I woke up Sunday morning, still in my clothes from Saturday, with 12 strands of Mardi Gras beads around my neck and the imprint of a doubloon I had slept on etched firmly on my cheek. Everything was kind of hazy. Where had I been? How did I get home? What had I done?
Did I really text New Orleans she was a lying tramp of a city who for years had been trying to claim she started Mardi Gras? Or did I just think it (because I do think that)? Was I a snob to Semmes and Citronelle? Lord knows, they already think that I think I am better than them (which I do). Did I tell Fairhope we do push and honk, and even bite, especially to cities who steal our residents and tax revenue? I may have, but I think she thinks she’s better than me (which she does), so I don’t care.
Or was it all just a dream? It was probably just a dream, I assured myself.
I made my way to the bathroom and splashed some cold water on my face. I looked in the mirror and it was not pretty. “Mobile,” I said to the bedraggled image staring back at me. “Girl, you are 314 years old. This is not appropriate behavior. ”
It was true, but in my defense it was Mardi Gras and Senior Bowl all in one day and I had many visitors to welcome and traditions to uphold, so what’s a city supposed to do? And I am the mother of the mystics, for goodness’ sake. So maybe I get a little mouthy when I am Mardi Gras-ing. It’s those memory-deleting MoonPies causing that, I am sure. Uh huh.
I looked at my phone and I had five missed texts.
The first two were from New Orleans. “Yours may be the oldest but it sure ain’t the best. It’s really kind of sad how you won’t give up this ridiculous so-called ‘rivalry.’” It was followed by an image of one of her streets along the parade route full of people.
Sh*t. I guess it wasn’t a dream. I scrolled down to see what had promoted her response. At 1:21 a.m., I had texted her Mardi Gras mask and middle finger emoticons, along with “We’re #1!!!!”
“Real ‘klassy,’ Mo,” I said to myself. Not to mention all those exclamation points. Like fingernails on a chalkboard.
I have always wanted to be a delicate flower, but I am not. Much like my precious azaleas, I seem to only be able to flower for a few weeks before I turn back into a surly bush again.
The third text was Uber, asking me to rate my driver from last night. Well, I guess that solves that mystery. God, I love Uber.
The fourth was from Charleston. Holy MoonPie! What had I sent her? All of my civic leaders have always had crushes on her and Savannah and want me to pattern myself after them. And being the raging bush I am, so to speak, I get jealous from time to time.
“Girl, you are going to get there too, I promise. In fact, I just happened to see that wonderful Main Street Mobile 25th anniversary video the other day and your downtown’s transformation is quite astonishing. Hope y’all are having a magnificent Mardi Gras. Much love to you as well, my darling.” Charleston had responded to my text to her, at 1:46 a.m., “I wanna be just like you 1 day. I luv u.”
Oh god, “wanna” and “luv”? And the 1 for one? At least it wasn’t hateful, but I spoke in broken text-enese to the most proper Southern city in America, I mean at least she thinks so (and she probably is). Oh great. I am sure she has already called up Savannah to tell her what a crazy nutjob Mobile is. Fantastic.
The final one was from Fairhope. Evidently there had been a honking and pushing text.
“Real funny, Mo. And you wonder why some of the members of your mayor’s executive staff still want to live over here.”
I texted back, “Well, we’ll see about how all of your folks feel once they start dealing with bridge construction traffic every day. Muhahahaha. Suddenly I will start looking pretty sweet.”
“Yeah, until someone kicks in their Midtown backdoor and steals all their jewelry. Muhahaha right back at you. We don’t tolerate pushing, honking or crime in our Fair burg.”
I sent her back a picture of a dog peeing on her downtown flowers. Don’t ask me how I obtained this. I’m not at liberty to say. It was childish, but I get so tired of her “oh I am so beautiful and I have no crime and I am a great place to raise your kids and have great schools and you can’t push people here” Mayberry BS attitude. It’s too much.
Still, I was feeling a little remorseful for my Mardi Gras rampage of 2016, beating myself up, deleting the texts so I could convince myself they never existed.
As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed trying to keep my mind off of things, I came across that absolutely fabulous ad that has been running about me during the GoDaddy and Senior Bowls. Suddenly I started feeling better as the funky music started playing. I do have a certain magic and flavors and cultures and traditions, and I was born to celebrate, by God, and it is Mardi Gras. My rampage shall continue!!!! With lots of exclamation points!
Right then, I called up Citronelle and asked if she wanted to go to the Neptune’s Daughters parade with me that night. She did, even though I told her I didn’t think I could get her on the Athelstan Club stands. (Hey, not my rules!)
What a fun night that was. I mean, I think it was. I’ve got to quit eating all of those mind-erasing MoonPies. What do they do to those things?
I woke up Monday morning and looked at my phone. There was a text from my mayor that simply read, “We need to talk.”
Yikes! I think I’m in trouble. But such is the Gras! Blanket apologies will be issued on Ash Wednesday. Hey, what can I say? I was born to celebrate. And so were all my people.
Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!