My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
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Mardi Gras is coming to phase one of closing--the families who got up at the crack of dawn to head for the parades have, for the most part, reached saturation/exhaustion and headed back home.

I saw a few of them as I went out for a couple of errands.

I remember the feelings.

I, on the other hand, reclined on my couch for a ridiculous amount of time watching:

1. The Zulu parade, which started from Uptown at 8 AM,
2. followed by Rex, which is "the biggie"--at least to white folks.

3. This was followed by the truck floats. Not pickups, but trucks with BIG flatbed trailers that are all decorated up by various clubs and neighborhood groups.

About a third of the way through that I switched to a channel telecasting the Jefferson Parish events.

Their "biggie" is (I think) Argus--and it's followed by another batch of truck floats.

We're not talking about a dozen or so trucks--it's more than 50--in each location.

The truck floats are paid for totally by the participants--the decoration, the throws, the costumes. And yes--each has a portolet on it. Let's be reasonable folks--that's a long parade, and there are beverages aboard.

This was Zulu's 100th anniversary. When we lived here in the sixties they didn't follow a regular route, but sort of meandered all over. By the time we returned eight years later major sociological changes resulted in them having a prime scheduled route.

King Zulu is elected by the membership of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club and is selected for his contributions to the community. It is a great honor.

Zulu's "trademark" throw (except they can't be thrown any more but must be handed) is a decorated coconut. These are really highly prized. One year my French prof received one and brought it to class, showing it almost reverently. (This was at UNO, where the students run the gamut in age and are often older than the profs.)

One of the interesting aspects of Zulu is that all the members on the floats are in blackface--both men and women.

Both Rex and Zulu stop in front of a historic building where the Mayor toasts the respective kings. It's easy for the Mayor, but in order to get the glass to the king they have to bring a stepladder over so they can reach the rider with the glass.

Rex stops again on Canal Street to toast his queen, who is always a debutante. This year she is a student at Vanderbilt.

This evening will be the balls. The kings and courts of Rex and Comus (I think that was the first krewe in New Orleans) will meet at midnight and exchange toasts.

At midnight the police will announce the end of Mardi Gras and clear the streets in the French Quarter. Those who insist on continuing get a free bed for the night--in Central Lockup.

They clear the streets by having a phalanx of mounted police lead the way down Bourbon Street (and others).

On the home front, last night Spot came into the kitchen to see if there was any food left in the girls' dishes. One of these days I may be able to catch him. (I hope.) Stripe was on the patio when I came home this afternoon.

Tomorrow I need to get back to yard work.

(My trash man comes on Tuesday--even on Mardi Gras when the landfill is closed. He gets his truck loaded up, goes to the landfill first, then gets his Wednesday pickups.)

(There was no mail today.)

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