Speaking of Mardi Gras...

...which we've been doing recipe-wise:

This is just one of those classics, and it cracks me up every time we tell the story. City Girl and I have a pair of friends, guys, who have been together for about 30 years. They have a lovely Victorian home furnished "to period," an antique shop and a hair shop. They are very talented and today, very settled and established.

But like a lot of us, they took the scenic route getting here.

Twenty-nine years ago this February they made their first trip to Mardi Gras together (2008 is actually B's 39th year.) G was raised Pentecostal in a small town in Tennessee, and played the piano in his family's gospel group. B married young, had a daughter, divorced and proceded to partake of just about everything life had to offer.

Their first Mardi Gras was also G's first time to fly, and he was a nervous wreck. They got to the airport and to calm his nerves, they went to the lounge. Problem was, G didn't drink. They sat down and up comes...keep in mind this was 1979...a COCKTAIL WAITRESS. Straight out of the Playboy mansion, or a cartoon, take your pick. Fishnet hose and a flirty little fluff of a skirt that showed her panties every time she bent over. G nearly died and to cover up his embarrassment he started chugging Scotch. Like he knew what he was doing and oh! boy, it was downhill from there. I do think he slept all the way to Louisiana.

They got to the hotel on Bourbon Street, and B left G in the room while he went downstairs to get their luggage out of the car. G says he walked over to the balcony doors, opened them and stepped out and...landed on another planet. There were men and women in formalwear, girls showing their tits, guys in costumes with their memorabilia hanging out and men holding hands in public. Then, G turned his head and looked down the street and OMG!! There they were! THOSE PLASTIC LEGS. Swinging in and out and in and out of that window.

And the poor little redneck Pentecostal piano player from Nowhere, Tennessee, grabbed hold of the rail, closed his eyes and lifted his head and prayed, "Please, Lord, don't come back to get me right now because if you do, YOU'LL NEVER FIND ME HERE."

And he was dead serious.