Sunday, July 21, 2013

Debbie does delusion

I have a friend.  I know, shocking.  We'll call her Debbie.  (She once wore a bonnet and bore a striking likeness to the snack cake empress, so we started calling her "Little Debbie.")

Some years ago, Debbie, her boyfriend, a couple other friends and I went to the Mardi Gras.  It was 1990-something.  We were young.  We had no idea what was in store....  OK, so I suppose we had some idea.

We would stay in Mobile, whose Mardi Gras celebrations, I learned, actually pre-date those in New Orleans by several years.  We'd check out the parades in Mobile one day, and drive over to check out the scene in New Orleans another day.

But this is not a Mardi Gras story, per se.  It's more of a Little Debbie story -- the friend, not the snack cake.  (Though I could discuss Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Creme Pies, and Banana Twins at length.)  It's  a story I had forgotten about until I was talking about imaginary friends with someone last week.  No, not my therapist.  Well, not paid therapist anyway.

Debbie is a sweet, sweet person, passive and a bit soft-spoken, which I suppose left her open to our, at times, incessant kidding.  She was always talking about these girls -- friends of hers -- that we never saw.  So at some point it became sort of a running joke amongst our little group of friends that these girls didn't actually exist and Debbie was just making them up.

Yes, long before Manti Te'o, there was Debbie. 

It was in Mobile that the whole imaginary friends thing sort of came to a head. 

One of Debbie's "friends" from college lived in Mobile.  We'll call her "Alison."  Debbie was to call Alison when we got in town and we'd meet up at some point.  "Sure we will, Debbie.  Whatever you say."

On the drive down, that's all we heard.  Then once we arrived, we weren't allowed to make any other plans until we found out when Alison wanted to hang out.  At long last, we were going to meet one of Debbie's friends.

She called Alison one afternoon to supposedly set up the rendezvous.  I want to say one of us grabbed the phone to see if there was actually a real, live person on the other end, but my memory fails me at this point so I can't be sure.

When Debbie got off the phone, we asked when and where we were supposed to meet her "friend."

"She says she'll just meet us downtown tonight."

In case you've forgotten, it's Mardi Gras.  There are several THOUSAND people downtown.  Tens of thousands.  And we're just supposed to bump into this girl "downtown???"

Needless to say, we never ran into her.  And as you might imagine, the teasing grew evermore incessant.

That was back in the days when we were all broke and limber enough to fit 6 or 7 people in one hotel room/two beds.  (Well, I'm still broke, but no longer quite so limber.)  To Debbie's credit, she did not require us to leave a space in bed for her imaginary friend.

Or make me give her any of my beads for flashing her imaginary boobs.

"When you're alone / And life is making you lonely / You can always go / Downtown..."


  1. Cute story, Bone. Not your paid therapist? Sounds like a bartender to me...

  2. Sometimes, especially stories like this, make me think you are somehow related to Garrison Keillor and lived in Lake Wobegon at some point in your life.

  3. Imaginary friends are the best kind!

    I love your stories...and I'm glad you and your friends didn't end up on an episode of Mardi Gras Cops. SALATS (<="smiles a little and then stops" - I know better than to use lol here) :)

  4. This begs the question: have you ever met any of Debbie's friends?

  5. Sage ~ Hey, the bartender gets paid. With mediocre conversation. And ideally, a tip.

    Ed ~ Ah yes, good ol' Mist County. *closes eyes and longs for home*

    Sherri B ~ Imaginary friends are the best kind!

    I agree. Although they can be a little hyper-critical at times. Or maybe that's just mine :)

    Thanks! Your SALATS are welcome here anytime.

    TC ~ I was trying to remember. Surely at least one of them had to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. Although I suppose she could have used 1-800-BRIDESMAID for that.

  6. Why does this story remind me of the Peterman Reality tour? (aka one of Kramer's stories) Only it doesn't mention Bob Sacamano. :-/

  7. "Yes, long before Manti Te'o, there was Debbie." Poor Manti. Did anyone pick him up in the (real) draft?

  8. There's an excellent story in here somewhere... I'm imagining Debbie slowly realising her friends are dissolving from reality the more she talks about them; the only way for her to keep them alive is to keep them secret... or something...

    (I'm pretty tired...)


  9. Hilarious :) I remember the days of 6 or 7 people fitting into 2 beds--and you could even call your non-imaginary parents from the edge of the bed as it was so innocent.paid

    Not your therapist? Think the probably imaginary--person should charge you money? But then you would want to pay your imaginary therapist in imaginary money and.....

    I'm beginning to think I have many imaginary friends that I believe in so strongly I convince others they're real!

  10. How do we know that Debbie is a real person?!

  11. Ha.. fun story. I sure do remember the days of fitting so many people into one bed. Just that line alone brings back so many fond memories. Of real friends. ;)

  12. Renee ~ And there's no bite-size 3 Musketeers. Although there were probably moon pies, it being Mardi Gras and all.

    Murf ~ I think so. The team was probably able to sign him to a fake contract, so they weren't out any money.

    J Adamthwaite ~ Wow. I like it! Nice imagination.

    Pia ~ Yes, always innocent. I'm pretty sure my imaginary therapist knows I would always pay in real Monopoly money.

    Sounds like kind of a friends Field of Dreams.

    Cami ~ How do we know your mom's real?

    Hilary ~ Doesn't it though. There's something about being young and broke that while it didn't always seem fabulous at the time, turns out it wasn't too bad at all.