For the past few weeks it has been Mardi Gras season. You can't say this down here, I've noticed, but I have a love-hate relationship with Mardi Gras. I love, love, love spectacle and celebration and joy on the street. Love it. But, the throws: plastic beads, inflatable bananas, plastic swords. The very best of the throws are like those things you try to get with a claw out of a vending machine. They are thrown out of the floats in a constant stream. It puts a funny feeling in my stomach. All this junky junk that I wish didn't exist in the world being thrown out to eager hands. Walter eats it up, he loves it. Then we go home with bags full of the stuff. If someone knocked on my door, asking me to buy all that stuff, I would pay him to keep it out of my house. I wish the parade riders would pool all the throw money together and spend it on spectacle-type of things. Take some flame throwing lessons! Buy some stilts! Make giant puppets!
Also, everyone gets a week off of school down here for Mardi Gras. In a few weeks, they will have another week off for spring break. There's a mid-western curmudgeon inside of me that wants to wag my finger at everyone and tell them to "Get to work!".
My dislike of Mardi Gras was making me disappointed in myself. That doesn't sound like me. Who is this old, grumpy woman swatting beads away and spitting on King Cake (not really)? I figured I was just seeing the wrong parades. There are so many, you know? So, we went to one in New Orleans. It was called the Krewe of Chewbacchus, and it was everything I ever hoped for. It's a greener parade, mainly walking, with some contraptions and bizarre, dressed-up bikes. The throws are all handmade, my favorite being a crayon melted into the shape of Han Solo frozen in carbonite. It's sci-fy and fantasy-based. So, within the Chewbacchus Krewe were sub-krewes of Star Trek, Unicorns, Ninjas. It was amazing. The costuuuuuumes, the spirit, the funk, the joy. Andy Richter was there, triking by with little fanfare, and so was the guy who plays Chewbacca. There was so much creative energy. I loved it. It made me want to call up Mardi Gras on the phone and give it a heart-felt apology for my attitude. I'd love to join the Krewe. I would make a sub-krewe of robots!
Anyway. Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!!