Well, I intended to keep an every-other-day posting schedule up but, once the thing got in full swing, best intentions fell to the by-and-by. It was a glorious Carnival, more robust and inspiring than any other. New Orleans was in her most magnificent plumage and the spirit of rebirth was in the air. I chatted with a lot of locals and a lot of tourists and everyone was 99.6 percent enjoyable to be around.
I went ahead and posted the posts I didn’t get around to posting the past few days below this. Now I’ll pick up where I left off…
Saturday, Feb. 17
What is normally one of the tourism industry’s biggest nights of Mardi Gras is now one of my most quiet. I haven’t gone out and had a good time on Saturday in years. I have never liked Endymion much. Too slow, crappy celebs, less-than desirable attendees and, after catching Muses and D’Etat the nights before and Arthur and Carrollton the week before, I needed a break.
The KoPs and I went to the fabric store and watched some TV while designing our Fat Tuesday costumes all day and the fiance and I ate Mexican food and watched a movie that night.
I did have the pleasure of having NOMTOC go by near house but it was moving so slow and I had so much costume work to do, I only saw a few minutes of it. I did HEAR it all day though.
Sunday, Feb 18
I was going to ride my bike across the river to “see which way the wind blows” but we needed more costume supplies. So we loaded up and went to Party City and Michaels. For fun and folly, we took the Huey P back and got some Popeye’s in Westwego. We needed the chicken bones for our costumes anyway.
That night we caught the ferry over and watched Bacchus. We foolishly tried to get some drinks at a retarded daiquiri shop on Canal Street but the meatheads, future Girls Gone Wild and loud music drove us out. Then we saw a middle-aged tourist man being carted away in an ambulance due to drunkenness.
I wonder what the ratio of alcohol poisoning to muggings per tourist is? I’m just wanting to know if we do more damage to them than they do to themselves.
Still in need of a drink, we wondered on over to an old favorite, The Jimani, or the Jim-mon-ee, as a tourist lady put it. Who could blame her? We had a few and headed out to the parade.
It was hard not to yell “Tony! Tony!” at James Gandolfini but I resisted. He couldn’t seem to keep still and his bead throwing technique was unlike any I had ever seen. Drew Brees was much better. He was chunking those bad boys clear across Canal.
I was filling up on beads pretty quick and then started taking requests. I got some grape footballs and some teddy bears for the girl behind me and some big pink ones for some others. There was a mother and son from Algiers beside us and, after every float beyond the tenth one, she was ready to go. “Is this the last one?” she kept asking? I kept telling her, “Only about a dozen more!”
There were lots of nice people all around us.
When the parade finished, we made our way over to the Erin Rose and then to Molly’s.
When we finally decided to go home, the cabbies were being real pricks. Some flat-out wouldn’t take us to Algiers Point and another guy said it would be $40 (which I know is illegal). One of them was from United too.
We found an honest one and he took us over. He was Jamaican and had a wife who was a nurse and he had three kids. He was listening to Bob Marley and said he shaved his dreadlocks a few years back to set a better example for his kids.
When we got back to the house, Romy showed me a blurry wad of money and asked if she should give it all to him. Thinking it was $20 I said yes. Turns out it was $30. He deserved it though. He is the only rasta I ever met named Fritz
This was the grand finale day of costume-making. Everyone came over our house and we got it together. Burlap and Spanish moss was everywhere. Hot glue burns on the fingernails. The efforts were well worth it though. All that was left was the make-up.
The KoPs all got together and made it over the river for Orpheus. We watched it on Tchoup and Poydras. It was a great location with no guardrail.
We did how ever happen to run in to the “Worst Parade-Goer Ever.” She was a real foul-mouthed, rude, boisterous girl with an undetermined accent. She had long hair and was flinging it everywhere and causing a ripple effect of unpleasantness in the crowd around us. She stepped on toes, jumped in front of people and almost got into a number of fights including one that escalated to some pretty bad name calling. Somebody said they saw her old man roughing her up and somebody else said she deserved it. Either way, he carted her off and everybody started enjoying the parade again.
Patsy Clarkson looked like she was having a the time of her life and and Coach Sean Pay-un looked smooth.
The floats were absolutely gorgeous as always. Some of the flambeux had red flames and all the fiber optics and lighting effect the Krewe put into their parade really paid off. It was the best looking parade I saw all season.
