crowd at one bar and also got invited up to be the sexy dancer for a bachelorette party at another, which I'm sure they're all puzzled about when they watch the video nowadays) and then we suddenly found ourselves lost and on the bad end of one of the Rues. Sure enough, some malfeasants accosted us, threatening and demanding and generally making me question my costume selection. Right as we were about to turn all of our worldly goods over, one of them leered at me: "yo dude, why are you wearing a wig?" And you know what? I knew exactly what to do. So I sprang into action! That's right: I lied. "It's because I have cancer and the chemo has made me bald!" I wailed, and then I started crying like Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice.
WELL! Those are the magic words, lemme tell you. Suddenly, the group of guys who had been one millimeter away from robbing us were patting me on the back and telling me it would be okay...and let me tell you, if they give Academy Awards for being able to cry on cue, which I think they might actullly do based on some of the ones they've handed out, they can just put the Oscar in the box and send it to Sunnymeade Drive. I threw in a little Jesus Blah Blah and a little bit of Uninsured Blah Blah and before I knew it, the Crips and/or the Bloods (I never did get who was who) were suddenly not robbing us and were instead walking us back like a security detail to civilization, where tourists throw up in the gutters. Which is not something you read about in stupid old Henry James's travel books, you can be sure of that. Anyway, Lassez le bon temps le blah blah!