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Wednesday, March 05, 2003


Coming to a Beer Commercial Near You Section

It wasn't until the third pair of exposed breasts that I realized today is Mardi Gras. Initially, I was a bit baffled. Although I'll admit that it wasn't the first time that the woman behind the cash register at the gas station Sip N' Go flashed me some nipple, I just paid for my Peach Snapple and ten bucks of 89 octane and drove away scratching my head.

The girl on the elevator at work asked me what floor, I told her three, she pressed the button. Then she hooted like a Bears fan after a touchdown and yanked her shirt over her head. Before I had time to sort this out, the doors opened and she hopped out. My lucky day, I thought.

The comely Sandwich Artist at the Subway up the block wanted to know if I wanted the six inch or the footlong. I told her the smaller, and before I could tell her I wanted it on wheat her green polo shirt became a turban. Again, with hooting. The classic BMT was delicious, but I kept one eye on her as she slathered the bread of other men with various condiments waiting for another bare-chested eruption that never came. On my way out, she shouted after me, "You forgettin' something?"

"I don't think so."

She reached up to her neck and fingered a string of shiny purple beads.

Ah. Mardi Gras.

I made a detour to the Party Emporium before heading back to the office. Fifty bucks bought me a Hefty bag full of Los Angeles' finest currency this side of a producer's couch, legal tender with a 24 hour half-life.

I wouldn't make it back to the office. I strolled down the street, twirling a fresh string of beads on an outstretched finger. Shirts flew off torsos as if caught on the wrong end of a deep-sea fisherman's line. Shirts rained from the sky, a torrent of baby-doll tees and peasant blouses fluttering to the pavement . Hollywood Boulevard was crackling with unleashed womanhood as I tossed handfuls of beads skyward as quickly as I could scoop them from the bag. Cars screeched to a halt. Motorists hiked up shirts and joined the parade, our hooting and woo-hoo's and fuck-yeah's drowning out the angry horns of those who couldn't, wouldn't join the Fat Tuesday party.

I launched the last handful of beads into the air. Greedy hands from all directions snatched them in mid-flight. I turned my bag inside out, as a beggar might his pockets to show the world insolvency. Shirts swept across chests like curtains after the actors' bows, like blinds drawn once the sun peaks over the house next door. People got back in their cars, necks heavy with costume jewelry.

Beers are poured into the street and course through the gutter.

On the elevator, back at work, I eyed the woman as she pressed the button for my floor. She smiled, white blouse tucked into black skirt. My hand ran over a smooth string of beads in my pocket as I exited on three.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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