New Orleans: where people drink like they just got their first fakes

I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans for the second time last week. This time was better. The number of drunk people in the streets was roughly equal (high).

One night, my friend and I ate dinner at a distinctly New Orleans establishment, where we were crammed into a picnic table next to an extremely drunk couple in their mid-forties. They drove all the way to Alabama for a funeral and stopped in NOLA on their way back. I know all this because they told me. Here are just a few statistics about our hour-long interaction (I’m calling them Fred and Candy for the sake of anonymity, and also because despite our being best friends FOREVER by the end, I’ve already forgotten their names):

Number of times Candy showed us pictures of her hotel room: 3

Number of times Candy ran her fingers through my hair: 4

Number of times Fred crapped all over New York: 3

Number of times either of them seemed sad about whatever friend or relative had passed away: 0

Number of times I had to justify being a vegetarian to them: 2

Number of drinks Candy imbibed during this one hour: 3

Number of drinks Candy had likely consumed prior: 5?

“I’m a hairdresser,” Candy told me as justification for touching my hair. Okay, but she’s not my hairdresser.

Fred: “New York is so dirty.”

Candy: “There are so many homeless people here.”

Fred: “Show them the picture of our hotel.”

Candy: “The bathroom looks like my grandmother’s bathroom.”

In fairness, it did look exactly like my late grandmother’s bathroom–all blue plastic toilet, seashell soap.

Later in the evening (20 minutes later): “Look at this picture of our hotel.”

Candy: “Our nineteen-year-old daughter is too good. She never gets into any trouble. She always makes curfew.”

My friend: “What’s her curfew?”

Candy: “Well, she doesn’t have one.”

Candy: “That pasta looks so good. It almost makes me want to be a vegetarian. But I love meat. I’ll eat anything.”

Fred: “No you won’t. But you’ll drink anything.”

Candy: “That’s true.”

Candy left her sweater on her chair. They were already outside by the time I caught up with them. I’m glad I did, because I got an eyefull of Candy’s six-inch leopard print heels. Also, they both hugged me after the sweater exchange.

I think my favorite comment was uttered by our waitress when she brought us the check: “So those people were real sober.”

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