Mardi Gras is a big deal in these parts. In fact, the mayors of Mobile and New Orleans have been in a bruhaha over which city has bragging rights for the original celebration (Answer: Mobile, y’all). Grown folks act the fool over moon pies and beads. Parades roll in every town big enough to sport a caution light as well as in subdivisions and golf course communities. There’s a run on Bedazzlers at Walmart. The kids get out of school two days…I kid you not…TWO DAYS!
One of my friends attended her first ball last weekend. “It’s like Prom for adults!” she exclaimed. “There was a Queen and everything!” Oh, it runs much deeper than finding the baby in a king cake. I know people who rate Mardi Gras season as the most wonderful time of the year. They put up Mardi Gras trees and festoon their front porches with purple, green, and gold. I reckon the spectacle of Mardi Gras is to Lower Alabama what the Season was to Victorian London.
In other words, lots of people live for these days and have a blast. If you are a reveler, I wish you the very best along with a year’s supply of moon pies! It’s just not my thing, being a North Alabama transplant and all. So, read on for the confessions of a Mardi Gras fuddy duddy.
- I don’t like Moon Pies. They taste like a Swiss Cake Roll that got hid up under the car seat for an entire summer. Y’all can have all mine!
- While I’m confessing, I don’t like king cake, either. It doesn’t matter whether it has fruit, custard, or chocolate shooting through it. It tastes like those prehistoric honey buns that are the only thing left in the breakroom vending machine the last week of school.
- I don’t know what to do with the 50 pounds or so of beads the kids have caught over the years. I recycle them at the Homecoming Parade every year, but they keep coming back! I wouldn’t be surprised if I have a few strings dating back to the first Mardi Gras (in Mobile, y’all). I tried to make a wreath by hot-gluing beads to a pool noodle. That was my first and last Pinterest craft.
- I have anger issues at parades. If I see one more grown-*** person yank a teddy bear out of the hands of a little kid, I may blow a fuse. I know lots of parades are very family-friendly, but I always seem to get stuck elbow to elbow with some oversized baby with a butterfly net in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and a most inhospitable attitude.
- I’ve chaperoned enough high school proms in my career that I can be perfectly content dropping the balls. I do, however, own a Bedazzler and I know how to use it. It can cover a multitude of sins, you know.
- Speaking of sins, I still have to fight the urge to wretch when I smell bourbon. Word to the wise, college girls: avoid the fruit in the bourbon punch. It will haunt you for decades.
- Those two days off from school are a Godsend! I always get tons of stuff done, or in fatter years, get to go on a little vacation. I wish we could get Ash Wednesday, too. It seems like it would balance out Fat Tuesday. Plus, it would give the kids time to come off their moon pie highs before they return to school. Not having Ash Wednesday off is like going to all the pre-game festivities and then ignoring the kickoff.
Whether you let the good times roll at a parade, at a ball, or by just relaxing for a long weekend, Mardi Gras is a singular Southern experience. Although I’m not personally big on the revelry part, lots of folks enjoy it immensely. Who knows? You may love the flavor of moon pie!
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