Hello young ones.
Today is Fat Tuesday the end all, be all, day of the Mardi Gras celebration. For tomorrow lent begins- if you’re a Catholic that is. For the rest of we heathens life goes on as always.
But until tomorrow “Laissez les bons temps rouler.” – which in French means “Let the good times roll.”
But for those of you who find yourselves unable to attend the big soiree, I’ll share some first hand observations from our years of going and save you the trip. Thankfully I seem to have misplaced all of my photos from back then; so you’ll be spared from seeing those.
Be aware some of this may be too intense for younger or more sensitive readers.
So let’s roll…
For many years Doug and I attended Mardi Gras- usually the one held in Galveston; but we did the one in new Orleans as well. Of course we were there to work, not to party.
Is it fun?
But truly it’s fun only if you’re snockered or just really like being around people who are, which personally I’ve become less and less fond of over the decades. I’m just not as tolerant of obnoxious drunks as I used to be, even if they are paying me a lot of money to deal with them.
And as far as drinking to excess- well that kind of excess anyway- I haven’t done that in close to 15 years now at least.
It was a BAAAAD thing indeed.
And I certainly can’t do it anymore. I have scant enough working brain cells anymore to even get a quorum together so I’m able walk and chew gum at the same time. Blotting out millions by over consumption of alcohol is just something I can’t risk doing ever again.
I’m not quite ready for the sleep away camp for seniors quite yet.
The last Mardi Gras we worked was in New Orleans the year of Katrina. I was sitting on a corner on Bourbon St. A lovely black couple in their mid-40′s came up and asked if I could paint the wife.
“Oh sure, no worries.” I replied.
She shucked off her shirt and bra and proceeded to get all her lady parts festooned.
When I was done her husband looked at her with a broad smile and said “Now we’re going to the hotel so we can get jiggy with it!”
I had a pretty good idea of what he meant at the time; but for those who don’t I looked it up.
Now you know too.
Once we saw one man at Mardi Gras who was walking around with a scale offering to weigh ladies’ bare bosoms. Not surprisingly, he had takers as there was never a shortage of women who were willing to take it all off or at least flash for a set of beads.
Guys were our biggest customers back when we had a bead booth. They’d come back again and again to stock up on beads to offer the young women whose ta-ta’s still pointed North to give them a flash.
Some guys even tried to pimp out their girlfiend’s ta-tas to get free beads from us, offering to have her flash Doug for free beads. Doug would say, “Why would I do that when I have some I can see for free anytime at home?” I’m not sure if he was being sweet or just being cheap; but either way, he never gave out free beads.
That didn’t hold true for all the guys in the family though.
Brett started working with us at Mardi Gras when he was about 14. Amanda went the same year. She was only 12; but was always precocious and old for her years. I was at the face painting booth a few blocks away.
As I understand it at one point Amanda saw her brother holding a fist full of cash over the counter telling people to just “Get their own change.” after they’d purchased some beads.
Brett was literally stupefied by all the bare boobs so close yet so far and was momentarily completely out of it.
Amanda punched him in the arm and proceeded to take all the money outta his hands.
From that point on he was demoted to bead detangler and was never allowed to touch the money again.
But then what normal 14 yr. old boy wouldn’t react that way? And remember this is 1987- pre internet at home- at least at our home anyway.
I think they each went only three or four times. One good thing that came of all their exposure to Mardi Gras was that neither of our kids, now both adults, drink. And I think that’s a good thing. They’ll be able to avoid repeating some of the mistakes I made when I was younger and drank way too much. Sometimes I even mixed booze and pills before I met Doug in my wild days.
I used to be the poster child for young and dumb. (I suppose I’m destined to do something great or I shoulda died a long time ago now.)
But I’m meandering… sorry..
Anyway, as you can tell Mardi Gras only brings out the very finest in people. And I’ll close with yet one more tale.
In Galveston, the second Sunday just prior to Fat Tuesday is kid’s day. There’s a big parade and the street is crowded with families. There really wasn’t any of the flashing for beads. Most of the people who’d be into that were still recovering from their exploits the night before.
So overall things were usually pretty uneventful.
But this particular day a woman built much like me, but almost twice my size larger than myself walked by the booth wearing 3″ heels. Her nails were so long they looked like the claws on a bear. She was not a believer in the adage “Less is more.” where makeup was concerned either.
I suppose she was unable to get out on the street the night before and she was not gonna waste this outfit or wait til next year.
She a vision I can assure you.
But that wasn’t the worst of it- far from it.
She was wearing a crocheted swimsuit cover up.
The problem was that there was no swimsuit to cover.
She only had a G-string on underneath it and the crochet had holes in it almost an inch apart.
Kinda like this one in this photo but with bigger holes, less yarn and a LOT more her:
The coverup was about 18 sizes too small so her flesh literally oozed through everywhere around the crochet which was pulled so tight it damn near disappeared.
She kinda looked like a ham.
It looked painful.
Now I am no prude, believe me; but there is a time and place for everything and that wasn’t the time or the place.
She would have been OK at a convention for the blind; but this was 2pm Sunday afternoon. There were kids everywhere.
And many were pointing at her and asking their parents questions. Thank God none of them asked me anything as I painted their faces.
This self proclaimed fashionista took her sweet time sashaying down the Strand; and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, she squatted, pulled the G-string aside and peed in the middle of the street.
Usually I’m not one to quash anyone’s good time but she was too much. And of course there wasn’t a cop anywhere to be seen. (Even though it’s Texas peeing in the street is illegal.) In fact if someone is caught doing that here they’re labeled as sex offender.
After she left I coulda made a fortune if I’d been selling hot pokers or knitting needles so people could poked their eyes out; but sadly I had neither.
So there you go.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your adventures at Mardi Gras.
Now go put your $$ away and save it for a trip somewhere nice or at least wait til your significant other gets home and just play MG in the privacy of your own house. (If you need some cheap beads the $$ store has an assortment.)
Back to the funny next time.
As for me, I’m getting my paints and glitters ready for tonight since I’m going to a local bar to face paint. I can hardly wait. :(
“Laissez les bons temps rouler.”