The one thing I hate worse than kids getting between me and my beads is drunk douchebags who are more than willing to toss you under a float if it means they’re going to get one of Zulu’s coveted coconuts.
I arrived early and planted myself at the front of the crowd. Unlike my more residential area of St. Charles from which I’ve watched most of the parades, Zulu turned onto St. Charles at Jackson, closer to bars like Igor’s. Everyone near me was shit-faced by 8 a.m. The crown was 7 or 8 people deep at times, and each time a float or rider with a coconut went by, the crown surged forward, pushing everyone into the float. Several times I feared that my face would get mashed into the side of the floats, and I wouldn’t want to ruin those great floats by getting my blood all over them.
Being short leaves me at a disadvantage. I put my hands up every time, and everyone around me would just put theirs over mine. I managed to catch two sets of beads. Then, the people next to me were turned around conversing when a rider on a passing float tossed a coconut, which landed squarely in my hands.
I left early. It’s the only parade at which I didn’t enjoy myself, and that’s by no means Zulu’s fault. Like all the parades, Zulu is unique and beautiful, and perhaps I should have just walked until I found a better location. But I was tired and have walked more than I care to think about in the last week and a half.
So, to the crowds at Jackson and St. Charles…fuck you. I got my coconut, but I’ll be damned if I’ll let you sacrifice me to the coconut gods so that you can get yours.
I’m taking my coconut and going home.
The Loot: 2 beads and 1 coconut