Self-Mock 2: Mardi Gras Boogaloo
An Open Letter to the Woman Who Pinched My Ass at Mardi Gras Six Years Ago:
You know, I never properly thanked you for what you did that sunny afternoon in the French Quarter six years ago. At the time, it seemed most insignificant. I had not been in New Orleans long when our paths crossed. I was carrying my fourth “Big Ass Beer” of the day and following behind two of my friends. As I walked in front of you, I smiled – as I smile at nearly every stranger. You smiled back and I continued walking past you. About a second before I would be beyond arm’s length and forever out of your life, you reached out with your right hand and pinched. Startled, I looked back at you. You donned a wicked smile and shrugged your shoulders as if to say, “Hey man, it’s Mardi Gras. What did you expect?”
Considering I would later stand in a pool of liquid that was most likely urine and witness a young topless woman in the act of providing oral pleasure for the benefit of two separate men while simultaneously hanging off a balcony and having her picture taken several thousand times (the crowd carried me past the scene before I could see if Snoop Dog was there or not), your act of kindness seemed rather tame. Be that as it may – your kind gesture, as well as a heroic amount of alcohol, kept me warm and fearless throughout a night that would have otherwise caused me to cry like that kid on Home Alone 6: Lost in Compton.
Just as the night started to really get going and I dove into my seventh “Big Ass Beer”, my friends and I felt the call of nature. Being too lazy to walk the 15 blocks to the world’s largest collection of Johnny-On-the-Spots and being too considerate to urinate on the ground and unlucky passersby, my friends and I opted for the $2 pay toilets at the end of the street. Let’s not forget that at that point, I had enough beer on board that, if an autopsy had been performed on me at that moment, the pathologist would’ve had to have measured my fluids in gallon jugs. To say it simply, I was in there for a while.
When I stepped back into the French Quarter and looked around for my friends, some uncontrollable impulse caused me to remember just how white your teeth were…along with the fact that your smile told me that, in your mind, you were doing something completely out of your character. Even as I realized that my friends were nowhere to be found, I couldn’t help but smile at the image of you that I had stored in the incredibly limited capacity of my somewhat compromised brain.
It was slowly dawning on me that I was alone in the French Quarter of New Orleans, during Mardi Gras with only about $100.00 in pocket. My friends either decided that they had never liked me and ditched or forgot about me and walked off. Either way, I was pretty sad. I decided to combat this sadness with more drink and bought yet another “Big Ass Beer” and slowly walked around, looking for my friends – and if they were no longer my friends, I was looking for a ride back to Iowa.
It is extremely lonely walking by oneself amidst chaos and carnival. However, it wasn’t so bad for me because of the boost of pride I was given by your simple gesture. At the time, there were probably 100 asses you could’ve pinched within your immediate vicinity. But you chose mine. Something about my ass made you reach out to a stranger. And when your ass can do something like that, you’re never alone. Again, thank you.
It got later, I got drunker – and broker – and loster. After a while, police on horseback began to clear the quarter. At the time, I was thinking about two things – first was the enormous potential of female to male ass grabbing in the arena of building human relations and overall civic capacity. The second thought was, “Just what the fuck are those guys going to do with those horses anyway? Wouldn’t the horses just get in the way while the cops tried to beat people with a control stick?”
I was busy envisioning some sick game of polo where cops would ride by and clobber unsuspecting coeds…and that thought process caused me to miss a couple of official orders to clear the street. When I failed to follow said official orders, the horse came into play. The cop blew a whistle and he and his trusty steed charged toward me. I tried to figure out how to dodge the thing without spilling my beer. My worries subsided as the giant animal planted its front legs in some sort of bastardized Flintstone breaking technique and appeared to be stopping. Much to my disappointment, this was not the brake. I was a well rehearsed maneuver that allowed the horse to kick out its back legs and push its body through the strike zone like some sort of giant furry baseball bat. And I was the ball. I flew out of the street and landed on the sidewalk. My “Big Ass Beer” kept on flying until it hit the nearest building and bounded down the wall to the ground – the liquid portion ultimately joining a larger puddle that was also most likely urine.
Most of the night was kind of a blur after that. I tried to guess your ethnicity as I got into a cab with my last twenty dollars and made a futile guess at where my friend’s car was parked. I remember you having really dark hair and skin.
I considered the potential of the ass-pinch in solving some of the larger crises of the day as I drifted in and out of consciousness while sitting on the curb as the street sweeper went by. I struggled to remember the details of our encounter as I finally went down for the night in a strange room in which the drywall had been mudded and taped, but nothing else had been finished.
After, “Holy shit, where the fuck am I?!” and, “Holy shit, where the fuck are my shoes?!” you were my third thought of a brand new morning that saw me kicked out of the fancy convention center in which I had spent the night. I have no idea how I got in, or where my shoes had gone off to, but I had slept better than my friends (who stayed in the car).
Once I got outside and looked around with a sober eye, the once impossible task of finding my friend’s car was as easy as looking to my left. Unfortunately, finding you again proved to be the unattainable goal of the trip. You were never seen again. It’s probably just as well – there’s a small chance that you were really only trying to swipe my wallet .
Anyway, thanks for everything.