Thursday, February 23, 2006

Carnival Blogging

Mardi Gras 2006 promises to be unlike any other for all the obvious reasons, so I've decided to try keeping a daily blog entry going throughout the festivities to record my impressions. In the thick of things, this might get a little difficult, so no promises (even to myself). Let's just see what happens.

We kicked off Carnival season two Saturdays ago with a party for Krewe du Vieux, an old-fashioned parody parade with small, mule- and horse-drawn floats, outlandish costumes and themes -- all unspeakably ribald and damned good fun. Mr. Bill creator Walter Williams was the reigning king, and Katrina themes were the topic du jour, of course. I caught a toy gold croissant from the mime on the "Buy Us Back, Chirac" float (a much better throw than the more traditional fake dog poo). But I didn't get one of the "FEMA Condoms" from the Krewe of Spermes sub-krewe (the tip of each condom was neatly perforated and "guaranteed to leak"; I heard my neighbor say, "man, I'm a coon-ass*, that's no problem for me; I'll just put some duct tape on it"). Spermes' theme this year had something to do with "mandatory ejaculation" or "premature evacuation." You get the idea.

I didn't make it to the parades last weekend, unfortunately. Not even Barkus, the French Quarter dog parade. Instead, I went back to St. Augustine's for Mass. Fr. Ledoux was even more charismatic and engaging than I'd heard; more St. Aug's blogging to come.

That brings us to yesterday and the first annual Krewe t' Screw, a 9th Ward marching group centering around two of my favorite haunts: Bacchanal wine shop, at the very bottom of the Bywater, and Mimi's in the Marigny. Chris from Bacchanal and the eponymous Mimi were king and queen, and they made an elegant, decadent couple:

We had a couple of small trailer floats, a brass band that included James Andrews, Kevin O'Day, and Matt Perrine, and a couple of flat-bed based electrified bands at different stops. We second-lined behind the band all the way from Poland Ave up to Franklin, descending upon thirteen bars (or so I heard) along the route. Here are a few photos courtesy of my many-talented wife:

Extra credit to Tony for keeping the theme -- those are not satsumas!

Happy Carnival, y'all. More to come.

*Coon-ass: derogatory term for Acadians (Cajuns) now proudly taken up by the Cajuns themselves. A common bumper-sticker where I grew up read "Registered Coon-Ass" and included a cartoon of a mooning raccoon. No one can claim we take ourselves too seriously.


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