How to Lose Your Dignity in New Orleans Without Really Trying
Lets take a trip back in time to when I was a junior at the University of Tennessee, and a few guys and I loaded up the car to head down to The Big Easy for some Mardi Gras awesomeness. None of us had ever been before, nor did we have much New Orleans knowledge either, so we were really running blind. I had though heard from some people that it was difficult to find a place to go to the bathroom down there, and that the cops were bad about giving public urination tickets. Being the creative guy that I am, I decided to figure out a way to get around this little pickle, so I picked up a pair of Depends, yes the adult diapers, before we hit the road. I was grinning from ear to ear, clearly I was about to beat the system with this foolproof plan. I’m sure you can see where this is going, but it isn’t even the half of it.
So we get to New Orleans, and find a place to park. We don’t have a hotel, we are taking the risky “shack or die” approach to finding room and board. Not sure how I thought I was going to shack at a chick’s place while wearing a diaper, but oh well. Before we begin the party, we agree that we will meet at the car should we get lost, note the year 1998, this was before everyone had cell phones (only one of the three of us had a phone, and it wasn’t me), we forget how hard life was before that. So we we proceed to start drinking, and I mean we are just slamming beers at a consumption rate similar to that of elephants at a watering hole in Kenya.
The Dignity begins to seep through
As we move closer and closer to a new level of drunkenness, we start to roam around and mingle. Eventually I realize that my friends are nowhere to be seen, and yes, I am now ready to break the seal. Now remember, I am really wearing Depends under my jeans, so I prepare to test them out in an alley. Immediately I sense a problem, as apparently Depends were designed to soak up the occasional drip, not a bladder full of 15 Bud Ice long necks. The Depends and my jeans become totally saturated, and I am basically soaked to the bone, and now reek of urine. In a panic, I stray off the main party streets in search of a clothing store, or anyplace that might have a pair of pants and boxers for sale. Seeing as how it is about 7pm, my options are rather limited and I have no luck finding such a place. I am stuck in the pee pants for the night it seems.
Here is quick video to give you an idea of the scale of the crowd!
Still haven’t hit rock bottom
At this point, the last thing on my mind is the fact that I have totally lost my friends, and honestly my wandering has put me in a place where I don’t even know where to begin looking for the car. I am in real bad shape, but oh yes, it gets worse. I walk into a bar, and figure living with the soaked clothes will be more tolerable if I have about 15 more beers. I walk up to the bar to get my wallet out and then wham, fate really bends me over, as I realize oh yes, I’ve lost my my wallet. I have no idea where it is, but I think I took it out and put it on top of a trash can once I realized my pants were becoming saturated with urine. At this point I basically sober up immediately, which magically happens when you realize you are in big ^&$# trouble. Luckily, I was able to get my hands on a ton of beads, so I went back on the street and bartered with wasted idiots for drinks, as I began to wander around looking for the car. Again, I figure that the only way to deal with this great day is to try and get my buzz back.
Had enough fun, time to go home
So I wander around unsuccessfully looking for the car, basically all night. Probably should have paid more attention to landmarks when we parked earlier in the afternoon, but who really pays attention when they aren’t driving? As you can imagine, this was the longest night of my life, and the beads for beers thing isn’t working anymore. By 5am I find my way over to a little diner that is opened 24/7, and I somehow get them to allow me to have a glass of water and just rest in one of the booths. Then it happened, there was a couple eating, who were probably early 30′s, and they took notice of me in my pathetic state just staring at the wall. They are still a little drunk, so they ask me what the heck happened. They listen to every detail, and just when I think they are about to hand me the moron of the year award, they throw me a curve. They offer to let me use their car phone, that is right car phone, to call my lone friend with a cellphone, but of course straight to voice mail, so I leave a message. At this point, I don’t want to wait around for them to call back, as who knows what sort of trouble they got into that night, but I don’t exactly have many options.
Then it hits me, as I hear Willie Nelson on the radio, I take the train! I ask them to take me to the Amtrak station and buy me a ticket to Atlanta (where my parents live). I swear that I will mail them a check for the ticket if only they help me get home. Right now I would rather face the music with my dad then stay in this town which has basically crapped on me for the last 14 hours. After my new friends agree, I leave another message with the sweet car phone, and begin the next part of my journey. This final leg isn’t great fodder for a story, as basically it involves a 13 hour train ride, and an awkward 4 hour ride with Mom back to Knoxville. The rents were less than impressed, and basically threatened to make me transfer to beautiful Georgia State University if I do anything remotely close to this again.
This chain of unfortunate events all began of course because I was trying to avoid waiting in lines for bathrooms, which probably was an odd issue to truly try to avoid at all costs. So please learn from my mistakes, don’t under any circumstance try binge drinking with Depends on, it will most certainly ruin your life. Or at the very least, cause you to lose your dignity wherever you happen to be.