Carnival Notes: Of Decapitated Jesters & Confetti Cannons

We live large and weird in New Orleans, especially during Carnival. I’ve been trying to get my Mardi Gras mojo back by NOT entertaining for the first time in over twenty years.

We live in the 13th Ward inside the Uptown parade box. Before the lockdown, we entertained most days during the season and threw a huge shebang on Muses Thursday. It became the stuff of legend, but it got out of control. The Muses party is dead, long live the Muses party.

Here’s some burial music from my 13th Ward homies:

I’m not sure if Mojo Hannah ever crashed our Muses party but it wouldn’t surprise me if she had. These guys, however, never made an appearance:

Our party crashers were never sorry either. Bite me, Vince.

Two “only in New Orleans” things happened during the first big weekend of Uptown parades. They’re in the post title, so let’s get to it.

The featured image comes from the Krewe of Pygmalion’s Saturday night parade. I skipped it because I was chilled to the bone after standing in a misty cold rain to see one of my friends named Stephanie riding with the Krewe of Freret that afternoon. I have many Stephanies and Jennifers in my circle of friends. Why? I’ll never know.

Back to Pygmalion. The featured image is a before picture, here’s the after:

That’s right. The Jester float lost its head, but the perpetrator wasn’t this Lewis Carroll femme fatale:

The Jester head hit an oak tree branch as it attempted the turn from Jefferson Avenue onto Magazine Street. Holy parade delay, Batman.

There’s more. This happened at the same time.

Riders are supposed to be strapped in with a harness, so they don’t fall off their floats. The universal initial response to the guy above falling off was: What a dumbass. It turns out that he was trying to prevent the decapitated Jester head from hitting the ground. Sounds like mission impossible to me but my experience with decapitated Jester heads is limited. Make that non-existent. I’ll give you a heads up if I ever encounter one or is that heads down? Beats the hell outta me.

A quick note about parade harnesses. They’re mandatory. We live around the corner from the den from whence Proteus emerges on Lundi Gras. I dig watching them set up and listening to the parade captain check on his usually drunken charges.

One year, a younger Proteus rider was trying to get out of being strapped in. The parade captain was not amused. His message was strap in now or get off the float and never ride again. The rider complied.

I wonder if the guy in the Twitter video thought he was Henry Higgins trying to rescue Eliza. Probably not but he won’t be banned for life either. FYI, movie-wise I prefer Pygmalion with Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller to My Fair Lady. Sorry, Rex.

Here’s Jim Messina with an appropriate song recorded before he was in Poco or partnered with Kenny Loggins:

It’s time to shoot off my mouth about the confetti cannon incident on Friday night during the Cleopatra parade.

That’s right. There was an extended power outage because of a confetti cannon mishap. I am not making this up. The local utility Entergy has blamed other outages on cats, squirrels, and birds but never a confetti cannon. As the kids say: that’s as NOLA as fuck.

It turns out that there are many songs with confetti in the title. I went with Bob Mould:

Black is the color of a power outage, after all.

Since this is ostensibly a political blog, a quick note about local politics. There’s a recall drive against Mayor Teedy DBA LaToya Cantrell. The anti-Teedy forces have been wandering the parade route, gathering few signatures. People don’t want to talk about politics when there are throws to be grubbed for.

We used to have our municipal elections early in the year. It was often not long after Carnival. I recall seeing forlorn looking candidates working the route. One year I took pity on the late Donald Mintz who ran two strong mayoral campaigns in the Nineties but finished second twice. We didn’t, however, talk politics, we talked Carnival. I prefer not to mix politics and Carnival when I’m on the route.

Finally, just because I’m not entertaining doesn’t mean you can’t say hello on the parade route. I’m pooped of having parties, not a party pooper.

The last word goes to Henry Roeland Byrd DBA Professor Longhair: