For the past couple of weeks, my depression and anxiety have been high… or is it low? I don’t even care.
Realistically, part of me wants to go on a spiteful diatribe about how the darkness is swallowing me, how I feel like I’m drowning, how blah blah blah. You don’t want to read it. I don’t want to write it. I love you, and some of you love me, too. That’s good enough for now. Meanwhile, due to graveyard shifts, I’m not sleeping much, and it’s contributing to the angst.
I’m not going to bleed all over the keyboard today. Instead, you get a funny story. It might do us both some good, eh? Let’s get after it!
American Slang is Lost on the Pakistani
A couple of years ago, I was privileged to spend a week in New Orleans with my wife. It would have been a hum-dinger of a romantic getaway had it not been for a work conference. However, a good part of my expenses were paid by my employer, and they allowed us to stay in town three days after the conference (actually longer, since the flight home got cancelled… long story), so we had plenty of time to enjoy the city, despite the foul odor that permeates every nook and cranny of New Orleans.
All smells aside, it was a good time, so long as the sun was up. That city gets weird after dark. I’d tell you all kinds of horror stories from my time on Bourbon Street, but I never even walked it. There was a part of me that wanted to see it, but the larger part of me has no regrets for missing that freak show.
What about the Pakistani?
I’m getting there. I promise.
One afternoon, my lovely wife was exceptionally wiped out. While I attended the conference, she had free reign over the city and was able to party her socks off all day. She’s relatively hardcore, what with the art museum and all. But on this particular afternoon, she allowed her sensibilities to rule and opted for a nap in the hotel room. I was leaning toward doing the same, but she encouraged me to leave. I suspect that she wanted to watch some girly nonsense on the TV, and didn’t want my commentary. Who could blame her? My best stuff never makes it to the blog, but instead is wasted on her. At least she appreciates it… usually… I think…
At any rate, in defense of her peace and quiet, she convinced me to take a trip into the French Quarter. It was a short walk from our hotel, and after all, when am I ever going to be in New Orleans again? She was right, you know. She usually is. So I conceded and went for a stroll.
I could tell you some crazy stories about what I did in the French Quarter, but they’d all be lies. I went to two used bookstores (of course I bought an old paperback hymnal), a couple of generic gift shops (from which I purchased nothing), and an Indian/Pakistani restaurant.
It’s not that I was really all that hungry, but I like trying different things, and the chromed exterior of the place caught my attention. As it turns out, I made a fabulous decision. The place was called “Salt N Pepper.” Like the lady rappers, but with more consonants. (Sorry, that’s probably pushing it. Pushing it real good.)
Seeing as I was not too hungry, I ordered a pair of samosas. They’re basically deep-fried dumplings stuffed with potatoes, and these were served with a side of hummus. If you think that’s a bad thing, we probably shouldn’t be friends. The food was great, but it was not the highlight.
It was the music.
I’m not even sure how to describe the music that was coming out of the TV…
My eyes and ears were assaulted with these Bollywood music videos that sounded like American pop garbage from the turn of the century. Honestly, I was mesmerized. The music was bad, and the videos were worse. I was eating in front of a train wreck. I didn’t want to look. I knew that I probably shouldn’t. But I couldn’t help myself. All the wreckage and horror was right there, displayed before my very eyes, and all I could do was to drink it all in with a combination of fear and disbelief. This couldn’t be happening, and yet there it was.
Okay… maybe it wasn’t that bad. But it was. And it got worse.
As I sat, quietly enjoying my snack, the following song came on the TV. It’s as bad as any of them, but what happened next…
You don’t have to watch the whole video. In fact, I probably don’t recommend watching the whole video, but for the rest of this post to make much sense, you’ve got to give it at least 15 seconds. Get some lyrics in ya!
(But watch the whole video. It’s great in the worst of ways. I don’t know what the shotguns are about. I don’t know what any of it is about.)
Watch the video. I’ll wait…
But it wasn’t just the song. It was the guy from the kitchen.
Seconds after they start singing, this guy comes running out from the kitchen to ask the fellow at the register an important question:
“This song! What’s this fugly? What’s this fugly mean?”
I almost died. Seriously, I’ve never had to swallow such a huge laugh before in my life, because despite my exemplary church attendance, I do in fact know what fugly means.
If you don’t, it’s like ugly. Only really ugly. Except if it were “really ugly,” it’d be rugly. Try and think of a descriptive f-word. If you can’t come up with one, let’s go with fabulously ugly. That’s close enough.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him. I really wanted to, but I couldn’t do it. Part of me hopes he has figured it out, but really, I hope that he hasn’t yet.
If you think you’d like to enlighten him, here is a map to the restaurant. Might I recommend the samosas?