I saw the sign posted on the wall. Right there, in big black letters, courtesy of the New Orleans Police Department, “Beware Pickpockets and Loose Women.” I’d seen them before – those vintage, tin replicas that fill the novelty stores. They hang on the wall right along side T-shirts, alligators heads and feather boas. They used to actually post those signs for the tourists, way back in the day. Our boys-in-blue must have thought the visitors would mistake Bourbon Street for Saint Louis Cathedral.
Not me, though. I prefer the narrow streets in the French Quarter filled with warm, living bodies and the muggy air that vibrates with the carefree laughter, music and song that spills out of the clubs. Certainly, I find it more appealing than the cold, sterile echo of a church. Besides, even on the sidewalks you’ll hear “amens” and “hallelujahs” shouted when women suddenly rip off their tops to flash their tits for the cheap plastic beads that are tossed from the balconies. I’ve heard more than one, “Thank you, God,” after some sweet young thing set her puppies free; It might have been me who said it.
Sometimes, the crowd makes bets on which will hit the ground first – the beads, the drunk tossing the beads from the balcony or the happily buzzed woman showing off her goods for an always-appreciative audience. Other times, the money is on which is cheaper and has more plastic – the beads or the babes.
That’s what I was doing when the strawberry-blonde tart sidled up next to me. I had five dollars on the thirty-something brunette; there’s no way that real boobs are that big and that perky.
I thought Blondie was just getting friendly when she slid her hand into my front pants pocket. She was. She got real friendly right before she took off down the street with my credit card. I forgot that I put it there instead of in my wallet after I paid to park in the garage that advertised, “Discount Parking. $10.”
Sure, I got suspicious when her overt friendliness turned into a quick departure; but it was the need to adjust after her skillful attention that gave it away. I had to laugh when I realized what happened right there beneath that damned tin warning sign. I could have just called in, reported the card stolen and had a replacement by the next day. I could have, but I didn’t. Instead, I decided to follow her to see where she planned on spending my money.
She had taken off and turned down a less busy side street; I saw that reddish-gold head of hair just as she slipped into a shop door. The gilded lettering on the glass indicated that it was, “Miss Vicky’s,” just one of a dozen other costume and lingerie shops in the area. I waited outside for a good ten minutes before I went in. I wanted her to have enough time to pick out a few items before I confronted her.
The clerk didn’t bother to stop me as I walked right past her to the back dressing area; she was too busy talking on her cell phone. I pulled back the curtain just as Blondie was pulling up the stockings and hooking them to the lace garter belt that was going to cost me forty bucks, according to the tag that was dangling from it.
My blonde pickpocket didn’t seem all that surprised as I stood there watching her as she nonchalantly slip on a matching lace bra. She did eye me suspiciously when I told her that if she wanted to go shopping for lingerie, she should have just said so. I also let her know that she almost got away with it and would have, too, if she hadn’t been so thorough.
She just smiled slyly as she pressed her body against me crushing those lace covered tits against my chest. Then she brushed those soft lips along my neck and I felt her warm breath on my ear as she whispered, “bad girls always get caught.”
Maybe that was her plan all along. Crafty girls – those are the ones you have to watch out for. Where’s that warning sign?