The funniest thing I ever saw.

Sep 22nd
Posted by shambo  as Culture, entertainment, Holidays, Sleazy bars
Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras

Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras

Let me say this about that.

It has been said that “Life is hard, and then you die.”¬† It’s true that our time on this planet has it’s challenges and sometimes¬†can be downright disheartening.¬† But every now and again, we see something sooooo funny that we nearly wet our pants – and the world turns into a better place.¬† Ask anyone you know… “What is the funniest thing you have ever¬†seen?”¬† and they won’t be able to finish their story without both of you cracking-up like a couple of magpies….stories like:

The first time I went to Mardi Gras:

“I was 16 years old and had finagled a trip to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras in 1962.¬†¬†(Don’t ask how.¬† My dearly departed Mom would come back from the¬†grave and…¬†¬†¬† kick my ass.) ¬† Bourbon Street had been blocked off to automobile traffic to accommodate the mass of humanity stumbling down the street, singing, drinking, and in general raising hell.¬† Strolling bar to bar, it seemed like the entire city was blasted¬† – including this 16 year old.¬† Strip joint, beer joint, juke joint, joint joint, it was anarchy at it’s best.¬† I had never seen that many ‘party people’ in one place at one time.¬†

Crowd control was impossible by conventional means.¬† By that I mean ‘impossible’ – period.¬† The New Orleans police gave it their best¬†shot by sending out horse mounted cops that were at least able to move among the throngs of drunks better than patrol cars and¬†had better¬†visibility than cops on foot.

I was¬†getting a little lightheaded and felt¬†the need to sit for a while.¬† ¬†I¬†spotted a¬†short wall surrounding a vacant¬†lot and walked over and sat¬†down on it next to an old drunk with a three day old growth of stubble.¬† He was drinking something brown¬†from a bottle in a paper bag and smoking a Camel.¬† He had the appearance of a man¬†who had been treated harshly by life and just didn’t give a rat’s ass anymore. ¬†He didn’t seem too interested in anything¬†except the cop on horseback¬†making his way slowly down Bourbon Street.¬†

Apparently the old guy had well justified ‘authority issues’ that had been cultured over the years, and it showed as he glared at the mounted policeman making his way toward us¬†through the crowd.¬† As the mounted policeman neared our position, the old codger¬†sat his bottle on the wall and stood up.¬† The world began to move in slow motion.

The horseman eased past us and stopped.¬† The old drunk moved into a position immediately behind the horse as the crowd blocked the cop’s way.¬† Ever so gingerly, the old guy took the horse’s tail and raised it as high as it would go.¬† He then took the Camel from his mouth, blew on the end to produce a reddish white ember and thrust the cigarette directly into the horse’s sphincter.

I did not know it was possible for a horse to levitate.¬† But this one shot directly up into the air without moving it’s legs.¬† In mid-air, the horse did a manuver that looked like a free falling Slinky and sent the policeman flying into the crowd.¬† When the horse hit the ground, it was already at a full gallop and¬†ripped through the stupified revelers.¬† The entire scene looked like a drunken version of the running of the bulls in Pamplona.

The old guy calmly walked back over to the wall, took a drink of the brown fluid¬†from the paper bag¬†and walked away.¬† I fell off the wall I was laughing so hard.”

I can’t help but laugh every time I think of that night, nearly 50 years ago.¬† But I also can’t help but to revere that old¬†guy as a role model of a real man whose spirit could not be broken.

And, that’s all I have to say about that.



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