It’s that time of year down here.
The time of year where everyone loses their damn minds over some cheap plastic beads and candy.
The time of year where it is completely acceptable for grown ups to dress up in silly costumes and parade down the street in outrageously decorated floats.
The time of year where JaMarcus Russell can be celebrated and not mocked for throwing something to either the wrong person or the wrong state (although the jury is still out on the latter).
In case you haven’t keyed in on what I’m talking about, I’m referring to Mardi Gras; the long winded celebration leading up to the beginning of the Lenten season and the time where all Christians give up something to get closer to God. Or something.
Now, I don’t wanna get off on a rant here, but it’s my understanding that Mardi Gras has Catholic origins. I think I’ve read somewhere that practicing Catholics would have a week of revelry and getting everything out they could before they follow through with the necessities of Lent.
That week before is what amounts to one of the biggest parties ever, and I gleefully couldn’t care less.
First, some explanation. I’m from Birmingham. We don’t do Mardi Gras in Birmingham, although people have tried to start a Mardi Gras Celebration. To me, that doesn’t make much sense. Mardi Gras is French, and it’s celebrated in most regions where there is a big French contingency. Mardi Gras is also a Catholic practice, and it’s celebrated in most regions where there is a big Catholic contingency. Birmingham has neither from what I can tell, so please stop it.
Second, I’m not a big party-goer. Sure, I’ll unwind with the best of them and have a good time when feasible, but it really ain’t that feasible too often. Most people get a little blitzed when they’re at these balls, and I don’t wanna be around that, thanks. Forgot to mention the balls; oops. The balls are big galas put together by the many “secret” societies or committees that do these things, and they demand that every male who goes wear tuxedos with tails. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable in a tux with a tail, so I’ll pass.
Finally, the parade routes are insane. I am in no way claustrophobic, but – just by watching the brief snippits on the news – it looks like it may be a borderline mob scene out there. People line the streets and are going bananas over Moon Pies, plastic beads and cups. Now, before I go any further, let me just say there are different types of Mardi Gras parades and celebrations. In Mobile, it’s more of a family thing. There are some drunks out there, but they’re fairly civil. In N’Awlins, that’s where the craziest celebrations happen. Need proof? Suffer through a Girls Gone Wild video; that’s not an exaggeration. That being said, I don’t want to get an elbow in the nose for a Moon Pie.
Of course, that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong.