(least that's how they pronounce 'Histoires' in French)
Why the frog, say you? 'Cause I'm here to favor you with some tales from the dank, mildewed streets of New Orleans' French Quarter, which I got invited to journey to a few weeks back. And let me say, not to worry! Depravity and drunkenness, never affected by natural disasters, are in full swing.
When you know you'll be passing through airport security, avoid wearing an underwire bra that costs less than $10. If you do, boob inspections by security officers will be provided courtesy of Wal-Mart stores' Cheapest Undergarment Materials Possible Division. For added fun, get a call from your school about missing children who are in your class (who merely strayed from their waiting spot after school and have since been found, but that's not mentioned until 2 minutes into the call) at the same time.
If you stay on Bourbon Street and it's between March and November, this is your schedule for every day:
10 a.m. Awake. Commence sweating.
11 a.m. Go eat beignets and rocket fuel for breakfast (fried donutlike objects with a minimum of 1/2 cup powdered sugar on top and coffee with chicory).
12 p.m. Take a tour of Garden District, marveling at the influence of such a small mortal as Anne Rice as well as the jungle-like proliferation of flowers everywhere. Don't forget to perspire.
2 p.m. Traipse from shop to shop or across Vieux Carre, seeking pralines, beads, voodoo dolls, paintings or the like.
4 p.m. Fall damply into bed and draw the hotel shades for a several hour nap to recuperate from constant walking and fluid loss.
9 p.m. Arise vampyre-like, don "sexy clothes" and go forth, in search of alcoholic slurpee stands. You needn't walk far, for their fluorescent mixers filled with ice, artificial flavoring and Everclear are churning upon every corner. Start drinking. Resume sweating.
11 p.m. Stagger through the streets, seeking whatever new amusement catches your senses or prurient interests. Get beads thrown at you or throw beads, even though no naked flesh is seen. Try not to step on toothless, itinerant street performers who are making weeeet weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow catcalls with their guitars. Look for restaurants. None of these quaint, culture-rich places are open. Wish for an Applebee's. Get obnoxious, but not too much so. The cops on horses are watching you.
2 a.m. Stumble into Krystal for 4 tiny cheeseburgers and an odd-tasting drink (odd-tasting because it doesn't contain alcohol). Try not to slip on the piss/booze/mud/sweat/scum/Godknowswhatelse liquid mixture on the floor.
3 a.m. Return to your hotel, take off soaked clothing, and ramble about the 1,744 things you've just seen/done/licked/smelled. Laugh at each one of them all over again.
4 a.m. Finally doze off from cumulative booze, traipsing and giggling exhaustion.
(Wash. Rinse. Repeat.)
If you are cornered by shirtless wanderers who may or may not be homeless and/or telling the truth about their plight, who then burst into song, have a counter-song ready, such as the theme song from the long-defunct William Katt television show, The Greatest American Hero:
"Look at what happened to me... I can't believe it myself! Suddenly, I'm up on top of the world... it should've been somebody else! DUHDUHDUHDUHDUHHNNNN!!"
If your friends get into this situation, be sure to sit a distance away and let them make an attempt to deal with the wanderer (to your endless amusement) before you make a rescuing cellphone call. Hopefully, the wanderer will wield merely song and odor and not a switchblade.
If one of a pair of life partners says, "That's what UP means" after you enter an elevator that's going up and gaze intently at the buttons just because you want to see the pool and it's on floor 16, which is marked "R" for "roof" and it takes you a moment to figure that out in your state of inebriation, don't snap back, "Yeah, I'm just REALLY STUPID." It's rude.
EPILOGUE - BEARS ON A PLANE
If you can avoid it, don't sit next to two tank-top wearing, totally buff, ripped, tribal tattooed and uber-masculine life partners on your return flight from one of America's muggiest cities. While being musky is their custom, if you're not a bear yourself, you may not appreciate it. Your brain needs oxygen, after all.
The world's still spinnin' round, we don't know why. Why, why, why? -- N. Gallagher, et al.