My fiance (for whom this is her third Carnival) made a beautiful one handed catch of some beads with a full Mardi Gras mask pendent. I was very proud.
When it was all over, we caught the ferry back over the river and had a drink at the Dry Dock before heading over to the Old Point to catch the remnants of Marc Stone, Lynn Drury and Shannon McNally. Every body was feeling good and we were all looking forward to the next day.
I must admit, I had a bit of a hangover when I first woke up. I had to immediately start drinking water to replenish my dehydrated body and I had a bit of a bagel to settle my stomach. My fiance did my make-up and the KoPs came over to get their applications.
I loaded up some gris gris bags full of various non-canon trinkets that we would distribute throughout the day. In maybe an hour-and-a-half we were on our way to the ferry.
Just as we pulled up, an entire bus load of the Jesus crowd pulled up. And there we were dressed as voodoo dolls with Pablo (who just pulled in that morning off the oil rig) as our voodoo priest.
As we were going up the stairs in the midst of them, my gris gris bag busted open and the stuff spilled down the stairs. Pablo and one of the Jesus guys helped me pick it all up. I have no idea if it caused the good man to lose his faith or not.
One of them gave Subu some paraphernalia and she said, “Let me put that in my gris gris bag.” Pretty funny.
We got over to the other side and made our way to the Marigny. A guy sitting on a couch outside Coyote Ugly was cracking jokes on people as they walked by. Now I have an official reason for not going there.
We got to the R-Bar a short time later and the costumes we saw so intricate and thoughtful that I wasn’t even sure what some of them were. I saw Kim Il, Zorro, a bottle of mustard, a ton of pirate wenches, the governor, a Bush buster, another voodoo doll, a hubig pie, it went on and on. The parade rolled through, and rolled again, and rolled again. It was fucking beautiful.
I even saw Supa Saint.
The KoPs were getting hungry so we headed over to Buffa’s and got served pretty quick. While were there we watched some of Rex in the back room and headed back to the R-Bar.
Now, a good costumes is always great, but a costume with the persona to go along with it is total gravy. That’s why I have to give “guy shaving” the best costume of the day award. We saw him coming out of his room outside the R Bar and for a minute, we didn’t know if he was acting or not. He wandered around the street looking like he didn’t know what the hell was going on and the last we saw of him he was walking down Royal into the Quarter, scooting around holding his crotch and razor and appearing bewildered.
By this time, the KoPs started breaking up. My fiance and I headed over to Molly’s and along the way she said something pretty funny, “Holy shit! It’s a chicken in a Cadillac!” Only in Nawlins.
It was on the way to Molly’s that I saw a woman walking down the street topless and made the comment that I was wondering if this would be the first Mardi Gras where I didn’t see titties on the streets of New Orleans. Well, let’s just say this was the first year I wasn’t intentionally looking for titties in New Orleans.
We got to Molly’s and hung out for a few beers. Everybody was of course enamored with Earl, the stuffed Raccoon who I lug around during special events. Many people took pictures of him so I may end up seeing him in some foreign paper one day.
We met a ton of nice folks from New Orleans and out-of-town. Including some fellas from Terrytown who were having a good time. They said they had a Web site they were getting off the ground called robfucious.com. (Hey fellas! Get a blog!)
We headed out of there and went back to the Marigny and laughed and chatted with tons of people along the way. Everyone was in the greatest of spirits with only a few miner D-Bags.
When we reached the Marigny we jumped in and out of The Spotted Cat and DBA. We danced in the street and headed over to the R-Bar again where we danced to some hip hop and had our last drinks on that side of the river.
We headed back over to the West Bank via the Moonwalk and caught the ferry. There we had a pleasant conversation with a guy named Willie who came down from Atlanta to see the parades but was disappointed to have missed Rex and Zulu and only caught four trucks in the truck parade. I told him to just come back next year.
When I mentioned I was giving up red meat for lent (I’m not Catholic but do it about of respect for Mardi Gras, he talked me into giving up pork too.
So I went to the Dry Dock and ate my last burger for 40 days and some of the KoPs came and got us and took us back home.
It was a good Gras. Here’s how they rate:
Best float: Orpheus train
Best satire: Muses
Best throws: Bacchus
Best band: O. Perry Walker
Best celeb: Sean Pay-un
Best costume: “Guy shaving”
Best throw: Muses comic book
Some favorite pics:
Girl sees Earl
On to Jazzfest…and back to recovery of course.