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.