What Do You Do on Fat Tuesday? Well, I…

Boneramafreak at Randomness asked, “What do you do on Fat Tuesday?” A newcomer, she tells the story and has some great fun pics of how she has celebrated Mardi Gras since arriving in 2003.

I started to leave a comment in response to her question, but it started to be as long as a post, so I decided to just post it. So here goes.

What do I do on Fat Tuesday?

I could write several books on the Fat Tuesday adventures I’ve had from high school through grad school. Always shared with great friends and family, sometimes with out of town visitors (I love playing tour guide). Some of the times were hilarious, some were beautiful, and some were truly horrible; none are necessarily fit for public consumption.

I will briefly share my most memorable Fat Tuesday. Some friends of mine who lived on State Street uptown near Prytania had several out of town guests. From Ireland. After spending a crazy Lundi Gras with them and crashing on the floor, we rose early and packed up all the booze we could carry and set off on Mardi Gras morning. We walked, from State Street, down the length of St. Charles Avenue. Through the course of the day we caught Rex at St. Charles and Napoleon (too late for Zulu). And then truck parades. Lots of trucks in those parades.

As the day and the infinite truck floats coursed on, we walked down St. Charles through the crowds, running into people we knew and making friends with some we didn’t (usually through a shared bottle or flask), always keeping an eye out for the Irish who were absolutely floored at everything that was going on.

We ended up in the Quarter around 4 or 5pm. Wandered in and out of bars; at midnight, as the police and street cleaners shooed everyone out, stumbled onto Canal Street where an empty cab just happened to have stopped. We cabbed it back uptown safe and secure, beaded and besotted.

The past two years I’ve started going back to the parades in the city. Big confession here: I have not done Fat Tuesday in the city since I don’t know when.

I hate to say it, but after the Friday-Sunday mayhem with Krewe D’Etat, Hermes, Tucks, Endymion and Bacchus and so on, I’ve been sufficiently satisfied with Mardi Goodness that I’ve counted my blessings and gone back into exile on the Northshore before things really ramped up for Lundi and Mardi.

This year I solemnly pledge to at least stick around for Lundi Gras, if not for the big day itself. I will take advantage of the lodgings that friends and family have available—either in Jefferson, Metairie, or perhaps, in the French Quarter. Yes, I have a place I can stay in the Quarter. A place to rest my head, yes; a place to park my car…maybe not so much. Time will tell.

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