anyone seen my funny bone?
MJE has been back in New Orleans for about a week and has been feeling a bit out of sorts, unable to concentrate on the inherent idiocy of life. That’s ironic because people in New Orleans appreciate and practice idiocy more than anywhere else on earth. Look no further than Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras. Jazz Fest, touted (or “trouted” in the local vernacular) as the best music festival this side of Uranus is absolutely beloved by locals. In reality it is akin to the Bataan Death march. You tramp miles from where your car’s parked to the fairgrounds in the broiling heat loaded down with lawn chairs, ice chests, umbrellas, picnic blankets and bulging tote bags only to find that 100,000 people got there before you did and there’s no room left.
And Mardi Gras, despite its reputation as “the greatest free show on earth” is in fact a grueling endurance contest. By the time Fat Tuesday rolls around most locals, including the OB&C and I, are stupefied to the point of watching it on TV like a bunch of shut ins. After a couple of weeks of non stop gras, the Sunday before Mardi Gras day is our personal Waterloo. As an example, late one such Sunday afternoon a couple of years ago, I, having perhaps overindulged in parade-related imbibables, headed home like a cow to the barn. Bedtime for bonzo. I awoke refreshed and ready for yet another day of riotous fun, showered, got dressed and swanned into the living room where assorted family members were knocking back cocktails. I looked at the clock, which read 7:00 and exclaimed that even for me it was a bit early, to which they responded in unison “It’s 7:00pm.” Sunday.
I hate to think I’ve lost my zest for life. Without that I’m just some middle aged (if I live 128 years) self-absorbed sot. I guess that’s not so bad compared with being say an inmate at Gitmo who hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in Haifa of ever getting out of there. Or being married to Chris Christie. But last night whilst listening to the local news I was heartened by a couple of pieces. In one segment on the crime rate in New Orleans the perky newscaster, as a visual aid to the viewers, brought up her “Murder Map!” with a wide smile and a sweeping Vanna White arm movement. This was to help us better understand that some parts of town might be high on the dangerous to downright deadly scale. Areas similar to what our esteemed governor Bobby “Bobblehead” Jindal referred to as “no go zones” for non-muslims in certain parts of Birmingham England, a place to which he has never traveled.
The next bit was an even better mood lifter. A bombastic local pol, referring to his constituents’ outrage over too many turds on the sidewalk or something, told the reporter that “their hair was up in arms.”
A mixed metaphor of that caliber is an elixir for the soul. I think I’m on the mend.