Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Beads grow on trees in N'awlins

Today begins the recovery from Mardi Gras. It was fantastic, brilliant, amazing - well worth every braincell I killed off.

We live a close 10 minute walk to the St Charles Avenue parade route through Uptown. So we went and saw some of the early parades. There were people lining the streets and some ladders with kids atop but there was plenty of room and not a float would go by without some beads landing in my greedy paws!! You see something happens at Mardi Gras. Its called "Bead Fever". I, as a newby at this game, had it bad. As these wonderful floats go by you yell at the top of your lungs, "throw me something mister" and that generally results in beads coming your way. There are ways to get really good beads (and no not "that" way - only drunk college girls in the French quarter flash for beads - if you do that elsewhere you will almost be guaranteed to get arrested for indecent exposure). The way to improve your bead collection is to get eye contact with one of the krewe members on the float and they will generally taunt you with their offerings and then you jump and beg and plead and they will come your way. Now if a krewe member points at you and throws beads the tradition is those are your beads and should someone else catch them you can ask for them because they are yours (I wish I had known this as I had this experience where I lost my best beads - we're talking tennis ball sized gold beads!! to a woman who caught them over my shoulder when they were 'mine' by mardi gras rules). The beads you get are also called "Throws" - and sometime you get other 'throws' like cuddly toys, cups, doubloons, Frisbees, plastic toys and if you are very very lucky one of the most coveted throws - the zulu coconut! This all leads to "Bead Envy"!!!
Really all these beads are plastic tat but during Mardi Gras in N'awlins they are beautiful and people admire them and should you grab the flying string of beads at the same time as your neighbour - people also fight over them!

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