I love Women like I love my food, and I love My Food- Mr Okra

One time I was driving on Frenchmen Street, it was about 2 in the afternoon, just bringing the bikes back home after a tour.  Mr Okra was driving in front, of me right behind me was a random 20something, it was a sunny day and a nice spot for mind wandering right in front of Washington Square Park. In fact I was thinking about how Mr Okra always gave a wave to the folks I take out on tours, and they always remark how fun someone like him makes our city seem. Someone on the street, lured outside by the siren sound cadence of Mr Okra’s Banana call waved him down and vegetable deals were being made. One of those moments you just love New Orleans. My revelry was broken by a loud honk. And another, longer, this time… WTF?

Mr OkraI looked behind me and the hipster doofus was honking his horn. He looked disgusted. Did he just honk Mr Okra? I thought. I stuck my head out of the window; “Did you just oink Mr Okra”. Truth be told, I’m fuzzy on what happened next…one of those rages where everything goes red; but his point seemed to be that the street was for modern conveyance, the comings and goings of the industrial world. My counterpoint was that if I ever saw him in this town, any where, my 135 pounds of unpleasure would be unleashed upon him. YOU DO NOT HONK MR OKRA! is all I remember yelling. THIS IS HIS CITY, NOT YOURS. The fellow in the car, probably thinking I was way less sane than I am, backed down and sat there quietly the next 2 minutes until Mr Okra’s truck had less vegetables and his hands had more money.

Traffic started moving again, and I never thought again of that guy until today. Either he moved from New Orleans back to some bigger city where old men in hand painted trucks don’t drive through beautifully dilapidated neighborhoods selling fruits and vegetables and filling the city with catchy refrains; or he stayed here and slowly learned why we love New Orleans, why Mr Okra has the right of way at all times and normal traffic laws don’t apply to everyone in this city.

One day, I hope to be sitting in a bar…could be tomorrow, could be 20 years from now…the once hipster doofus who was in the car behind me will see me and recognize me. He will buy me a drink and say “Sir, you were right, You just don’t honk Mr. Okra”

All this came back to me because I just watched the best feel good New Orleans 10 minute movie I’ve ever seen, TG Herringtons, Mr. Okra. For those from elsewhere in the United States, watch, and listen. Mr Okra is New Orleans.

Mr Okra – A short Film. (I still can’t imbed video, this is a link to the Youtube video)