The next Mardi Gras found me single and still pining for last year’s Mardi Gras girlfriend, or at least the sex part of it. Desire fills the air during this time of year, and I didn’t have anyone special to shove up against the wall as we waited in line for a bathroom at some random bar. Serious bummer, especially for me—I’m incredibly shy and bumbling when it comes to asking the ladies to have sex with me, figuring most everybody just wants to be my friend. Carnival gave me just enough gumption to put my hands on this Coast Guard pilot who was also in search of a Mardi Gras girlfriend, a most excellent development. I’m a pacifist with a strong distrust of anything that smells even a tiny bit like the military, so that whole girl-in-uniform thing doesn’t really do it for me, but she was seriously cute. I convinced myself the Coast Guard is mostly about helping people after natural disasters, not, say, policing the shores to keep immigrants from touching foot here. Besides, it was Mardi Gras, time to break all our own rules and start finding uniforms sexy. Or something like that.