Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Carrollton and King Arthur (Sunday, January 27, afternoon)
The competition is getting tougher. Sunday afternoon brought better weather and more crowded streets, and lots of kids trying to get between me and my loot.
Lesson learned: I’m still taller than most kids who are say…under the age of 8. After age 8, it could go either way. I’m pretty short, but if I’m taller than them, then the laws of physics or whatever other science classes I failed in high school say that I’m going to get to the beads first.
Note to kids: If I happen to get to that stuffed animal or Frizbee or football or other shiny object first, don’t turn your little teary eyes up at me and think I’m going to fork over my treasure. I don’t like kids, and you’ll just annoy me. In fact, if your parents weren’t standing next to me, I’d give you a kick in the pants to get you out of my way.
I kid, of course (sort of).
I saw King Arthur twice, though the second viewing was completely unintentional. After enjoying it once Uptown, I hopped the bus and headed to the Quarter and my favorite bar, the Erin Rose, not realizing that the parade would be rolling up and down Canal Street. I really didn’t need to carry around any more plastic, but I couldn’t help myself. My prize score: a set of beads with a purple, green, and gold fleur-de-lis. It’s my favorite catch so far.
It’s infectious, seeing the parade roll by again and jumping up and down waving your arms in the air and hoping the person throwing has a good aim. I couldn’t help myself. Unlike Uptown, Canal Street is barricaded, the crowds confined. I prefer my little Uptown corner near St. Charles and Washington, where I am free to chase after a float for a stupid stuffed frog if I choose to.
Overall, the spirit of Mardi Gras is still generous and celebratory. Thank you to the couple on vacation who gave me all your plastic cups because you didn’t want to carry them back to Chicago. Thank you to the people who liked my enthusiasm and gave me all your beads, just to make me happy. Thank you to the woman with the tiny dog in a harness, strapped to her chest to watch the parade, who gave me her alligator beads. And thank you to Beth, who I met at the Erin Rose and who gave me her Mardi Gras bracelet, just because I said I liked it. I’m going to look for you on Mardi Gras day, right where to told me to, on St. Charles and 8th.
And thank you, New Orleans, for really knowing how to throw a party, and for never letting anyone feel uninvited.
Carrollton: 2 plastic cups, 1 mashed up bag of candy corn, 3 dubloons, 36 sets of beads
Kind Arthur: 1 plastic cup, 92 sets of beads