Whew! What a grand adventure we have been on, y’all! And it is already Ash Wednesday! So, Happy Ash Wednesday! And if you are not up to speed, scroll on down this page, as this is part three of a four part series devoted to my one and only time at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Trust me, as soon as I get to Bitch Slap, you’re gonna wish you were up to speed. Speaking of, maybe we just start there? Nah, we will save him for last. Let’s start with the beads.
The third night of Mardi Gras was spent walking down Bourbon with two of my best friends, Melody and Kasey, while successfully avoiding being vomited on, being groped by drunk men, being propositioned by prostitutes, and avoiding the other half of our traveling party. We were successful, for the most part. Melody got a hankering for beads that night, and well, she collected them the good, old-fashioned way. There’s probably a video compilation on YouTube called: Drunk College Girls at Mardi Gras 2011, and Melody is for sure in the reel. Here was her haul from one night.
Kasey and I, on the other hand, realized you could also get beads by asking, Hey, can I have some of your beads? People are so drunk they are like, Hellz yeah you can, sweet thang! Take my beads! And then it rains beads! We didn’t tell Melody.
The three of us got separated for a short moment amid the sea of people. And trust me, it is a sea of people. So much in fact, that with each passing block a new wave joins in and it isn’t long before you realize that you are walking super fast, or maybe super slow, depending on the crowd and the amount of collective alcohol consumed. We connected rather quickly, to find that Melody had amassed even more beads, we didn’t ask. But Kasey and I did pose with the kick-ass horse cops.
This was right before we were looking for them because someone legit tried to steal my camera off of Melody’s neck. Like, we were walking and a dude came up, walking the other direction and grabbed the lens and tried to rip the camera off Melody’s neck. She instinctively grabbed it and shoved him and he kept walking. It happened in one swift second. It really just came in with the wave, then back out again. We should have known then to protect our valuable items better, but nah…
Once we were safely back at the hotel, we decided to throw some beads ourselves. The Crown Plaza had an excellent balcony and we had one section of it all to ourselves. The other part of our group got back, all a bit drunk, and we enjoyed Mardi Gras for the first time from on high.
This is where we decide that the next night, the last night of our trip, was going to be balls to the wall amazing! We were amped up to head back to the bead store and LOAD up, and then stay on our balcony the last night and really get into the throwing of beads, cause damn it was fun. Something about watching people act a total fool in exchange for plastic beads is just the bees knees. But trust, you don’t have to go to Mardi Gras to do it.
So the next day we woke up AMPED, y’all! We had breakfast, then hit the day hard. We split up again, this time the girls wanted to do some shopping and Melody, Kasey, and I had only one plan: Tattoos! Shit yeah! #OhToBeYoungAgain
We Googled: Best Tattoo Parlor in New Orleans and got no less than 45 hits. We settled on one called, Electric Ladyland, because, uhh, what a great name. Not only is it a Jimi Hendrix album title, but hello, we FELT, way deep down in our souls that we were in Electric. Lady. Land. Plus they were open noon to midnight so it fit our sched.
Now up until this point I only had one tattoo. An apple. On my thigh. That my best friend’s husband gave me in a tattered tattoo chair in their basement ten years before. So, I was a bit inexperienced. Melody and Kasey, though, they are tatted up and they have been together and I was excited to be part of the team. Up until I walked through the door at Electric Ladyland Tattoo.
Listen, no one told me that sometimes tattoo artists kind of, uhh, shake a little when they talk. Like the guy, whose name I have been trying to remember, but I just can’t, like was shaking. His whole body sort of hummed. The whole process took about thirty minutes, they were really not very busy for some reason, and I told him what I wanted, my son’s name on my foot, with a sort of different font. Not really a child’s writing, but also not like Gothic. He drew it up and I loved it immediately. But I could not stop wondering how it would turn out considering he shook so violently the whole time he was drawing that at one point I felt compelled to steady the table for him.
Melody was already in a chair getting music notes behind her ears, on her actual fucking head, when I sat down. Kasey had chickened out last minute, either because she hates me, or because she assessed the situation pretty quickly. Still not sure to this day, but Melody was pissed. I had mad respect for her though. I was just about to go join her when the gun started up and he attacked my foot. It was over before it felt like he finished and I was all set up. My son’s name looked exactly like he had drawn, exactly how I had envisioned. Dude asked if I liked it, as his whole upper body sort of seized up in the shakes. I smiled my reply, and he gave me a solid with metal fingers. Weird ass stuff man. Weird ass stuff Electric Ladyland. Weird ass stuff. Afterward we walked down to a little seafood joint with bars on the windows and I had the best Po’boy, fried okra, and collard greens ever. Then we made our way back to our hotel to watch some of the parade.
When we got back to the hotel we were met by MIL and the rag-tag team of weirdos who were all a little mad that we went and got tattoos without them. We explained that we told them that was the plan for that day and they should have come with us, rather than hitting up Walmart… again. The dust settled and we went to the rooftop lounge to watch the longest parade I have every witnessed. Long, y’all. Like somebody coulda warned a bitch long.
At some point, fueled by her lingering anger at Kasey for not partaking at the tattoo shop, Melody reached out in front of Kasey and grabbed some wicked-cool beads not just from Kasey, but also from, if I remember correctly, a small child. Or maybe an elderly woman. Either way, we were like, Mel, dude. And she stormed off angry, but still clutching her sweet-ass beads. This angered Kasey, who sort of left the group for a bit, we assume to drank some purple drank and have sex with an unknown man, but we can’t be sure. Ho hum.
