Mobile awoke in a fog. Literally and figuratively.
It was both foggy outside and in her brain. Apparently, it’s hard to drink all day even if you do start in the morning. Wait, especially if you start in the morning. She was confused.
Whatever. It hurts.
But it’s Mardi Gras, the season for debauchery and decadence and mild brain damage, so she wasn’t complaining. As some wise, drunken reveler once said, “Sometimes you roll with the good times and sometimes they roll right over you.”
And Mobile indeed felt like a MoonPie run over by a trailer band playing Lynyrd Skynyrd covers.
As she tried to will herself off her couch where she landed last night, still wearing a ballgown and about six strands of “good beads,” she turned on the television to WKRG’s newscast. John Nodar was saying there was basically a chance of rain every day through Fat Tuesday and, of course, it would be gorgeous on Ash Wednesday.
“Please be wrong, Nodar, please be wrong,” she thought. “At the very least, weather gods, let this rain be to limited to the ‘inland parts of their viewing area.’” (Which made her chuckle, as it kind of sounds a little dirty when you think about it!)
She made it off the couch and chugged three bottles of water and took three Advils, as she does most mornings during Carnival.
In a very Lethal Weapon/Danny Glover-esque moment, the 317-year-old city said, “I’m getting too old for this shit.”
As she contemplated making a bloody mary, her phone rang.
It was New Orleans.
What could her younger half-sister, with whom she shared a founding father, possibly want now? To rub her nose in how much bigger her celebration is than hers, even though Mobile herself had started it?
“Hello, New Orleans,” she said coldly. “What can I do for you?”
“Oh, Mobile, I just wanted to call and thank you,” NOLA said.
“Oh really, for what?” Mobile asked, not wanting to hear the answer.
“For starting Mardi Gras,” New Orleans said.
“Well, you are welcome. So you are finally admitting that I am indeed the true Mother of the Mystics?” Mobile asked.
“Yes, yes. I’m sick of your childish trolling. It’s sad and pathetic for you and your poor citizens, and I am embarrassed for you. Having your mayor proclaim each year that I am ‘allowed’ to celebrate Mardi Gras is tacky, and then those billboards your state Department of Tourism put up on my interstates saying you are ‘114 miles from America’s Original Mardi Gras’ — I mean, I bet most people don’t even understand what that means, Mo. Y’all need to stop.”
Mobile poured herself a bloody. She wasn’t going to make it through this conversation without one.
“I appreciate that you are looking out for me, but we are very happy with our advertising campaign and mayoral proclamations. In Mobile, we call it ‘marketing.’ Is that all you have for me?”
“I knew you wouldn’t appreciate my very kind gesture. I was ready to admit yours was the first, if you would just admit mine was the best,” New Orleans said.
Mobile sucked down her cocktail and poured another one.
“New Orleans, I really don’t care what you think. I don’t care about your nasty Mardi Gras full of douchey tourist bros on balconies, dangling beads and trying to get girls to show their boobs.”
New Orleans laughed.
“This is why yours will never be as big as mine. That stuff is what people love about my Mardi Gras! See, Mobile, you are just too old and too stuffy, girl! You need to live a little!”
“I live plenty!” she said as she sucked down her second bloody mary in 10 minutes, suddenly feeling much better and much mouthier. “And there are plenty of boobs flashed at my Mardi Gras, but that is not our charm.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, yours is more family friendly, AKA boring,” said New Orleans. “By the way, Lionel Richie is playing at Endymion this year. Jealous much?”
“I admit I am jealous of you, NOLA,” Mobile continued. “But not because our daddy left me and founded you. Or that you are 16 years younger than me. And I am certainly not jealous that Alabama native Lionel Richie is playing at one of your stupid events or of your miserably overcrowded Mardi Gras or your French Quarter that reeks of vomit and gonorrhea every morning, but I am, in fact, jealous that you have a professional football team that got to go to the Super Bowl this year. That one is tough for me to swallow.”
“Oh that’s cold, Mobile. Now, you have gone too far,” NOLA screamed as she hung up the phone.
Mobile knew she had, in fact, rubbed salt in a wound too fresh, and she really didn’t even mean it. She thought the poor Saints and that cute little Drew Brees were robbed too.
But she needed to get New Orleans off of the phone because it’s Mardi Gras and more good times were about to roll. That and she was out of vodka and her third bloody mary wasn’t going to make itself.
Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!
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