Last Wednesday, a family of loud white Louisianans wearing “Washington, D.C.” sweatshirts underneath clear plastic ponchos waddled out of the drizzle at Sherman Circle and up the steps of the 62 bus.
The group seemed unaware of the Unwritten Rule of the 62: No talking. (I’ve ridden the 62 at least a hundred times over the past year, and the only conversations I’ve witnessed have been between the bus drivers and their friends—who stand ahead of the yellow line and usually ride for free—and a group of young women who got into a screaming match after one of them accidentally elbowed the other’s baby in the head while the mother was counting change. Usually, we all keep quiet.)
The topic of the Louisianans’ conversation? Pineapple sweet cake and diabetes:
MOTHER: Aww lawd, yuh father is not feeling well today, not well at all.
GROWN SON: Oh mama, don’t I know. I musta ate a hundred pounds a’ chocolate last night!
MOTHER: A’ hundred pounds? That ain’t good for yuh diabetes!
GROWN SON: Mama, you shoulda seen it. I ate some pineapple sweet cake*, some cookie dough, some cookies, and some chocolate cake!
MOTHER: Laud! Did you take yuh insulin?
GROWN SON: You bet I did, mama. Can’t go to no fais do-do** without my insulin.
MOTHER: That’s right. Yo’ daddy didn’t take his insulin, and now he might have to fly back to New Orleans.
*I have no idea what this is. Shorthand, perhaps, for “pineapple sweet potato bread“?
**a type of party native to Louisiana; no, really.
Photo courtesy of flickr user Mel B.