November 2003 Page 28
Mardi Gras Premonition
I live in New Orleans and grew up with Mardi Gras. It used to be exciting when I was younger, but in my early 20s, I got pretty tired of all the traffic, tourists, inflated prices, etc., so I stopped going to the parades. A couple of years ago, however, I'd gotten a bit of momentary carnival spirit and decided that I might actually like to go out on Fat Tuesday. While pondering which of my friends I thought I might like to go with, I decided it would be most fun to go with my buddy Paul. He always has a good time every year. No sooner had I considered him as an option, then I had a flash of him getting arrested for smoking pot in Pirate's Alley - a narrow alley alongside St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter.
Now, I've seen Paul smoke publicly before, and he's never had any problems with the law, so I don't even know why I had that thought. I decided it was just silly, and my Mardi Gras Spirit was gone again within minutes.
I stayed home watching TV on the big day, and got in bed a little after midnight. Thirty minutes later, my phone rang. It was a collect call from prison, from Paul, asking me to bail him out. I asked him what on earth had happened, and he said he'd gotten busted for smoking. I asked where he was, and he said Pirate's Alley. Suddenly, my vision replayed in my mind and I realized it wasn't just silly - it was a premonition!
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