The current drama in Lafayette right now is Drag Queen Storytime at the Library. I mean people are freaking out y’all. I guess my long stint in New Orleans is why I was surprised by the uproar. My girls first walks were taken through the French Quarter and we saw all walks of life. If they had a question I just explained it to them and we went about our day. I am sure many parents would argue with me and think this was irresponsible parenting. No matter their opinion this is how I choose to parent. I believe that you can’t hide your children from the world so you might as well prepare them for it. All three of my girls have perfect conduct records, good grades and know how to behave appropriately. You may not agree with my parenting techniques but it’s working for us, so bring on the drag queens.
This seems the right time to share one of the many Decatur Street stories. As I have said before these stories are sometimes second, third and fourth hand. No matter how perfect the details are they still give me a good laugh so I will share them for as long as I can.
It was a Summer night in New Orleans circa 2002. As per usual, Summer is when locals really take over Decatur Street - the good ones and the bad ones. At one of the more popular bars on the corner of Esplanade and Decatur was a much-anticipated Drag Show. All our local boys in their finest. High heels and tall wigs everywhere. The organizer was a very tall man with a what sounded like a harsh German accent. I have heard he was Austrian-Mongolian, German- Mongolian, and some other varieties but always the Mongolian. All you need to picture is a tall, olive-skinned man wearing platform heels and a vagina inspired wig yelling in a harsh accent.
Along with the Summer being a time when locals got to enjoy the bars more it also was the time when locals robbed bars more. Combine school being out and the sudden drop in easy tourist money and bar robberies spiked.
The show started and the crowd slowly increasing as people could hear it from the street. In the middle of the show, an unwanted guest appeared. Now, this is where I like to mentally picture the scene. A man walks in a bar ready to rob the place. Expecting a smoky bar with a couple regulars and a hungover and slightly intoxicated bartender. Instead, he walks in and the first thing he sees is men in drag being cheered on by a crowd of revelers. As the shock sinks in, he goes into auto-drive and holds up the gun demanding the bartender give him money. Before he knows whats happening a 6-foot 6-inch man in 4-inch heels, ball gown and a giant vagina wig are flying at him. I am sure that punch had to look slo-mo as he tried to process this turn of events. As I heard it in the wee hours of the morning. The man in drag had lunged off the stage. Bolted through the crowd at a record-breaking speed and laid this man out in one punch. He then picked him up off the floor, drug him outside and tossed him like a rag doll in the street yelling in his harsh German accent, “YOU DO NOT INTERRUPT MY SHOW!”
I am quite certain, the would-be robber has never told this story. Could you imagine going back to your buddies, all banged up and them asking what happened? What do you say? "It was horrible man, this giant Mongolian in heels and a vagina wig took me out in one punch and then went right back to singing, he didn’t even break a nail." On the other hand, this became a regular Decatur Street tall tale and I hope it survives for decades to come. I will one day get an artist to draw me a rendering of this fight scene and proudly hang it in my house.
That day a drag queen possibly saved multiple people lives without a thought. So if you want to read my girls a book, you go right ahead. You can dress somebody up till they resemble a disco ball on acid but you can't make them a good person. The lesson? You can’t judge a book by its cover. Even if it’s cover is covered in sparkles and vaginas.