There's a name for people like me. I'm the type of person who goes to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and doesn't have a single drop of alcohol. The type of person who hangs out in the family section on St. Charles Avenue and doesn't stray down into the French Quarter. I'm the type of person who just wants to make his family proud.
And the name for people like me is this:
I'm the middle child and therefore no stranger to craving the center of attention. But when Mardi Gras comes around, something inside of me just snaps. I love nothing better than to stand on the side of the road and yell to passerbys, "Hey, look at me! Throw me something!" I don't even have to be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras to do that - sometimes I do that in Baton Rouge on a random day. I just like to yell at people driving on Siegen and ask them to throw me stuff.
So it's no surprise that Mardi Gras is my favorite holiday. When else can I dress up as Donald Duck, push kids out of the way and heckle high school band members marching down a main thoroughfare of a major city, all while catching shiny trinkets that I plan on giving away?
I always catch some good loot at Mardi Gras, but this year I caught some weird stuff. For starters, at the Vulcan parade in River Ridge, I caught corn on the cob and a potato. Definitely the tastiest catch of the day!
The grub was courtesy of Bobby's Buffet, which was the sponsor of one of the floats at Vulcan, and is definitely one of the best named buffets in the greater New Orleans area.
At Vulcan I also caught crabs - the first of two times this trip.
But that wasn't the weirdest thing I caught. I actually caught a baby monitor at the Thoth parade on Tuesday. Well, I didn't catch it - a woman in a float handed it to me. I don't know if she just didn't need it anymore and wanted to get rid of it, or if she was wasted and didn't know what she was handing me. Either way, we now have two baby monitors - just in time for our second baby!
Our cousin Julie, aka JuJu, caught a diaper. She didn't catch it from a float, but I threw it to her and she caught it, so technically that counts as catching a diaper at Mardi Gras. So she wins for the "deadliest catch."
My daughter loved the parades. This was her first Mardi Gras (last year we were in Disney World). She's been to parades at LSU's Sorority Row before, but this was her time to see some real parades by professional party-goers.
If you've never been to a parade in New Orleans then you might have never seen a ladder modified to have a seat on top of it. That's where the kids sit. We put Anne and her cousin David up in a ladder so they could see the parades, and Anne had a blast!
Putting your kids up in a ladder can be dangerous - for your kids and for you as well. If the ladder falls then your child is at serious risk of injury. If the ladder is too close to the street and falls, then it might fall in the path of a float or a marching band. And of course, there's a danger to you as well: the danger of being groped while putting your children up in their ladders.
But when we were waiting for the parade to pass our way, Anne got pretty antsy. She occupied herself by picking up rocks and showing them to everybody. I encouraged her to throw the rocks at anyone else who was in our vicinity, to stop them from getting our beads. And if anyone made a fuss about it, we yelled, "Mardi Gras rocks!" It was a double entendre. Just one more great Life Lesson from Dada.
We had a great trip down to New Orleans, and it was all thanks to Betty's parents, aunt and uncle. Without them, we would have just been three people flashing our junk for beads on the side of the road, but with them we were three well-fed and showered people flashing our junk on the side of the road. Thanks, fam!
Although we had a lot of fun in New Orleans, we were happy to be home. Being a bead whore is a lot more work than you might think. My daughter had the right idea after this trip was over... it's time for a long snooze! Night night!
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