Carnival Diary: Bacchus Sunday

Mon, 27 Feb 2006 15:21:14

Bacchus Sunday was longer than a Russian novel this year: Bacchus and Encrappyion back to back was like reading “War & Peace” and “August 1914” in a single sitting. And I prefer Tolstoi to the Solzhenitsyn: the former is tasty whereas the latter is indigestible not unlike Bacchus versus Endymion. For the uninitiated there were 3 parades before Bacchus and I seem to have a standing around and lollygagging hangover this morning. That is if there *is* such a thing….

Item-1 Chris Rose and the Katrina Kaiser: In Sunday’s local rag Chris Rose was on target (as opposed to tar-ge) again. The Picayune poohbah has decided that he’s tired of caring about what people in Des Moines and Omaha think of us:  “From now on I don’t care what THEY think.

THEY think we’re drunk insouciant lascivious and racist. So be it.

THEY show the images of revelers flashing for beads on Bourbon Street as some sort of distasteful microcosm of the libertine life of New Orleanians — our callous dancing on the graves of the hurricane dead at Mardi Gras.

And the people in the Great Elsewhere watching these images in their living rooms are horrified at our behavior but is anybody going to point out that 98 percent of the people flashing and taunting for beads on Bourbon Street are from THEIR hometowns?

That THEY are watching a mirror of THEMSELVES not us?”

Mistah Rose is on a rant roll y’all. Me I never much cared what “they” think of us because as American citizens we have the right to federal assistance whether the religious right or Earl Turd Blossom of Rove likes us or not. We’re taxpayers and the Corpse of Engineers is an arrogant  federal agency that screwed the pooch. And we’re the pooch that needs unscrewing. It’s that simple folks.

Speaking of rolls: I *have* noticed that Katrina Kaiser Donald Powell seems to be more effective than anyone expected him to be. Maybe his being a dull gray banker who couldn’t overshadow your Aunt Minnie is an asset. Actually I think that Debrisville is benefitting from the Beavis-Duce administration’s long queue of political problems. It’s about fricking time.

Item-2  The Day Parades:
There were 5 count ’em 5 parades yesterday and we were insane enough to see 4 of them. Thoth came first and it was the source of some post-K sadness in my hood. Thoth usually rolls up Magazine Street around high noon so my neighbors throw de facto block parties: this year they lined up on Napoleon. Dr. A and I usually join our Valence Street neighbors in pre-Bacchanalian revelry. Our de facto local queen of Thoth is Maggie the Bookseller who I didn’t even see out on the parade route. Hey Mags it’s like being a Brooklyn Dodger fan in the Fifties all we can say is: wait until next year.

Thoth was followed by the Krewe of Mid City whose den (aka warehouse) was seriously flooded. They usually have 20+ floats and great bands but this year’s parade was smaller and bandless. It was also very poignant. Mid City is one of the prettiest and most distinctive parades: they use tin foil on the floats to catch the sun; nobody else in NOLA does that.


Mid City is NOT usually a topical or satirical parade but that changed for this year. The blue tarps on  the floats are covering up the flood lines.


Item-3  Bacchus Follows The Yellow Brick Road: The Krewe’s theme was “There’s No Place Like Home.” Yup that’s right the old surefire Wizard of OZ thing. This was the best Bacchus parade in years: I really haven’t enjoyed their recent efforts but this one had a good theme and superb execution.

Dr. A and I joined our old parade pals up at the Gumbo Guild. We didn’t eat any gumbo but we were initiated into the beef jerky cult. I had to pause and consider whether or not my eating something called jerky would be cannibalism. I decided to get past my ethical concerns and try it. It was small town Texas jerky and it was pretty good. I was hoping to offer some to a vegan but couldn’t find one in the crowd. Here are two of the main jerky cultists kicking back on the parade route:


Bacchus actually started 20 minutes early. I spoke to Deep Blog on the route and he/she/it told me that rumor had it that Chief Riley called the Captain of Bacchus to ask him to roll early as a favor to the NOPD. Like everyone else the Bacchus bigwigs were pissed off at Endymion for delaying its parade and that was the only way they’d start early. Thanks Chief.

