I was starving and the thought of making a reservation never crossed my mind as I’m really not that great at planning my life out.
So when my friend and I got rejected with hour plus waits at every restaurant we walked up to once we were already starving, I told her we needed to duck into the first restaurant we saw that had a menu and just get something.
After all, we were in New Orleans, could there be such a thing as bad food?
From what I’d experienced so far, the answer was no. The culinary game was off the charts.
So we went into a restaurant and I ordered a Po’ Boy, forgetting my brother’s rule of only ordering seafood at nice restaurants because you don’t know where it’s come from.
I regretted it the next morning as my stomach was screaming, and I turned on the water in the sink as to not disturb the other hotel guests while I got violently ill.
I drank lots of water and have never been so glad that I had the foresight to run to the 7/11 next to my apartment in Seattle before the trip to grab some Imodium, because I figured I never knew how my stomach would handle different foods.
We had already booked tickets for a cemetery tour and then a tour around the Garden District for that day, so I knew I had to get my shit together, no pun intended.
I took some meds and was incredibly angry at my life choices as the Po’ Boy cleaned out my intestines with a vengeance.
I decided to switch out of the beige dress I’d decided on that day for a black one just to be safe. I didn’t need any nicknames like “skidmark” attaching themselves to me if things went south this day. Plus black seemed appropriate for a graveyard.
I felt a sneeze coming on and panicked. I decided not to stifle it like I normally do as I was fairly confident I’d end up shitting my pants. This was going to be quite the day.
Once when one of my parents were on their way to a colonoscopy appointment, my brother looked at them on their way out the door and simply said, “Don’t trust a fart.”
Today I was taking that advice to heart and discovering he was wise beyond his years.
Once my friend woke up and was ready to get going for the day, I told her I needed to take it easy, which I knew she didn’t quite understand when she recommended we walk the two miles to the cemetery.
“I’m already running the risk of shitting beside someone’s grave with a tour group watching. I’d like to not have to worry about making the walk there.”
She looked at me like I had five heads and changed the subject.
We ubered to the cemetery, and were introduced to our tour guide who called me “Miss Carly” the whole time, trying to be polite, and while I was feeling better, I was confident she would rescind that title if I publicly shit in a graveyard. But I’d be damned if I was missing that cemetery tour. Even if the price was shame I’d carry with me the rest of my life.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t poo on the dead. In the land of voodoo I felt that would likely score me some very negative juju that might haunt me the rest of my days.
I have a weird love of cemeteries, and this one was pretty epic. I was learning all sorts of fun things about how people used to get cremated and symbols on the gravestones (angels for child deaths, an hourglass with wings meaning “time flies,” two hands clasping one another for a bond that would go with them beyond death, a broken flower was life cut too short).
There was one grave with a shoe and Mardi Gras beads on it. I figured when I died, which was now not likely to be because of the po’ boy at this point in the day though it had been questionable a few hours ago, I would find a shoe on my tombstone incredibly appropriate.
We walked through the Garden District homes afterwards, gawking at the mansions and taking pictures, learning that I could get a decent sized fancy home in New Orleans for what it would take me to buy a one bedroom home in my neighborhood in Seattle.
Always one to be prepared, I wondered if John Goodman or Sandra Bullock would be more likely to let me into their houses if I had a bathroom emergency or if it would be easier to break into the notoriously haunted one that was for sale without repercussions.
Either way, I was glad it didn’t come down to that. I was fine by the end of the tour and had learned many lessons on that day, not only about New Orleans and cemeteries, but also about not trusting seafood in a restaurant that is empty.