Problems by the Pair
I got a question: How come, if heath insurance covers Viagra, why don’t it cover something that would make my bosom bigger? It don’t have to be implants exactly; maybe something that would work like Viagra – make my bosom swell up to a D-cup just when I need it, like when I’m being introduced to Harrison Ford.
I am sorry for talking dirty, but I been thinking about that ever since what happened to my sister-in-law Gloriosa.
Gloriosa has everything: she’s drop-dead gorgeous, smart as a whip, married to money – plus, she lives in a big house Uptown that never even flooded and she has two healthy kids, one boy and one girl. On top of that, her bra size has got to be near the end of the alphabet, if you know what I mean.
But evidently this ain’t enough, because her husband Proteus is watching the kids every Saturday night so she can make the novena at the St. Jude Shrine on North Rampart Street.
A novena is a Catholic thing where you go to special church services every week for nine weeks in a row to pray for a special intention – maybe for somebody who’s sick to be cured, or for us to be spared from hurricanes, or for tickets to Oprah – something.
Normally everybody in the Gunch family would know exactly what Gloriosa wanted out of this novena. Even though we don’t all live on the same street no more since Katrina, we know all about my mother-in-law Ms. Larda’s colonoscopy, Cousin Luna’s itch, my bikini wax (a mistake), Gloriosa’s kids’ polo lessons – everything. It is the Gunch underground telegraph – also known as Ms. Larda’s mouth.
But this time Ms. Larda ain’t been told.
Thing is, she lives in Chalmette and watches the news, and she has concluded that New Orleans is the axle of evil. She thinks all of us here should lock ourselves up behind closed doors at all times. She wouldn’t approve of Gloriosa being on North Rampart Street on a Saturday night, even it there’s a church with a St. Jude Shrine there.
Me and my youngest daughter Gladiola live in the French Quarter in a little apartment behind the Sloth Lounge, which my gentleman friend Lust owns. It ain’t Chalmette but it’s nice, and we ain’t been killed yet.
The church on Rampart Street is walking distance from the Sloth and for the last eight Saturdays, Gloriosa and me have got together for frozen Irish coffees before she goes to her novena.
I always spend the whole time not asking her what this novena is about and she spends the whole time not telling me. I know she’s making a novena but she has made me promise not to tell nobody.
Today she looks at the time and bolts off, clutching her drink in a go-cup. When I get home, Gladiola asks where Aunt Gloriosa is. I say she ran off to Rampart Street. Gladiola repeats this into the phone and hangs up. “Grandma Larda wanted to know,” she says.
Well, Ms. Larda immediately calls Gloriosa’s cell phone to check whether she’s dead. Gloriosa answers just as she’s tossing her go-cup in the trash can in front the church but when she drops the cup, she also drops the phone. It disappears down her bosom.
Now for me, this wouldn’t be a problem, being as my cup size ain’t no bigger than a cell phone. Gloriosa is another story. She has lost the thing.
But she can’t stand on the church steps groping herself. So she goes inside and hopes for the best.
Back to Ms. Larda. She distinctly heard Gloriosa say “hello.” Then there was a little shriek, and then a mmffmmmff noise as the phone settled itself in Gloriosa’s ampleness. Ms. Larda can’t imagine what that is. Somebody tying and gagging her?
She yells for Gloriosa to keep calm; help is coming. Ms. Larda got a voice that carries, so Gloriosa got to tell her cleavage to pipe down.
Remember how we used to be startled when people had conversations with themselves in public? But now we all know to look for the blue cell phone thing on their ear.
Well, you still attract attention if you start conversing with your own bosom in church. Gloriosa realizes this but this is her ninth Saturday and there’s no way she’s leaving now, even if her bosom’s squawking.
Finally, Ms. Larda hangs up and calls me, hysterical. I tell her I’ll get Lust to drive me to Rampart Street right now and make sure Gloriosa’s all right.
When we get to the church, I slip inside, crouch next to the St. Expedite statue there and I spot Gloriosa in the back pew with her hands crossed over her chest, real pious. Ms. Larda has called again but her bosom ain’t answering, so the phone just plays her ring tone, the “Star Spangled Banner,” for a long time and then it stops and starts up again with the “1812 Overture” to indicate somebody (Ms. Larda) has sent a text message. A bosom doesn’t muffle the sound of fireworks as much as you would think it would.
I step outside and call Ms. Larda myself – thank God for call interrupt – and tell her the truth. I also say she’s disrupting the congregation.
Well, Ms. Larda’s embarrassed enough to wait a day before she calls to find out what this novena business is all about.
Turns out, Gloriosa don’t want to admit it, being a perfect mother and all, but she needs a nanny. Mary Poppins preferably but she’ll settle for a nice illegal alien. And come to find out, Ms. Larda knows of one.
Long story short, Gloriosa now has her nanny. She also reset her cell phone to vibrate only. There’s another story there but it’ll have to wait.