Hotel Beer

posted in: Confessions, Travel 9
I was never a fan. Then came Tuesday. Image: Wikipedia.



Where in the world is Mary Fons?

Louisiana, and all the time.

Well, I’m back in Chicago tonight, but I’ve returned from Louisiana once again. You see, Quiltfolk’s Issue 07 features quilt culture in the exquisitely gorgeous Pelican State — now on newsstands and subscriber mailboxes everywhere! — and because we have successfully launched Quiltfolk Patterns concurrently with that issue I have visited Louisiana not once, not twice, not three, nor four times in the past few months, but five times. Five times! I’m practically looking at apartments.

Louisiana is a fine state full of fabulous people; I’m about to give you an example. But first I need to sit here a minute and dab (daub?) my forehead, which in a parallel universe is still dripping with sweat. In this (gross) parallel universe, I am literally wringing out my shirt. In a parallel universe, I am guzzling water, lemonade, iced coffee, and air conditioning condensation to rehydrate myself because the heat and humidity in Louisiana have taken my very soul and baked it and cooked it and braised it till there is nothing left. Nothing left!

What I’m trying to say is that it’s hot down in Loo’siana in the summertime. I talked to a local on Trip No. 219,920 about it.

“I don’t know, man,” I said. “I really like New Orleans, but this heat is killin’ me. I guess you guys must get used to it.”

The man just looked at me and swiped his forehead with a bandana. “No ma’am, you never get used to it. It’s just no damn good. Everyone pretty much tries to leave in the summer. What brings you to town?”

So on Tuesday, I was down there for a location shoot. I can tell you more about that later; suffice to say now, it was a very challenging day. It rained on and off. We were shooting at two different locations. The humidity was at 100 percent. I was with lovely people, but all of them were first-timers for Quiltfolk, so I was the usual mother hen, directing things and managing things, but I also was the only one on the shoot who had done this particular thing before. So it was a lot. Oh, and because flying into Shreveport costs about as much as flying to Paris, we all flew into Dallas and drove to Louisiana, which was a 4.5 hour drive that started at 6:00 a.m.

When we finally wrapped for the day, I left the girls at the car to begin check-in the 3-star hotel — which will go unnamed for reasons that will be evident — where we were staying that night before rolling out for Dallas in the wee hours (again.) When I came in the automatic doors, the girl behind the front desk did a double-take. I didn’t look disheveled: I looked like I had been swimming with alligators. All day. I tried to be chipper and perky but there was no chip, no perk. I handed over the credit card. I mumbled something about being out in the heat all day.

“Ooh!” she said. “That’s bad!”

“Well, it’s always nice to be in Louisiana,” I said, a last flicker of my humanity coming through. “Me and the crew are gonna go get some dinner and drink a couple beers. That should put us right.”

The girl stopped. “You need a beer.” Then, she called to the guy over in the breakfast nook. “Roger! You got some of those Budweisers in the fridge?”

Roger came over. “Yeah, I do. You want a couple? I got Bud and I got Bud Lite.”

I just looked at them. This was a hotel that rhymed with, you know, Smolliday Inn or Shmampton Schmin or Schmarriot Schmotel. You know? This was highly irregular — and righteously rad. I don’t even like Budweiser!

“Yes,” I said. “Yes, I do want that beer. You people are angel people.”

And they sent me on my way with not one but two Buds. Which I gave to the girls. And they drank them.



9 Responses

  1. Cheryl Emanuel
    | Reply

    You are so sweet, Mary!! I know what you mean about the heat and humidity in Louisiana. We were there a couple of weeks ago and it was brutal. So much worse than Iowa!

  2. Janet
    | Reply

    LOL! Welcome to the South in the Summer. I live in NW Arkansas, with much less….swelter…but about the same heat. It is about this time of year the natives start thinking with glee about the cooler days of the year. Note that during said cooler days of the year the same folks are waxing nostalgic about summer heat.

    Yeah, I know. 🙂

    For those of us who don’t wilt but actually melt in the summer heat, it ain’t pretty, or fun.

    Look at it this way, Mary, at least you didn’t get stuck in a blizzard. 🙂

  3. Janet Borchardt
    | Reply

    so when I look at my copy of quiltfolk from LA, I will picture you melting in the heat and humidity and think what an exceptional job you did! thanks for that, lived in Georgia and Alabama so know exactly how you suffered!

  4. Jess Irwin
    | Reply

    I love everything about this.

  5. Colleen
    | Reply

    I am just back from a vacation visit with grandchildren we were in Alabama.

    Your story sounds so familiar

    We decided the people in the area we were in did this

    If asked a question they did not know the answer to they would just tell you something else

    We had 2 cars for our large family going across a toll bridge my son in the first car asked if he could pay for the car behind also ( car behind him was the second car in our group) the toll taker told him there is a way to drive that you don’t pass over the bridge or pay a toll

    Just one example it happened more than once

    The answer had zero to do with the question

    But everyone was very polite

  6. Ann
    | Reply

    I lived in Louisiana for 12 years and nearly melted into my shoes every day except for one or two in January. I survived because of the kind, wonderful people and the beautiful scenery. And beer and central air.

  7. Jan
    | Reply

    A few years ago I found myself driving across country from California to help my sister move. Came to the mid-section of the country. Summer, Kansas City, hot -✅; humid – ✅. Got out of the air conditioned truck and my glasses fogged up! How do people live there? How did pioneers settle there?

  8. Helen Marie
    | Reply

    About Budweiser I agree. My fave is yuengling porter but I’ll order black & tan if I’m out and about!

  9. LisaE
    | Reply

    Just wait until you get to Texas! Maybe Quiltfolk should schedule that one in January or February! Texas is the only state where concrete has a liquid state!! Ha! I wish I could post a cartoon that I came across…it shows some people on an elevator which has stopped at the floor of hell. Satan says, “Texas, oh that’s one floor down.” Just sayin’

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