As the sun went down, we decided to get ready for a night of bead throwing. We decided that we were just gonna wear pajamas. It wasn’t like we were leaving the hotel, and they were comfy and we had feathered boas, so it was a win-win.
Speaking of win-wins! That was the night we walked into the weirdos room and got to see Pasty-girl swing her tassels. Some of y’all have never stood three inches from a woman who has tassels hanging from her nipples as she spins them for your enjoyment, and it shows. THEN, as if the Mardi Gras Queen herself hadn’t bestowed enough wishes on us, Titty-Tina, who by then trusted us (on account of Melody’s bead collection) informed us that they were headed out to meet up with Bitch Slap and she was bringing him back to the hotel! Fucking score! We were finally gonna meet Bitch Slap! We were high on life, y’all. And homemade Purple Drank!
Like most fun, exciting nights of drinking with your best friends, in your pajamas, at a swanky-ass hotel in New Orleans in your twenties, shit went south quickly.
As soon as we stepped on the balcony, we attracted some freaks. Maybe it was that we had very little make-up on, or maybe it was the fact that Kasey was sort of exuding touch my boobs vibes, or maybe it was the feathered boas, but we had some man-boys on us like Bitch-Slap on a $5 lap dance at da club. At one point I was batting man-boys away while I was trying to text my lovely, trusting, adorable husband at home. Melody was drunk texting that guy in Arizona whose name I think was Dutch, but it could also be Sweden, and I looked over to see Kasey, her homemade Purple Drank on the ground, beads around her neck, and a little Latino man with his hands directly on her boobs. They were rubbing and grinding and like two good friends, Melody and I looked at each other, then ran inside to get away from that mess.
In the hallway off the balcony we were contemplating our next move, when we heard the roaring laughter of Titty-Tina and the entourage coming up the escalator. And there he was. Shining like the Cash Money sign on his neck, the man, the myth, the legend: Bitch Slap! Bitch Slap in da Houzzz I screamed at I ran toward him like we were old college drinking buds. He appreciated the love and Bitch Slap and I spent the better part of the next hour watching Kasey getting felt up by three generations of Latinos while we discussed his sweet ass 1973 El Camino that he promised to take me for a ride in.
At some point Melody snuck away to call Sweden and I decided to cut my talk with Bitch Slap short. He half-heartedly asked me if he should accompany me on my search for Melody and when I declined, he casually invited me to have sex with Titty-Tina and him later that night. Then he told me his room number and said to knock three times. And with a wink of his tattooed eye lid, he was gone. I looked at Kasey, who was sort of topless, but seemed to be enjoying herself, and I started for the hotel room.
I found Melody holed up in a hotel bathroom, trying to find a plug-in for her phone. I told her that we should just go take the phone to the room to charge and fill up our drinks. On the way up I explained my proposition and she quickly decided that we would wait until about 2 am, then run up to the door, knock three times, then quietly disappear, unlike the STD I was bound get if I took the lovely couple up on their offer. After we plugged her phone in and refilled, she asked if she could use my phone on the way down to call Sweden to tell him goodnight. Or something. Honestly, I’m not sure, but she ended up with my iPhone, which is intregal to the story.
Right off the elevator we ran into the group of Latinos man-boys, who were being rowdy and speaking Spanish very loudly. So Melody, being from Arizona, tried to say she knew what they were saying. This attracted them to us, and a man-boy came up to us with a smile and grabbed my boob. I wasn’t wearing a bra, because pajamas, so this utterly grossed me out. I had never had a stranger just touch me in that way, and I stopped dead in my tracks. In hindsight, I should have called it a night then. But instead I went out to check on Kasey, who was now with the rest of the crew living it up Mardi Gras style, having told the man-boys to take a hike.
By the time I went back inside Melody was sitting in a chair by the second balcony. The one the man-boys had made their way to. She got up when she saw me and suggested we try to go throw some beads, so we joined the group. I had already called Jerimiah to tell him about the boob grab and he was furious and I was a little grossed out and sad. Melody was sort of over the whole bead throwing, so we decided to call it a night. That’s when I figured I would call Jerimiah back and tell him goodnight. That is also when I realized I didn’t have my phone. That is also when I realized Melody had it on that chair, so we went over to the chair.
One of the man-boys was sitting in the chair. He looked either asleep or dead. In hindsight, I’d guess he was pretending so we didn’t bother him. We did a lap around the floor and when we came back he was gone and so was my phone. We ran up to call Jerimiah on Melody’s phone. He pinged my phone and said it was on the balcony of the hotel. So we went back. He was giving us directions to the man-boys balcony, so we went out. They were all standing there laughing when we walked out. I walked up to the oldest looking one and told him to give me my phone back. He pretended that he didn’t speak English, so I went downstairs to the hotel security.
By this time we had attracted attention and some of the man-boys dispersed. But the oldest one was still there when we came back with security and I told them my husband said it was around where we were. The security guard asked if they had a phone and suggested giving it back, least charges would be filed. They laughed and called us crazy girls. The security guard took me inside and explained there was really nothing they could do about it, so I didn’t have proof. So that was that.
Then Melody and I made sure Kasey was with the group, then we went upstairs and ordered the most expensive chicken wings I have ever had, and went to sleep. Bleh. Mardi Gras.
I didn’t even get my three knocks…