As usual, I’m the only person at work wearing Mardi Gras beads today.  The day is bitter sweet. Some of the worst, the most savage, thrashing, hurling hangovers I’ve ever had have been in New Orleans.  My memories are filled with the sights and smells of Bourbon Street and the rowdy throngs standing in the street begging for revelers on the balconies to throw some beads or flash the crowd.

Last year in a blues bar a waitress wearing a Daisy Duke outfit and carring a rack of test tubes came up to me and said … something. Obviously I had “Chump” written all over me. I couldn’t understand what she said because the band was so loud, so through the beer fog I just nodded. Next thing I knew she took my money and grabbed my head and plunged it towards the test tubes planted in various locations in her outfit. I grabbed the tubes with my mouth and tipped back the sweet, flammable contents. There was more, but I won’t elaborate on it further.

After less than a minute, I had consumed unknown alcoholic liquids from dubious test tubes and walked away $30 lighter. I left the bar dazed and confused at what happened, feeling incredibly stupid for having been duped like a common tourista. Oh! The shame and degradation, sort of.

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