Leo on Mardi Gras

February 6th, 2008 by Josh Neufeld  

leo.jpgEditor’s note: With the third post-Katrina Mardi Gras having just passed, we asked A.D. character Leo McGovern for his thoughts on the annual event which defines New Orleans in so many people’s minds.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day after the year’s most over-stuffed day of debauchery and hedonism: Fat Tuesday, a.k.a. Mardi Gras Day. Honestly, even though I’m a born-and-bred New Orleanian and have lived here for twenty-nine years, I haven’t been to a parade since 1998.

It’s not that I dislike Mardi Gras in general, I just don’t favor being stuck somewhere for hours with no option of leaving until the parade is over (without great hassle, like bumper-to-bumper traffic, or the need to walk miles out of your way to find a stretch of open streets that get you out of the parade area). I also find unbearable the idea of standing (in the cold, as this year’s weather stuck us with) in giant groups of people I don’t know, with other people in costumes on moving trucks throwing hard plastic trinkets at my head. I didn’t even watch Endymion, and that parade passes four blocks from my apartment. I don’t deny anyone their Mardi Gras pleasures, though—I just prefer to stay home and read, play video games, cook, and eat a quiet dinner.

Oh, and I do like King Cake—the classic McKenzie’s kind, though, with confectioner’s sugar only. As much as I don’t like being in the party atmosphere of Carnival, this tradition I have to uphold. All these different fillings, icing and whatnot on King Cake is a fairly new travesty, so please just give me the sugared bread and I’ll see you next year.

2 Responses

  1. Denise

    I’m right there with you Leo. I do, however, enjoy marching with the Indians. I had to pass this year because my mom wasn’t able to join me and she knows everybody. Maybe next year. Hey Pockyway.

  2. Leo McGovern

    Hey Denise,

    I hold the Indians in a different, and higher, regard because while it seems most of the parades are used as an excuse to party (and to an extent there’s nothing wrong with that, except when it’s people’s only reason to go) the Indians are totally about the tradition–we could use that attitude more often.

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