Spank 2023: That’s Not How We Bowl

Photo by Lara Desmond.

A quick primer for the uninitiated: Krewe du Vieux is a collective. Spank is a sub-krewe. Nobody tells us what to do and we don’t have control over any other sub-Krewe. It’s much like The Dude, Walt, and Donny’s bowling team, man. That disclaimer was more necessary than usual as I’ll explain later.

The featured image is of our float before we rolled. The lineup was a clusterfuck that punched my crowd anxiety button, but I got through it. It’s weird for a guy who attended 75+ Grateful Dead shows to be anxious in a crowd but that’s my personal legacy from the pandemic and lockdown. So it goes.

Our target was John Blancher about whom I wrote in October after the attack on Paul Pelosi. Here’s a self-quote complete with a picture:

Speaking of vile, here’s what a New Orleans nightclub owner and notorious Trumper asshole posted the night after the attack:

John Blancher is the owner of the Rock-and-Bowl and Ye Olde College Inn on Carrollton Avenue in Uptown New Orleans. He deleted the post and as explained it away as offensive Halloween humor. If you live in New Orleans, you should already know about this mook. If you visit, please don’t frequent his businesses unless you think attacks on elderly men while hunting for their powerful spouse are okay.

That was one of a series of appalling episodes from this creep. B is for Bigot and Blancher.

The Trump campaign inspired many to let their Fascist freak flags fly. Blancher was just one of many to heed the call. The stories about him are legion, but I’ll spare you.

The video clip below captures the response of those in the know in the crowd. At the 7:55 mark listen for this: “It’s the fucking douchebag from Rock ‘n’ Bowl.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The tourists in the French Quarter didn’t get it but we parade for our people, not them.

The bowling theme is why I costumed as The Dude. Below is a picture from The Spanktuary, which is where friends and families of our krewe gather every year on parade day. The picture was taken by my dear friend. krewe mate, and fellow OG NOLA blogger, Lisa Palumbo:

I look goofy in that shot but The Dude is goofy, man. The good news is that my wig stayed on. Shorter Adrastos: The wig abides.

It was weird parading as The Dude. I posed for a few pictures along the route, which was fine. One drunk wanted to discuss The Big Lebowski at length. I had to keep moving so I said: “I’m gonna quote Walt. STFU, Donny.” He was a good natured drunk so he laughed and let me go.

I’ve only worn a wig once before. It’s fucking hot, ya’ll. It was a chilly night, but I was a sweatball by the end of the march. Oh well, what the hell.

You’ve seen close ups and the “fucking douchebag” videos, here’s a view from above:

Ready for another theme image? You have no choice.


I was proud of our theme. Here’s my stock line: It was my original idea expanded and executed by my talented krewe mates.

While we did an anti-racism theme there was controversy over floats depicting two Black elected officials: Sheriff Susan Hutson and Mayor Cantrell. They’re both fair game, but it’s possible to kick down when mocking public figures. That’s what two sub-krewes did with a highly sexualized image of the Sheriff and a blackened caricature of the Mayor. These floats were overtly misogynistic and verged on minstrelsy. I’m not posting pictures but the floats came from LEWD and Seeds of Decline if you want to google them. And yes, the sub-krewes have silly names.

Since I’m in the parade I only briefly saw the offending and offensive floats. There was a running debate about these floats and others the next day on social media. There were huge gender and racial gaps in the discussion. I sided with women and minorities who were vexed by these images. Even some people who like KdV were appalled. I take your criticism to heart Melanie, Mandy, and Kat.

As I said before, the sub-krewes are separate entities, we have no say in what they do but I’m speaking up now. I think this bigotry was inspired by cluelessness, a lack of political sophistication, and what is best described as Cantrell Derangement Syndrome. I’m not a fan but how can she simultaneously be a weak mayor and a dictator?

Repeat after me: Racism, minstrelsy, and misogyny are NOT funny.

I’ve long referred to Krewe du Vieux as the Penis Parade because of other krewe’s phallic propensities. I’m not a prude but I’m bored with all the schlongs. Sex jokes are the lowest form of humor. Make that second lowest after scatology. My krewe’s unofficial motto is: Spank doesn’t do dick.

Nothing in life is perfect. I still like being in Krewe du Vieux despite the flaws I described today. I stand by what I wrote in Confessions Of A Krewe du Vieux Member.

I have a sentimental attachment to KdV for reasons stated in Confessions:

I joined in 2007 through my close friend and fellow NOLA blogger Ashley Morris of FYFF fame. One day as he went on about parade prep, I posed the eternal question: “Who do I need to kill or fuck to join Krewe du Vieux?”


Ashley: “I know a guy. He’s a total asshole but I know a guy.”


Me: “Who?”


Ashley did a pitch perfect Bob Newhart impression:  “That, that would be me.”

True story.

Ashley’s been dead since 2008, but every time I march I think of him. Enough schmaltz, the man I called the Perfesser would mock me for getting gooey. He was not a gooey guy, neither am I.

It’s time to take off my critic’s hat (wig?) to tell you that I had a blast. It was good to march again even if my feet and I aren’t on speaking terms right now. Ouch.

As a trudged toward the end of the long parade route I had dueling earworms. The last word goes to Utopia followed by Little Feat: