Someone (obviously NOT a friend, just someone who wants to laugh at me) asked me to retell this story recently. I thought ya’ll might like it, too. Please don’t read any more (or any less) into any part of it. I am not making fun of anyone, making light of any illness, injury or disability. (The fact that I feel obligated to put a disclaimer out 1st shouldn’t concern you in the least.)
We were in New Orleans getting ready for a cruise to Mexico. We had 2 full days to explore New Orleans and took advantage of all that goes with a trip to NOLA. We were traveling with my sister-in-law and her husband and their grown daughter and her husband.
Well, my niece wants to go to Carnival World. Whatever. There’s a ferry that takes you across THE river, drops you at the dock and a van-bus will pick you up and drop you at the door of whatever the hell Carnival World is. But it was a little over an hour before the ferry departed and my niece and her husband weren’t there yet.
As luck would have it, we found this nice little open-air, beach side bar and decided to wait there in the comfort, cool and alcohol-filled atmosphere instead. As Mac picked up the menu, I caught site of the ‘daily specials’. Cajun Monsters were on the list …so naturally we ordered a pitcher.
Now, I don’t know EXACTLY what is in a Cajun Monster, but lemme tell ya…it tastes like liquid gold and honey mixed in with some nectar of the Gods. And it went down quick and easy. So quick and easy, it’s possible I was slightly tipsy (OK, already, I was DRUNK) when the ferry came to fetch us…
Luckily, I could rest on the ferry and the mini bus. When we got to the damn Carnival Land place, my super special, loving, caring, compassionate family all got off the van bus and left my ass there.
BUT not to worry, I got up, straightened up and headed off the bus ALL BY MYSELF. I made it down the steps (even the damn driver got off the bus!), and stood by the door of the van-bus, looking for my loving husband.
Now, at this point, it’s possible I was slightly weaving, but there is no proof of that, so I’ll just go with ‘waving in the sunshine’ and let it go.
Here’s the part that makes the entire story: There, just a few feet away, was the kindest, gentlest, sweetest, most precious thing I had ever seen ~ it was a 110 year old, wrinkled up black man with a wheel chair and he said words I will never forget:
“Ma’am, would you be needing a wheelchair?”
“Why, yes…yes I would. Thank you SOOO much.”
I sat my happy ass down in that wheelchair, grabbed the wheels and took off. Some sweet soul opened the door to the ticket place (you have to PAY to go to Carnival World??? WTH???) and I saw Mac….standing there buying tickets (CRAZY!) for us. He looked down at me, with that slightly puzzled-WHATAREYOUDOING look he has so often when we’re together and didn’t bat an eyelash. I continued navigating the wheelchair thru the aisle of postcards (FOR REAL?), trinkets and souvenirs the ticket-selling-place had on display, feeling like I was getting the hang of this thing.
So, off we go touring Carnival World, I was zipping thru there like a bat outta hell on wheels. AND THEN, we got to try on costumes….well, I didn’t really want our tour mates to KNOW I was in the wheelchair because I was DRUNK, so I had to don the costume (that hundreds, maybe THOUSANDS of people, I don’t even know have put on before me…OMG! How can I get out of this!!) while I was IN the wheelchair. No problem, just drape that puppy right over me and we’ll be set.
And they did…..
Tater loves to look at our photo albums and, of course, I put THIS picture in there for the cruise. She always wants me to tell her the story of “Why are you a wheelchair in this picture, Sasha?”…and I start just like I do every time…
“Well, baby…you see it’s like this…Sasha tripped over a turtle on the beach one day…..”