Local News Tuesday: Fat Only Feels This Good Once a Year
Attention, attention! We at Scooter Nation have a very important PSA: Mardi Gras started in Mobile, Alabama. That's right. The Zulu Krewe might be strutting their stuff over in NOLA, but over in Bienville Square (could we sound more Frenchy?), the Mystics of Time are sending throws and moon pies out to the crowds, too. Not only that, but in case you're not from around here, Mardi Gras doesn't just stop with the big cities. Mardi Gras is part of the Gulf Coast identity. Every small town from Texas to the panhandle of Florida and beyond gets into the action. Public schools give everyone a four day weekend. The local Mardi Gras societies throw balls. The whole region buzzes with a collective on-your-second-beer-and-don't-you-feel-good vibe.
And before you turn your mainstream Mardi Gras nose up at those small town parades, consider this next point very carefully: Mardi Gras is not about getting drunk or even about flashing your boobs at every Tom, Dick, and Bubba--Mardie Gras is about catching free stuff. Never mind that you don't really need two pounds of silver Mardi Gras dubloons; purple, green, and gold thong underwear; inflatable bananas the size of a German shepherd; or piles of moon pies of varying quality (good = Lookout; so-so = small foil-wrapped no-name ones; stellar = Lookout double-decker moon pies zapped for 20 seconds in the microwave. Amazing). Mardi Gras isn't about need. It's about glut and decadence and catching obscene amounts of cheap plastic shiny beads that smell like motor oil because let's face it, whatever they're coating those things with can't be good for the environment and yet we allow small children to chew on them anyway.
Catching obscene amounts of beads that smell like motor oil requires focus and strategy. You can get drunk on cheap beer and show your boobs to random men any day of the week, but that's not going to help you map out a smart way to catch the Knights of Ecor Rouge parade four times in one night or make the crucial dive at just the right moment to scoop up that one perfect strand of elusive aqua blue beads. And in small towns, you can find a place to park and you can walk to the parade without the fear of being shot or mugged and no, I'm not exaggerating. And at the end of the parade, when you've caught more than you can hold and you don't really need or want any of it because where will you put it when you get it home and what could a grown person possibly do with beads that smell like motor oil, you can hand your entire plastic grocery bag stash to the nearest passing grade schooler and he will smile shyly and take it all and you can walk back to your car whistling to yourself, sated. The thrill of Mardi Gras is in the hunt, the chase, the perfectly timed dive.
But save a few moon pies. And try them in the microwave, just once (unwrapped on a plate, people). And if you get a banana one--one of those ones with the impossibly orange coating--mail it to me. God knows I love a banana moon pie.