Sandra Tsing Loh's visit to New Orleans.
So, I finally got swallowed up by Twitter. I joined as a joke - Then, due to one feature story, I gained 1000 new Twitter followers practically overnight - And I became obsessed - I started checking my number of Twitter followers every hour. Not that I was not actually tweeting anything!
But, even then, the numbers would go up and down like the stock market! Or, like the number of bacteria in a petri dish. It is true my various social media streams have by now become quite infected. The only thing viral about my Facebook page is ads for fake Oakley sunglasses that keep popping up and trying to friend people.
Add to that the continual SPAM I get for Dr. Oz stomach shrinking secrets, Russian brides, products for "male enhancement" - I am less a person than a human host for renegade brands to flow through me to my friends, most of whom I don't know. Thank God for the recent wedding of my friends Danette and Randy in New Orleans. The sights, sounds, and smells of the French Quarter are as real as anything on earth can get.
Preservation Hall is a small wooden shack with an age-warped floor that undulates like the ocean's bottom. No air-conditioning, only hand-fans. Real sweat. Fantastic vows, fantastic music - And then, you are handed a Moscow Mule - essentially ginger ale and vodka in a plastic go-cup - an armload of beads, and you are pushed out onto Bourbon Street behind a marching band which is playing: "Oh, when the saints, go marching in!" You are the second line.
This may be some people's vision of hell, but look. Our bride Danette is dressed like Marilyn Monroe in a mermaid dress with a gigantic magic wand. It's summer in New Orleans, which celebrates not just day drinking, but morning drinking! There is an actual local drink called The Pancake Shot. We are French Quarter rock stars. Mobs of tourists light up like it's Christmas when they see us. They cheer, applaud, laugh, cry, lift their iPhones to take video.
Beads in one hand, Moscow Mule in the other, I cannot believe how fun this is and what an awesome parade we have become. Where is my third hand to get my iPhone out to take a selfie, photo, video, anything - ? I should tweet this - Ech - Unless I grow a robot third limb it is absolutely beyond my power to document this moment.
Then again, hungover as we all were the next morning, perhaps that was a good thing! Except for a few thousand iPhone-movie-taking tourists, what happens outside the Twitterverse stays outside the Twitterverse. We think.