Sometimes less is not more
LORI OSIECKI ILLUSTRATION
“Sooooo,” my sister-in-law Gloriosa announces, “I just had a BIG misunderstanding at my waxing appointment. I wanted a bikini-line wax for my water aerobics class. Someone wrote down “Brazilian wax”— bald as Elmer Fudd— and I didn’t find out until too late.
It’s Halloween, and we are at the Sloth Lounge in the Quarter. She is dressed like Marilyn Monroe, but her voice is NOT low and whispery. The room has suddenly gone quiet.
“It was awful. I had to apologize for yelling and scaring people in the waiting room. The cosmetologist had done just one side, so I told her to even it out and leave the front. I left without looking down. I don’t know what ended up happening down there.”
And now the Sloth Lounge is dead silent.
I got to explain.
Other places, Halloween means little kids in cute costumes looking for candy treats. In the Quarter, it means grown-ups looking for a different kind of treat. They want to look sexy, but it’s Halloween, so they also want gory: cheerleaders with tiny skirts, miles of cleavage, and fake blood everywhere; guys flashing their pecs in tank tops with a fake knife handle sticking out their eyeball. Like that.
And they forget how they look, and try to chat with you about the upcoming election or something. It’s distracting.
On Halloween, the Sloth Lounge is like the bar scene in Star Wars, New Orleans style: a nun with a beard, a bloody bride, The Scream, Winnie-the-Pooh with a knife in his back, all lined up sociably sipping drinks. I am wearing my Wonder Woman outfit, with my top a little augmented, but no hatchet in my head or nothing.
That’s when Gloriosa waltzed in, ready to prove to herself she is still young and hot.
She don’t need to prove it to anybody else. Gloriosa got every last good-looking gene in the Gunch family. Huge eyes, high cheekbones, pouty lips, perfect skin, enormous bosom. She will NEVER be asked to be anybody’s bridesmaid.
She makes a perfect Marilyn Monroe, in a blonde wig, a low-cut white dress with a billowy skirt, and her own boobs. Except she got a voice like a trumpet.
After her little speech, I see eyes bugging out from behind all those masks up and down the bar, and I grab her elbow and zip her upstairs to the balcony.
My gentleman friend Lust, who owns the Sloth, is there along with a mummy, a skeleton with a rubber snake in its nose, and my mother-in-law, Ms. Larda, in a witch hat. We got a great view of the crowd below, milling and leering and taking selfies.
Immediately Gloriosa repeats the whole Brazilian wax story to the balcony group, which also goes silent.
Then Ms. Larda says —she sounds more like a French horn than a trumpet— “Well, I don’t wax nothing but my kitchen floor, and I use Flo-Glo Wax, not Brazilian.”
She gets quiet for a minute. I know she is thinking things she is embarrassed to be thinking. She says, “Are Catholics even allowed to do this? What does the pope say?” I don’t know if the pope has ever thought about waxing. I hope not. She goes on, “Is it like mustache wax? Couldn’t you just use hair spray? Extra hold?”
Immediately, the mummy walks into the balcony table and knocks over the big umbrella in the middle of it. The umbrella teeters over the balcony railing, and Gloriosa leaps to catch it. A breeze catches her skirt as she bends over the railing, and we all get a unexpected view.
“Gloriosa! Never wear underpants you caught off a Carnival float,” Ms.Larda says.
Then she and me jump up to help, and we wrestle this umbrella back onto the balcony. I realize not one of the men pitched in to help. Actually, I don’t think any of them have blinked yet.
Later on, I ask Lust what he saw.
He says, “What? Nothing! Innocent of all charges. I didn’t even know the Bacchus parade threw purple-green-and-gold panties.”
He should of remained silent.