Thursday, February 7, 2008

She Abandoned Her Kids on Canal Street

What can I say? We had a blast. Probably the best Mardi Gras ever. Seriously. I’ve been to a lot of Mardi Gras’s but this was the best.

We arrived in town late Friday night and stayed up a bit catching up with K and the kids. C had to work from like 7a til 2p and V had Winter Guard from 9a to 2p, so Mom got up with me at 5:30 in the freakin’ AM to get a good spot for Endymion. My aunt’s house (before Katrina) was one and a half blocks from the parade site. I got us a good spot right on Canal street. Mom helped me unload and I got all set up. I sat down and ate my McDonald’s sausage and egg McGriddle (yum, yum) and started reading Stephen King’s new book, Duma Key.

Because I wasn’t moving around too much, I got a bit chilled. I put on my jacket, gloves and a hat. I then wrapped light of my life’s Spongebob Squarepants blanket around my legs. I promise you, there is a reason for telling you this….just bear with me.

I had been like this for about 30 minutes or so when out of nowhere, this SUV type car comes to a screeching halt right in front of me. A guy hops out of the car with a big ass camera (professional type) and asked if he could take my picture. Of course, I said yes and then proceeded to show him my good side….joking. I asked him what he wanted me to do and he said to just keep doing what I was doing. So, I went back to reading my book while he took my picture. That was so weird and random. I've been looking on line to see if I can find the pic anywhere, but haven't found it.....yet.

Mom and light of my life showed up about 10 am and were able to park right in front of my aunt’s old house. They joined me and we had about 8 hours to kill before the parade would reach us. We took lots of walks, went to visit some people we knew either on the parade route or at their houses. We got to visit a little kid light of my life and I used to baby-sit for. He had grown so much. It was exciting to see them again.

Around 2:45p or so, K, C & V joined us. I talked some parking lot attendants at a local church to let me pre-pay for K’s parking spot (it was only 2 blocks from our site). I played up K’s handicap (with her permission, of course) to secure the spot. They were a couple of college girls so they fell for it. Not that it was a lie but it wasn’t a dire situation and it made K’s walk to the site shorter.

We all hung out for a while, went to an Endymion party and got some good food. Heard a live band playing at someone’s party and enjoyed it for a while. The parade finally reached us around 6 or so and we had SOOOOO much fun. We caught so much crap and just generally enjoyed ourselves. Kevin Costner was the Grand Marshall and he looked horrible.

Because of all the loot, I had to get C and V to help us take some to mom’s car so we could do it all in one trip. K was to walk to her car and wait for C and V to join her.

A little background before I go any further. K is a protective mama. She keeps in constant contact with her kids wherever they go. C is 21 and V is 16. Now that you know this bit about them, you will understand why the rest of this story is so funny.

C and V help us load up and they leave to go meet K at the car.

Mom, light of my life and I are in the car and are trying to navigate our way through the maze of traffic to get back to K’s house. My cell phone is in the leg pocket of my pants and it starts ringing. I had gotten one of those cell phone charms for Christmas from mom and it was on my phone. I tried to pull the phone out of my pants but the charm got stuck in some loose threads in the pocket. I managed to get the phone partially out and connected the call. Because I was still trying to get the charm unhooked, I'm sitting there yelling at my pants "V, hang on, just hang on, one second". I’m yanking on my phone and my pants are riding up and I’m yelling, “hang on, just hang on a sec”. I finally get the phone free but the call had been disconnected. I tried calling her right back but couldn’t get her on the phone. I kept getting phone calls from her and C for about 15 minutes (still haven’t made it out of the neighborhood at this point). This worries me for a bit because if they were just calling to talk, I wouldn’t have gotten repeat phone calls from them. I’m getting really concerned that maybe K had fallen and they were needing our help or there was a car accident or something. I finally get a text message from V that said “Mom left and we cant get n touch w. Her. We’re at jens house”. This is verbatim what was texted to me. I just looked it up on my phone.

I’m shocked, utterly shocked. I muttered “Shit” and mom ask me what’s wrong (she had been concerned as well). I could not believe that K had actually left her kids in NEW ORLEANS (they live about 20 minutes from the city in the suburbs) after a parade in a still partially abandoned part of town (that is quickly coming back, I must add). I explained it to mom. She was speechless (not a small feat for my mom). We were in a position to turn around and go to the house where we had attended a party earlier. They remembered where the house was and that was where V was when she texted me. Because there were so many people in one area and almost all were (most likely) on their cell phone, the cell service wasn’t working too well. I managed to text them that we were on our way.

We found ‘em all safe and sound and they got in the car. We had to make room because we had a ladder, blankets, chairs, beads, stuffed animals and all kinds of junk in the car. Light of my life was in V’s lap (I know, I know, illegal as hell and dangerous but we had no other choice) and I was sitting on top of the back of the seat (it had been folded down to make room for all the crap). C was in the front and mom was driving. We were getting out of the neighborhood when C received a phone call from K (C was highly PISSED at this time). The call disconnected before he could answer it so she called V to find out how close we were to coming home. Before we had gotten the first phone call from K, we were planning on leaving V, C and light of my life outside their house once we arrived. Mom and I were going to go inside the house and act like we didn’t know anything about V, C and light of my life. We were going to tell her that light of my life decided to ride home with her and the kids. We were working on the details of this before the phone call came in. We quickly decided that V would pretend they were still on Canal Street looking for her and the car. V played it off brilliantly. K then asked to speak to C and he played it off as well. She was panicking at this point. She had misunderstood what our game plan was for leaving and had thought that they were going home with us. They played it off like they were wandering around on Canal Street and didn’t know where they were.

When we finally revealed to her what was really going on, we all died of hysteria. It was the funniest thing. She so deserved it after abandoning her kids on Canal Street after a parade.

In the car on the way home, the night just got funnier. There was this car driving next to us and this 17 or 18 year old kid was in the backseat just digging away in his nose. I saw him a couple of more times as we would pass each other and he was still digging away. It was kinda gross but also kinda impressive. Yes, I know, I’m such a boy.

This other car, going the opposite direction, was stopped in the road and the driver (an older woman) was getting out of the car. I looked to see if she had a flat tire or something but discovered something hilarious. She had run over an orange traffic cone and had been dragging it all the way from wherever she picked it up from. It was so surreal. This lonely car stopped on a normally busy street (she was going towards downtown instead of away from it so the street was not busy at all) with an orange traffic cone caught underneath it. I wish I had gotten a picture.

This is just part 1 of my Mardi Gras series. I’ll bring you part 2 tomorrow or later today.


Mama Dawg

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