The Poisoned Ink Well

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Ash Wednesday (The Day After)

Bead Rage, Mardi Gras, and War in 2003

One thing that I witnessed this year (more than usual) was multiple acts of bead rage. Also known in city slang as “Motherfucker, he threw them beads to me” Syndrome, at which time a tug of war goes on, and the beads break in half, scattering into the street and rendering them useless for hanging on your rear view, or later storage in your attic. I mean come on people. Let the babies have the stuffed toys and if a girl has flashed her way into the biggest, bestest, ones on the float rack, then you’ve got to give them to her.

And if someone does step on your Popeye’s fried chicken meal, don't threaten to beat them up, just pick them big, fat, dirty, breast up off the street, and brush the dirt, grime, and footprints off, and continue eating, or you could choose to sterilize your chicken meal with a can of beer ( I saw this) and then you have yourself, some real drunken chicken. Why do you think we call it dirty rice, anyway?

Militaristic themes on floats may have contributed to the abundant, bead rage attacks this year, since a few full fledged battles, almost broke out, all along the parade route on Veterans Blvd in Metairie. Some were only limited skirmishes over staked out turf, (grassy medians are some of the most desirable properties in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day) with instant walls of tents, going up, and self appointed sentries, guarding coolers, lawn chairs, and sometimes demanding sexual favors to cross over their borders and into the occupied territories, and make it to the Port a Johns on the other side of the street. Occasional police actions were called when the combatants become unruly. I only saw two weapons pulled all day, when I watched a couple of drunk guys, uncock their penises, and threaten a tent settlement of women with biological terrorism on their blankets if they didn't let them pass the demilitarized zone of radical lesbians immediately.

There was the one float simply titled WAR, it was puke green, with WAR, WAR, WAR, written in big black letters all over it, like they couldn’t figure out anything witty, or clever to go with a theme of mass murder and possible Nuclear pre-emptive strikes.

Somehow murder, death, guns, bombs, and violence don’t go with Mardi Gras. We were there to try and forget about that stuff.

We were the ones dancing next to the official WAR float and singing our own patriotic protest songs. Our favorite song this year was “ WAR! War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again. WAR! War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.”

It was a good party (Mardi Gras always is) and the Cannabis front was out dressed with full paraphernalia and hemp regalia with some of the most popular throws being the big, green, shiny, beads shaped like Marijuana leaves (we got some.) And quite a few people sported large, green, gold, and purple, peace sign beads in the crowd, and on the floats.