Sunday, June 01, 2008

Maggie and Belle's Grand Adventure

In which the denizens of Desert Farne run amok in the Big Easy

Belle the Hippoposterous: Why does our deck seem like some kind of prison, Mags?

Margaret Macrina Dolphin, aka Maggie: Wrong kind of bars, Belle. Daddy drives downtown every day - just blocks from the French Quarter - and leaves us here to perish of boredom.

Belle: Tell me. I had to spend the first week here by myself during the day. I'm so glad you got to join me or I would have done something desperate. What, I don't know, but hippos have their limits.

Maggie: I was hoping I'd get to join you. It's been too long since I got to go anywhere and I'm not a stay-at-home girl.

Daddy (of camera): Maggie, I'm beginning to worry that you take after your older sister Selena more than I thought. Ever since she ran off with Taylor the Walrus I've hoped the rest of my daughters had better sense.

[Belle and Maggie roll eyes in unison and don't even both to respond to the old man.]

Maggie: Let's blow this pop stand. I'm up for a romp.

Belle: And Grandmère is coming to see us today! I'm so glad she was willing to be our honorary Grandmère.

Maggie: So that's the fountain we listen to day and night.

Belle: We had some rain when I arrived here and for a while I thought it was raining all the time. Silly me, but it does sound like rain.

Belle: Wow, this is fun. Here I used to live about a mile from the streetcar line on St Charles but never got to ride one before. Hooray for Mimi!

Maggie: Hi, Grandmère. You're so pretty. Btw, popster, is that woman behind you licking her lips or sticking out her tongue? Should we be concerned?

Daddy: Now girls, behave. I don't want us thrown of the streetcar before we've even traveled a mile.
Belle: There's Audubon Park. We took a walk there two weeks ago.

Maggie: Just checking, Dad. I wanted to make sure your very first Sazerac was mixed right.

Daddy: And what do you know about Sazeracs, my precocious sea creature?

Maggie: Don't ask. Don't tell. Don't pursue. And can you order one each for Belle and me?

Grandmère: Are these girls old enough to drink?

Daddy: Well, a gentleman does not discuss a lady's age, but yes, they are.

Grandmère in the Palace Cafe on Canal Street, a truly lovely spot for Sunday brunch.

With live music, no less. Bass, guitar, and saxophone/vocals.

Belle: Eat your heart out, Dubya. I'm not afraid to come to Jackson Square in the daytime.

Maggie (off camera): And you didn't start any wars, big sister!

Belle: He is such a [expletive deleted].

Daddy (off camera): Language! Grandmère is here.

Maggie: She doesn't think much of him either.

Belle: Grandmère is such a good sport. She poses for fun pictures.

Maggie: I worry about this one. If the Mad One gets hold of it, anything could happen.

Belle: If he doesn't want a hippo attack, he'd better behave.

Maggie: That's right. We stick up for our grandmothers, honorary or otherwise.

Belle: Solidarity with the Sisterhood!

Daddy, muttering: And I chose to have daughters.

Maggie: Stuff it, Pops. We brighten your life and you know it, even though we have more brothers than sisters.

Daddy: Yes, you do brighten my life. If only you'd behave in public.

Belle (dripping with sarcasm): And you do.

[Audible snickering]

Belle: Well, Maggie, that was fun.

Maggie: I'm so glad the Shriekster and Red Boy suggested we get our own series. Do you think Hollywood is ready for us yet?

Belle: I hear that New Mexico has been making quite a grab for film production. Do we have any connections with Richardson's office?

Maggie: Not yet. Let's work on it.

With a shout out to the Dance Party crew, whom we could never match, and to whom we send fond regards.

Daddy's post script: Bunrab, my girls are lovely but you'd better keep your paws to yourself. Just saying.

-the BB and the Desert Farne traveling players


FranIAm said...


I love this.

The girls are precocious and adorable.

Which is also how I think of Mimi and you!

I have eaten at the Palace Cafe myself.

And there in the distance, St. Louis Cathedral and the one and only place that I ever saw anyone denied communion.

Paul said...

Oh dear. And there, dear Fran, is another story, no?

Kirstin said...

Great kids. :-)

Didja get the crabmeat cheesecake? (My rector is friends with the owners. He recommended that, and the first time I got it, I had to split it three ways.)

Paul said...

Kirstin, no, though crabmeat is one of the very few seafoods I eat. I had the requisite Sazerac, the first of my life, which I quite enjoyed, the chicken Fontalba (or Pontalba), a breaded chicken breast on a bed of potatoes and mushrooms and spinach with watercress garnish -all quite delicious - and a chocolate turtle cheesecake for dessert.

Kirstin said...


Lindy said...

GrandmèreMimi is pretty, isn't she?

Great post Paul. Makes me feel like I was there.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Paul, this is delightful. I am exhausted. Where did you find the energy to do this tonight? And how will I top this with my side of the story? I won't, you know. Mine will seem dull.

Belle and Maggie are adorable and well-behaved girls, and don't let their daddy tell you otherwise. I felt sad when I kissed them good-bye, because it will be a while before I see them again. Oh, and Paul, too. I feel sad about him. We had a lovely day. Thanks for the delicious lunch, love.

You know, we are all mad.

Jane R said...

Fab post! LOVE the girls. Love Grandmère even more. :-)

Auntie Jane wants a Sazerac.

Tandaina- said...

Awww, what cute sweet girls. You and Mimi are adorable as always. What fun, someday I should be so lucky!

Earthbound Spirit said...

Looks like a wonderfully fun time! I confess to a deprived existence - what is a Sazerac? And, Paul - sounds like you have a couple of outspoken, strong-minded daughters there... just like my human ones!

Paul said...

Earthbound, I am afraid not one of my children (and there are many) is the least bit shy, though all are playful, the apple falling not far.... Some are sweet, some are skeptical, some pious, some anything but, and all of them very loving with the omnicompassion of dogs.

As for a Sazerac, not quite the state drink of Louisiana, I heard of it from Mimi here and here. The one I had yesterday (though it seems days ago already) had a hint of anise, a flavor I love. Bring on the Pastis and let's play pétanque!

susan s. said...

As I said at Mimi's, wonderful pictures.

And I do read your blog even when I don't post. Some of it is so heartbreaking, I wouldn't know what to say.

Love to your girls!

Paul said...

Thanks, Susan S. The girls send kisses.

I sent my sister links to the New Orleans adventures with photos. She observes: "Your daughters are a bit "racy"! I guess you can be anything you want to be in NOLA!"

LOL. Aunt Iva is roughly Mimi's age, I am guessing, though not quite so adventurous. Greater Fresno is not Greater New Orleans.

When all is said and done I think my girls are really very "good" girls who just like to flirt and get lippy. Heaven knows they cut me no slack.

Grandmère Mimi said...

When all is said and done I think my girls are really very "good" girls who just like to flirt and get lippy.

Maggie and Belle take after me already, and we just met!

Paul said...

And what a fabulous role model you are, Mimi! The girls could not have picked a better honorary Grandmère.

Now they're asking me if you can teach them some gris-gris or whatever y'all do when the menfolk aren't around.

Earthbound Spirit said...

Thanks for the link to Mimi's blog & the Sazerac recipe. Sounds like something I'll try someday - perhaps I need to visit NOLA again. Last time I was there I was pregnant & drinking nothing with alcohol in it. (As for apples not falling far... Well, you read about my youngest over at my blog.)

I'm so glad you're posting pictures!