Beads, Broads and
Another whirlwind Mardi Gras season
is over and what have we learned? That the only piece of plastic
that will even come within spitting distance of raising my shirt
is the kind with raised numbers on one side and a magnetic strip
on the other. And even that wonít work every time.
Seriously, after attending a number
of the Mardi Gras parades I cannot believe what people will
do for a string of shiny plastic beads worth no more than 22
cents. Really now, what are these people thinking?
Now Iíll admit that I am easily distracted
by shiny objects. Iíll even admit to elbowing people out of
the way to snag beads thrown from floats. (Iíll never admit
to elbowing that four-year-old out of the way so you can tell
that lawyer to stop calling me.) But I have never allowed my
self to be so distracted by the shininess of an object that
I lose sight of its potential resale value. And frankly, I had
expected the same kind of heartless calculation from this current
crop of gravity-defying bead babes.
Boy was I wrong. For the first time this year I was invited
to attend one of the ďhaveĒ parties where you lounge around
in a building on the parade route, drink wine and fling beads
at the eager masses below. Kind of Marie Antoinette-ish in a
way, although no one seemed to notice my frequent screams of,
ďCake, eat cake, you fools!Ē Except maybe the host, which means
Iíll likely be back at the ďhave-notĒ parties on the street
next year. He shouldnít have allowed me access to cake knowing
my tendencies and the likelihood that I would fling it irresponsibly.
But thatís neither here nor there nor even over yonder.
What was staring us in the face were an amazing number of naked
people parts. Question: if you encourage someone to get naked
for junk jewelry without getting naked yourself, are in the
same kind of lawbreaker category? Maybe that lawyer can call
me just one more time. I have a hypothetical question for her.
I just have to worry about
the state of the universe in general when I see so many people
Ė male and females alike Ė willing to expose themselves without
a thought toward carat weight, color and clarity. Maybe Iím
cynical. Strike that, Iím definitely cynical but Iíd like to
think that this current crop of gravity-free youth could get
a handle on when and where to get naked. Trust me when I tell
you that appearing in the Girls (or Guys) Gone Wild videos will
not get you that SAG card youíre after and truly isnít a resume
You should keep that off your
MySpace page too. Iíve recently joined the online revolution
and started up? created? cut and pasted? my very own MySpace
page. Itís part of my attempt at some sort of cultural hipness
and relevance. Iím not doing very well with it.
I know this because now
I can measure my popularity minute by minute, day by day and
second by second. Itís not pretty. I thought I had plenty of
friends. People I spoke with on a regular basis, people whose
birthdays I sometimes remember, people who truly care about
me and my darling hubby and those damned dogs of ours Ė friends,
damnit, I have friends.
Apparently not. According
to MySpace, I only have seven friends. Seven. And one of them
I donít even know. Somethingís wrong here. Itís possible that
most of my real life friends donít have a MySpace page and so
cannot be part of my imaginary friend circle but youíd think
someone would want to hang in an imaginary fashion. Itís enough
to dishearten a girl.
Iíve been snooping
through other peopleís MySpace pages and I think Iíve discovered
what Iím doing wrong. Leaving out all of the blinking fonts,
cool backgrounds and snatches of music from incredibly hip yet
somehow unsigned bands, my page is missing something vital.
Itís not just my glaring lack of technical and programming skill.
Itís something more.
Nudity. Thatís what
itís missing. And itís not like I didnít try. I posted some
very clever photos of the Dynamic Dog Duo, Death Breath 3 and
4, to no avail. I even went a little edgy with the photos. Death
Breath 4 is sporting nothing but plastic mouse ears and Death
Breath 3 is featured wearing little more than a mountain of
Mardi Gras beads and yet, amazingly, this little bit of canine
soft core has completely failed to drive visitors to my site
so that they could become part of my imaginary friend circle.
Perhaps itís my fault. I canít find the photos on my page
so Iím not sure that any casual doggy porn fan could happen
upon them either. And realistically, Iím not so sure that I
want to make friends Ė even imaginary friends Ė with someone
who looks at the Death Breaths in that way. Still, youíd think
someone would care.
I may not be able
to handle this MySpace thing. I may just have to go back to
the old school method of entertaining and offending people.
Thereís a lot to be said for seeing your words on the printed
page instead of on the web page. Thatís one thing that can go
on your resume and can make a difference.
Which brings us to Molly
Ivins. I wonít bore you with a repeat of all of her many credits,
triumphs and clever turns of phrase. Youíve read and heard it
all by now. What I will tell you is that we should all take
a minute to remember the broad. Thatís right, broad. Ivins never
laid claim to ladylike behavior, instead she took every chance
to stomp her cowboy boot clad foot and raise hell on behalf
of others. Thatís what broads do. And they do it while laughing.
She didnít shy away from
writing unpopular opinions. She never missed an opportunity
to point out corrupt or idiotic behavior on the part of our
elected officials and she by god would have held out for quality
before showing you her assets. I miss her.
In one of her final columns she encouraged us to raise
hell, stand up for ourselves and our rights and hold people
accountable for their bad behavior. Good sound practical advice.
The kind of advice that comes from broads who know which beads
are worth it and which of them arenít.
Now go raise a little hell.
Graham is a stand up comic, humorist and voice artist living
happily on the coolest island in the US
. She can be reached at Lyssa@LyssaGraham.com
or catch her performing standup or with the best (and only)
improv comedy group on Galveston
. See that damned MySpace page
MySpace.com/LyssaGraham for show schedules.