So, my last two entries were about New Orleans and shit. Would it surprise you that I actually have a story that combines the two? Actually I have a couple. But I'm afraid if I tell the other one you may never return to this blog. So, the tame one follows...
I have been to New Orleans many times and with many different people, consequently I have been on about 4 or 5 swamp tours over the years. Good thing I like them.
Many, many years ago I went to N'awlins with an old friend and we had a few swamp tour options to pick from and we decided to go with the one that offered a free lunch from Miss Mary Mary, the With Doctor of the Bayou. Who wouldn't, right?
It was a really hot day out on the swamp and when we approached Miss Mary Mary's place she ran out of her front door and met us at the dock and protested through a very thick Cajun accent, "I dint know y'all had a tour comin' on through today."
The tour operator shrugged and since there were only six of us (the other four were college girls) Miss Mary Mary waved us in, "It's alright. I can whip somethin' up."
Miss Mary Mary was a craggy old lady with long grey braids, leathery skin and a tattered frock with holes sewn up in large stitchings patterns. She assumed the very stereotype my friend and I laughed about the night before over a few Hurricanes in the French Quarter. My mind quickly thought about what ghastly rituals we were interupting in that dank and run-down decades-old shack that butted up against the murky waters of the Bayou infested with hungry gators.
But she came across as rather nice, not witchy at all. She sat us at a couple of tables in her stifling enclosed front porch to witch which she offered an apology, "Sorry about this here heat kids, had I known y'alls was comin' I'da cut on the cooler."
She disappeared into the house and the six of us shot around get me the the F outta here looks at one another, as you'd expect. Then after about ten minutes Miss Mary Mary came back with a large bowl in her hands, "Fer startin' y'all are gittin' my famous Bayou Pickle Salad."
Oh dear. I don't liked pickled anything. So I passed on it but the others seemed to enjoy it. A little later she re-appeared with another large bowl, "I jus threw a buncha stuff in a pot and came up with this concoction. Y'all gone love it."
Of course I whispered in my friends ear, "Hmm see, a witches brew." She cut him a sharp glance when he chuck'led. I took two bites and I just couldn't - and again I passed on it. Good thing I had a Granola bar in my fanny pack. That's right, I was rocking a fanny pack. Don't act like you've never had one.
Miss Mary Mary, concerned about her hospitality, asked me a couple times if I was alright to witch which I lied and told her that I wasn't feeling well. I thought better of possibly upsetting a witch doctor. Who knows what type of voodoo curse she might conjure on me in her house of fright after we left.
When we were finished and about to leave she returned one last time with a couple of jelly jars filled with dirt. She explained with a flair for sales, "This is sacred gardenin' dirt that I fertilized with a special Miss Mary Mary blessin'. This dirt has a Miss Mary Mary guarantee of great plantin' success. And fer you kind folk I'll sell you a jar fer only 10 dollers."
Everyone politely and very tentatively declined. And we were off.
Back on the boat we all volleyed jokes around about our strange Miss Mary Mary experience. Finally one of the college girls laughed, "Can you believe that old dumb witch wanted us to buy some dirt for ten dollars?!"
Another girl reminded her with a fake-ironic tone, "Yea, but she fertilized it with a blessing!"
I rolled my eyes, "Please, that ten dollar dirt was fertilized with a big old steaming blessing of Miss Mary Mary's shit."
As a laugh erupted over the boat a sudden and alarming pain zapped my heart like I was a helpless ragdoll being stabbed deep and hard by a giant pin... trick.