Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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How are you feeling? Can you focus on objects more than 10 feet away? Can you walk a straight line? Did you set fire to your nose hairs with your breath? If not you must not have gone to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

One of the things everyone should do at least once in their lives is to go to the annual craziness held in the ‘Big Easy’. It is a ‘Bucket List with bourbon’ item for sure. However, there are some oddities about the celebration.

Other than the cops, bartenders, and most of the marching krewes everybody is from out-of-town. The locals celebrate the daylights out of the holiday, but you will not find one on Bourbon Street. So if somebody lays an oddly accented “y’all” on you chances are they are a Nebraska corn-husker trying to fit in.

The first Mardi Gras was held in Mobile back in 1703, 15 years before New Orleans. The one in Alabama is not near as large and is more family oriented, but there are sufficient numbers of lunacies to satisfy most people.

The ‘Carnival’ (pronounced car-knee-val) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is another wall-to-wall celebration. There is a huge competition between Samba clubs with elaborate costumes and routines. If you think you cannot do the samba you are wrong. Just add excessive amounts of rum to the music and you will be boogying like a native.

Most Latin nations have weeklong festivals during Semana Santa, the last week before Easter. Instead of a big Christmas like we have, they celebrate Easter with enthusiasm. Their thinking is that being born is no big deal. Rising from the dead is something worth commemorating.

I find it odd that there are not more national celebrations like Mardi Gras elsewhere in the world. There are one-day parties, but I cannot think of any weeklong bashes. St. Patrick’s Day is a good one. If you go to Savannah try not to fall into the river. It is still chilly in March. This is harsh experience talking. Columbus Day is another good one with better chow.

When I was stationed in Germany a bunch of us went to an Oktoberfest at a local sports club. We were seated at a long table with a group of women in their 40’s and 50’s. One of the guys spoke excellent German and conversing with the ladies he found out that they were a WWII widow’s club. This put a damper on the celebration for me since my father and a bunch of other relatives spared no effort to insure that the club had a huge membership.

As the saying goes, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” Well, what happens during Mardi Gras usually cannot be remembered. That is probably a good thing, so keep your camera in the car. You are sure to have flashbacks for the rest of your life and you will either smile or shiver when they occur.

Did it just get cold in here?

 

 

 

 

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Written by harmonycounty

March 10, 2011 at 4:42 p03

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