Thursday, June 01, 2006
At the end of this first day of hurricane season, Fanny is feeling lucky. Her house hasn’t taken the dive yet. She tells her landlady, “Duke of Luck is on my side today. Let's gamble.” They walked to the neighborhood saloon where all the arm wrestlers and mud wrestlers gather to gamble, grunt, and pray. Recently, three sumo wrestlers were flown in from Matsue, Japan. The city is taking a chance to see if three squating sumos will be sufficient to help support the levees. And now the patrons in the saloon are putting money on it. "Five bucks says we stay dry." Fanny said, "Cheers." Then Fanny was informed that tonight the whole city is celebrating the wrestlers contribution by observing a Shinto salt ritual outside the graveyard at dusk. Everyone will be there, including wayward saints, mellow hornets, timid zephyrs, and Voodoo queens. The ritual is a way for New Orleanians to thank international aid workers for their help. Fanny has invited three dates; each will carry a case of wine on each shoulder. Her landlady whoops, "Yes. Indulge!" Fanny raises her arms skyward, screws up her face, and shakes. She's calling down the old spirit of southern decadence.