-Did you hear about the new epidemic going around?
Every man, woman, and child is catchin' it, it's spreadin' from the lake on down.
It's called "Mardi Gras", and they say you get it in your pants.
Aw, hell Binky, that ain't no epidemic! That's a centuries-old excuse to party!
Major apologies to the super soul sister with the magnetic je ne sais quois, and to her fantastic band, but that "Dap-Dip" song intro has been going through my head for the past few days, with my knock you on the head with a two-by-four alterations. That's been the impact of Mardi Gras time on my psyche.
I march in the Barkus parade in the Quarter as escort to my dog, Gilda, and I'm at a loss as to what to wear that will be quick to slip on, since I will be going to the lineup right after religious school Sunday morning. I'm scrambling to get a sitter for the little guy so that Dan and I can go out to a neighborhood restaurant on February 14th, and I say scrambling because there's a parade scheduled to go by our house that same night. RRRRaaaarraaraaagggggghhhhhhh.....
And I haven't even mentioned the guarantees yet. Some would call them traditions, but since we're just along for the ride, so to speak, there are a few things that are guaranteed to occur around this time of year.
1) Barkus. I'm gonna see if there are any potbellied pigs in the procession this year. There was one a number of years back, and the dogs had NO clue what to do. "Uh, hmmm, (sniffsniffsniff) it's got four legs and a tail (sniffsniff, weird look), but that's not a doggy smell (sniffsniffsniffsniff). What the hell kind of animal IS this??!!!???" Since Chris Rose's dog is marching as Barkus royalty, it'll be interesting to see what she writes about the parade afterwards. The only quasi-religious protesting I can possibly see happening would be from Bucky Katt in the cartoon Get Fuzzy. Should be fun...
2) Dan will sell his soul for doubloons.
3)The little guy will bum his way onto a ladder seat to watch a parade or two. The seat will preferably have a little girl sitting in it, too, and the parents of said little girl will think they are both just sooo cute up there. My son is no fool, which is scary.
4)The Mardi Gras Bottom Feeders idea will be resurrected and discussed. Dan and a friend of his from Lafayette (who's lived here for years) talked one year about how unfair it was that guys between 13 and approximately 65 years of age get consistently shorted on the throw counts and must resort to having young kids or cute gals close by to get anything substantial. They lamented having to drag scraps outta the gutters, and decided it would be a great idea to get a truck float one year and make it a giant box with Mardi Gras loot dropping out of the bottom of it as it passed by. Then all the guys could scrape stuff up and get their loot that way.
5) I will be screaming, "Hey, real men can throw this far!" just for the living hell of it.
6) We will remember our late neighbor, Nettie, and how much she loved Mardi Gras. She was a feisty old lady, who, though she wasn't up for leaving her house too much anymore, would always be sitting on her porch with a karaoke machine that blared Mardi Gras music. People would pass by her house, and she'd yell, "He-ey Mardi Gras!" into the microphone and invite the passersby to have a turn at the mike. She would get some real singers up there sometimes. She was also the first person I'd ever heard refer to an ambulance as a "crash truck". Unfortunately, she was taken from her home in one one night and never returned. I'm tempted to get hold of a karaoke machine in her memory, but I don't think we'd be home long enough for us to really give it, and passersby, the attention they deserve. Rest in peace, Nettie.
Where will we be when the parades pass? At the intersection of the gray brick road and the parade route. Oh, and for you NOLA bloggers, bonus points and extra Carnival swag, not to mention a place to pee on Mardi Gras day and some beer, if you: find the pothole from hell, and then you'll be close to where we are when we're not watching floats go by. Hope to see ya! And if not, happy Mardi Gras!
And pray that this doesn't happen to us again, please