The beginning of this year's Carnival season has officially arrived.
Sequins can now be sprinkled liberally about the holiday tree that is still sitting across from Jackson Square (if they aren't gonna take it down, make it a purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras tree, I say).
The impulse to snag a king cake from a grocery store or make one according to your own excellent recipe can now be indulged without fear of its presence being too early (Yes, this is a Jewish broad telling you no king cakes before their time. Even the Jews are kinda Catholic in New Orleans.).
As the parades come rolling 'round, another apparent Carnival ritual will be rearing its ugly head: that of the territorialism exhibited by too many paradegoers concerning the viewing spaces they seem to feel were given to them straight from Sieur de Bienville when he founded Nouvelle Orleans back in the day. I anticipate this frenzy to be more heated with this year's demise of Jefferson Parish's Fat Family hoo-ha due to the musical acts being snapped up for performances at National Football League games. Everybody, be nice and respect your neighbors. There's more than enough Carnival swag for everybody, especially if you're going to see Bacchus this year. I fully expect Drew Brees to be training the float riders this year in his passing technique. If you miss getting a doubloon with his face on it, it'll simply mean you weren't at the parade and thus you weren't open for the screen. Tough toenails, as my dad says.
What might thin the crowds a bit this year, however, will be the punishing forum and debate schedules that folks are organizing for every office up for grabs in the local elections. There were two of them last night, for which I thank my lucky stars that I fell into this thing called social media and thus got some nice tweets from Karen, Eli, and Val from both forums. Due to a sticky clause Lee Zurik is still bound by, the forum moderated by him at Sacred Heart couldn't be broadcast on the teevee, and the forum at Cohen focused on the youth of New Orleans whilst skirting the fact that the mayoral candidates can't do a thing about the institutions that our youth are attending each week: namely, the schools. The deplorable state NORD is in ought to be more of an issue than it currently is...but you know, as issues go in this election, it might as well take a number. Really.
At this rate, people will be rolling to parades, literally...on hospital beds.
Think of the paradegoing nightmare that will be unleashed then.