So my plan to celebrate Mardi Gras involved the purchase of a King Cake from Fresh Market. As I was checking out, the store manager presented me with a strand of purple Mardi Gras beads. I proudly wore them the rest of the day because they actually complimented what I was wearing. And then in the blink of an eye, I experienced one of those moments that confirms I’m living in the right place. I went to pick up an invoice from a neighbor and while standing in his driveway was introduced to an interesting man whom I shall call Bud in order to protect his identity. Tall, wiry, sixtyish, Bud is handsome in that grizzled, all-the-grass-I’ve-ever-consumed-finally-caught-up-to-me kind of way. And Bud is hairy; it’s growing out of the neckline of his t-shirt while he is standing there. “This is Bud,” my neighbor said. “Hey, Bud,” I answered and we shook hands. “I like those beads,” Bud said, eyeing my shiny bright purple strand. “Thank you. They’re Mardi Gras beads, today is Mar ---” but before I could finish the sentence, Bud grabbed the hem of his Jimmy Buffet t-shirt and yanked it up, covering his face. Good thing too since I experienced a full body convolution followed by an unconcealed look of horror which might have been perceived as rude.
As the wall-o-fur, burned itself onto my retina, I managed to compose myself and said in a calm but no-nonsense voice, “For the love of all that is holy pull your shirt down.” He did. I continued, “Despite cleavage that might titillate the lonely and bored “Fifty Shades of Gray” crowd, I remain unimpressed. You need to find another way to get Mardi Gras beads. May I suggest Fresh Market where you can also sample coffee and a variety of cheeses.” Bud beamed, “Well it was nice to meet you,” he said. And as he walked to his home across the street he waved over his shoulder and wished me a happy Mardi Gras. I probably should have called the manager at Fresh Market and given her a head’s up in case Bud showed up later.