Bacchus rolled on Sunday evening. After spending most of the day outside at four other parades, I was exhausted, dehydrated, famished, and ready for more.
A girl asked if she could sit by me on the curb, and we struck up a conversation. I mentioned that I hadn’t had anything to drink all day and was looking for a vendor selling water.
It turns out she lived across the street and offered me her last beer. She came back from her apartment with my beer in a plastic Mardi Gras cup from some previous parade. It was even a Purple Haze…my favorite…and I think it was the most delicious beer I had ever tasted.
It turns out this was her first Mardi Gras too, and like me she had been to every parade and was a self-proclaimed bead whore. She moved to New Orleans to work as a chef, and had done just that, finding work at the world-famous Commander’s Palace.
It’s good to have someone to pass the time with while waiting for the parades to start. Once the parade rolled down toward us, we started our bead quest.
Bacchus’s special guest rider this year was Hulk Hogan, who was flexing and looking somewhat inebriated as his float passed. He flexed his “24-inch pythons” (are they still that big, Hulk?) and chucked a handful of doubloons off the float. Madness ensued, but in the end I wound up with one of the doubloons bearing the Hulkster’s cheesy visage.
Bacchus was yet another example of a spectacular parade, though I think I still enjoyed Endymion more. I caught a stuffed crawfish wearing a chef’s hat, which I gave to my new friend, the chef. She did, after all, sacrifice her last Purple Haze to a poor, dehydrated bead whore on St. Charles Avenue.
I think Mardi Gras brings out the spirit of giving in people. I gave up the bracelet given to me to a woman from New York. She was thrilled, and I was happy to make someone else happy.
That’s the spirit of Mardi Gras.
The Loot: 83 beads, 2 plastic cups, 1 stuffed baseball, 6 doubloons (including the Hulk’s), 1 jester hat (a gift from the chef in exchange for the crawfish)