Thursday, August 7, 2008

May Madness in New Orleans

Po-Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
May Madness
Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah
Okay, you’ve been to the second week of Jazz Fest. Mother’s Day is coming up and then Memorial Day and whoosh… you’re into hurricane season! My, how time flies since you turned the clocks ahead, we must be having fun. All of our lent season debts are paid, all of our New Year’s resolutions given up and it’s not quite bikini season so we don’t have to watch our waistlines just yet. So, just what are you doing in May to make life worth putting make up on for? Nuttin’ Honey?
Did you know that in May of 1872 Frederick Douglass and Victoria Woodhull declared their candidacy for the office of the President (and Vice ) of the United States? The first African American AND the first female candidates on the same ticket. It makes you wonder why we can’t all just get along.
So, what are you doing in May? Cinco de Mayo anyone? Baseball’s first perfect game was pitched in May. James Brown and Stevie Wonder were born in May as was Rock and Roll specifically, with the release of Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around The Clock’. Columbus discovered Jamaica in May, Mon. Nessie had a first sighting. Lewis and Clark got under way in May, De Soto reached the Mississippi in May, Joan of Arc defeated the English at Orleans, Germany surrendered after the second world war and Salvador Dali was born.
I say that May is a month that we do something more special than just wear our panties on our heads. Mickey and Minnie Mouse (when did they get married?)made their first appearance in May. We gotta do something!!
Let’s win the lottery! Let’s rebuild New Orleans! Let’s wake up the sleeping government! Let’s… nah, let’s do nuttin’ Honey.
Yeah, let’s not do much in May, birth month of Orson Welles, Gary Cooper, Billy Joel and George Clooney. Face it, it’s already been done in May.
Root Beer invented, Levi’s patented as well as Corn Flakes. Bonnie, Clyde and Anne Boleyn got theirs. Carson, Cheers and Mash had their farewells. Jesse Owens broke six records in 45 minutes. No body ever told you this stuff, huh? I say take May off and take your casserole to coffee.
Birthdays? Dennis Hopper, Reggie Jackson, Busta Rymes, JFK, MR T, Joey Ramone, Jewel, Melissa Ethridge, Lenny Kravitz, Janet Jackson and Lisa ‘left eye’ Lopez!!!
Go back to bed with a lemondrop, loser!
The Saxophone was invented, Eiffel Tower opened it’s elevator, Golden Gate opened to Marin County and the Brooklyn Bridge opens to Flatbush. At least five of the Star Wars movies opened in May. Babe Ruth hit his 714th, Mount Saint Helena sent fire and brimstone, the first telegram was sent, the first Academy Awards and Napoleon Bonaparte was declared Emperor of France. What chance do we have to top any of those?
Well, as John Fogerty (him too) once said “Put me in coach!!!” I say let’s do absolutely nothing, nada, zip, zilch in May except exhibit our madness. I mean, how do you top Everest’s two firsts (man and woman)? Maybe by taking your sock monkey for martinis.
Send some late Valentine’s cards (it’s never really too late), sing off key (on purpose, loudly), walk with a limp on the edge of the sidewalk. Slurp your soda, double cheese on that chili, sing ‘ a hundred bottles of beer on the wall’ break away from the cobwebs of spring, the coma of winter and the anxiety that summers hold for us. Go buy something and then give it away. Say “hi” to the street-sweeper, cajole a curmudgeon, curse a villain and send an email to the newspaper telling them that you want the front page rid of sport stories (after all, isn’t that why they have a sport section?).
Order egg drop soup (I think I’ll have some now), leave a note on the door and enjoy the walk to get it…take your fortune cookie seriously, very very seriously.
Engage an elder in conversation, ask advice (don’t take it). Give your cell phone a time out, give up politics for a week, eat the sushi that you’ve been avoiding, give up drinking for a day or two; find out who your friends are and congratulate them on their wise choice of company. Be full of yourself! Take a lemming to lunch.
Take a drive across the lake (any lake), plan a crawfish boil, have a dinner party, a wine tasting, learn to tango (it takes two), light a candle… tell your cat a joke.
Take a month out of the year (how about May?) and ask yourself what you want from life. Stay in love against all odds, tip big, have a spaghetti dinner with garlic bread and cheap red wine. Settle a dispute, learn a fact, reignite that book club, call up someone you know just to ask how they are, give up cigarettes for a day, stop lying to yourself.
Invest in small business (have a Lucky Dog), get some new pajamas, dust off that Billie Holiday lp, learn a new song, speak with a foreign accent, get a beret, go to town, spoil somebody (start with yourself), engage in thoughtful dissertation with a colleague and expose yourself as a proponent of southern fried mendacity. Read some Tennessee.
Rent Ol’ Yeller, taste the dog’s food to see if you’d eat It, bake a loaf of bread, have a Pimm’s Cup at the Napoleon House, visit the zoo, have a banana split with someone, shave only on one side, go to a show, show up early, show up late…”show me the way to go hooooooommme”.
Remember, May comes but once a year, same time, same place. The fifth month, not to be confused with a month of fifths, speak up for what you believe in; like wearing a tie when you don’t have to, a vest, a funny hat (not stupid…funny), have a double dip of life. All the important stuff has already been done in May. Today, yes today, look someone in the eye and say: “you will always have me”.
P.S. that egg drop soup sure tasted good! or

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