On Miss Mary's Car

May 10, 2005

After I posted my article on the bad things that I had done, I got an email asking me to relate the details of a misadventure that I had glossed over. I mentioned in that entry that I didn't have the time or space to detail all of the mean things that I had done to our housemother. So by request, here is one such story.

First, some background information is necessary. Our house mother is the first -- and to this day the only -- woman mayor of Baton Rouge. Her husband had been mayor, and when he died, the city apparently decided to name a park after him (Webb park, right down the road from my house), and panic about the succession plan. Somehow, they just talked his wife into finishing his term.


Of course, that had been a full generation before I ever met Miss Mary. I have no idea how the intervening decades transformed the mayor of our city into a slightly crazy, chain-smoking house mother who had not a small appreciation for liquor.

One night, a few of us rolled in late from a night of bar hopping. Rolling in very late was often a time when we showed Miss Mary some love. Usually very noisy, disturbing love.

I don't really remember what led up to this scene, but I can picture it clearly: The guy who looked like Popeye when he got drunk was standing on the roof of Miss Mary's car. He was wearing nothing except some tighty-whities and argyle socks. He faced the front of her car with his dick hanging out, pissing away, laughing like a maniac.

The next night at dinner, Miss Mary explained something strange.

(Now, you have to do your best to read Miss Mary's quotes in her voice. It was the voice that you would use to make fun of how an old lady talks. High pitched, with a drawn out accent, and with a bit of a smoker's rasp. It was also loud, due to the fact that she didn't hear all that well.)

"There were some strange little marks on my car. There were marks where it was scratched. Like something was up there!!"

"Well what do you think it could have been, Miss Mary?"

"I think it was CATTLE!"

We weren't within five miles of the nearest cow. It would have been easy to bust out laughing, but we had to know more.

"Where do you think cattle might have come from?"

"I don't know, but those scratches look like hoof marks. There were CATTLE walking around campus, and they climbed up on my car.."

"Why would they have just climbed up on your car?"

"You may not believe me, but I can show you the marks. There are hoof marks on my car!."

She was very excited about the whole thing. I imagined her call to her auto insurance agent:

"Mr. Insurance Man? Yes...I'd like to report some damage to my car...It seems like some cattle climbed up on top of it....Yes, sir. Cattle....Well, I don't know where they came from. It happened during the night....Yes, right here behind the fraternity house....No, I'm sure it was cattle...."

I'm sure that insurance agent still tells this story all of this time, just like I do.