Deep Blog was full of it yesterday: he/she/it also told me that they’d heard that Encrappyion Captain Ed Muniz pulled the plug on his parade so they could roll at night. If so shame on them. I hope Captain Ed doesn’t run into Mike Hammer any time soon: he’s ready to feed Muniz a knuckle sandwich for being such a selfish egomaniacal bastard.

Back to Bacchus. Here are a few choice snaps courtesy of Dr. A:

It’s a pity that the pictures can’t capture the way the torches around Oz’s head flashed. It was spectacular y’all. On the right is the backside of the apple throwing tree float. The riders didn’t actually throw apples: they were probably afraid that the crowd would throw them at Endymion’s Captain Ed.

Item-4  Encrappyion:
I didn’t see the entire parade. (I’ll tell you why below.) There were some major snafus at the beginning which of course the local rag failed to mention in its coverage today because they’re in deep shit booster mode. In between parades a long line of school buses stopped  on Napoleon; stretching all the way from Prytania to Magazine which is a good 4 or 5 city blocks. The buses were full of disgruntled Encrappyion riders. It turned out that the drivers had either gone the wrong way or that the big shots of Endymion planned badly. Anyway the riders had to walk in costume carrying bags of throws for a good 6-12 blocks to get to their floats. Well done Captain Ed.

One more thing about my buddy Captain Ed Muniz. He proved himself to be a hardcore girly man: the Captain’s float was vacant at the start of the parade. He was either primping in the port-o-let or hiding from a crowd prepared to boo him. Your guess is as good as mine. Mike Hammer thinks the entire krewe should have worn pink tutus as a badge of wussiness after Saturday’s big wimp out.

The parade itself was as glitzy vacuous and endless as ever. This is only the third time I’ve seen Endymion and it leaves me colder than a lampost in Milwaukee. The only entertainment was provided by the zanies at the Gumbo Guild:

ON THE LEFT: Dr. A called them the liberals in training. That’s Caroline the younger and her best friend Celeste the youngest. The box and sign of course were used to attract attention and throws. It worked.
ON THE RIGHT:  I call this picture: dance sister dance. That’s Carol
the cowgirl Caroline the elder and Marie boogying on the stairs of the Gumbo Guild. Sometimes the girls just gotta sing finger wag and shake their collective booties…

Item-5 The Case Of The Missing Cell Phone:  In between the parade we retreated to Milan Street for a pit stop. Dr. A realized that she’d lost her cell phone. When Marie heard about this she swung into action and when Marie swings into action things get done. Marie told us that some drunken guys had found a cell phone at the Gumbo Guild and were asking if anyone was missing one. They were gone when we returned.

We tried calling Dr. A’s phone number on my cell but my battery was wheezing. But Carol the cowgirl was able to get through to them using her cell phone. It turned out that the happy drunks had left the parade route and were trying to drive home to the bucolic splendors of Zachary LA. Luckily for us they were lost lost lost and were still Uptown. They were too wasted to figure out how to drive through Audubon Park. They got lost several more times but Carol and Dr. A were able to finally direct them to meet us at the corner of Camp and Valence which is a mere 2 blocks from Adrastos World HQ. We gave them directions to get to I-10 and hopefully they understood them. I hope they stopped for coffee somewhere. I’d hate to think that our good samaritans got busted for DUI after being so helpful. Thanks guys for returning Dr. A’s phone.

Speaking of good samaritans Carol the cowgirl is someone we mostly know from the annual Bacchus bash on Milan Street. She didn’t have to knock herself out to be so helpful: I don’t even know her last name. Carol is also one of the people who was hit hard by that evil bitch Katrina. Her house took on 4 feet of water and her business is only now getting back on its unsteady feet. But she took the time to help 2 friends of friends. That’s the *real* spirit of Carnival not chicks from Boise flashing their boobs on Bourbon Street.

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