Mobile picked up the phone and called her haughty, younger but much-higher-profile sister New Orleans. The two had had a bitter sibling rivalry since their shared founding father left Mobile to settle New Orleans. Mobile has been in therapy ever since, feeling like her father loved her less than her more glamorous sis. You know, typical daddy issues.
“Hello, NOLA. Happy Mardi Gras,” Mobile said.
“Ugh,” New Orleans said, sighing. “I’m just ready for it to be over. I can’t stand all these tourists puking Hurricanes and Hand Grenades on my streets. Two words: Amateur Hour.”
“Yuck,” Mobile said. “That sounds awful.”
“Oh that’s right. I suppose you wouldn’t know anything about that, since your little Mardi Gras is so ‘family friendly,’” New Orleans said mockingly.
“People puke in my streets occasionally. I mean it’s not the cesspool of human biological waste you are accustomed to, but our people still have a good time,” Mobile said, realizing she was actually getting defensive that enough people were not puking in her streets. “Rein it in, Mo,” she said to herself. “Rein it in.”
“Oh, I am sure they have a sweet little time over there, Mo,” New Orleans said. “In fact, I have always told people, if you want a more calm, sedate, less exhilarating, more boring Mardi Gras, head over to my sister’s.”
“That’s funny. I always say if you want a more murdery Mardi Gras, head over to my sister’s,” Mobile said.
The two cities laughed, but neither of them found the other particularly amusing.
“Speaking of Carnival,” Mobile said. “I wanted to see if you had heard about the new billboards my mayor put up finally settling the debate once and for all, declaring me the ‘birthplace of Mardi Gras.’”
“Ha! This is just pathetic,” New Orleans said. “First of all, just because y’all threw some billboards up saying that, doesn’t make it true. There are still conflicting versions of history on this. But second and more importantly, who cares? When you ask people around this country what city they associate with Mardi Gras they sure as hell aren’t saying Mobile, Alabama. But if you just have to cling to this ‘you were first’ thing, fine, you can have it. We’ll just take the only Mardi Gras that matters.”
Mobile took a deep breath. “She’s just trying to push your buttons. Don’t fall for it. Just change the subject. You don’t hate your sister. You don’t hate your sister.”
“Well, I guess you did hear another thing we have blazed the trail on for you guys. Our same-sex couples are now able to tie the knot,” Mobile boasted.
“Well, of course. Who didn’t hear about that since your buffoon chief justice embarrassed your entire state once again? And now it’s so messed up your own probate court isn’t even issuing marriage licenses to anyone — gay or straight. Sounds like you guys really have things figured out. I can see why you would be so proud,” New Orleans said.
“Well, obviously, matters of great historic significance are going to have a few bumps along the road,” Mobile said meekly.
“Yeah, I’d say so. With Wallace and now that bozo Moore, I would characterize them more as boils on the butt of your state history.”
“Well, you know, I mean I can’t really argue with you there, but certainly you aren’t acting like your politicos are any better. How’s the pen treating Ray?”
“Oh I’m sure he’s just getting ready to show that 10-minute tag girl of yours the ropes when she joins him,” New Orleans said, giving it right back to her.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. But let me remind you she hasn’t even been convicted of anything yet,” Mobile said defensively.
“Well I’m sure Ray would say he was targeted for prosecution and wrongly convicted,” New Orleans said.
“Yeah, don’t they all,” Mobile sighed. “Can you hold on a second? I think I may be getting a Snapchat.”
“A what?” New Orleans asked.
“Some social media thingy the youngsters all use and now even my mayor. Hence why I have to be on it now,” Mobile complained. “And I am sure some 20-something-year-old in his office is doing it for him. But alas, I have to follow it anyway.”
“Wait, isn’t that what the kids use to send dirty messages and nude photos to each other,” New Orleans asked.
“Well, that’s what I thought too, but they say it’s evolved and has news and stuff now. Sandy thought it would make us look more transparent,” Mobile said.
“Well, I’d say so,” New Orleans giggled.
“Not that kind of transparency,” Mobile said. “Gross!”
“Well, look girl, I’ve got to go. I hope y’all have the most precious little Mardi Gras ever,” New Orleans said.
“And may the puke outside the Tropical Isle flow like the mighty Mississippi,” Mobile offered, as she slammed the phone down.
Happy Mardi Gras y’all!