Feb 20, 2007

Throw Me Something Mister, Please

by Terri Wagner

It's night time or non. Cold or warm, warm this year. My heart and my spirits lift when I hear the roar of the crowd ahead of me. I don't mind being at the end of the parade route because that's where most of the stuff gets thrown. Mardi Gras in L.A. (Lower Alabama): it's a magical time. I love the crowds because everyone is in a good mood.

Ok, some are in too good a mood and they annoy me. But the children are hysterical to watch. In my neck of the woods (unlike the raunchier parade associated with New Orleans), children get center stage. They line the first rows of the parade route and it is to them the moon pies and beads get thrown. Their eyes light up and they hang the beads around their necks and start eating the moon pies right away.

The floats are amazing, depending on the crew's theme for the year. I especially love the dragons. And there are always dragons and lots of pirates. One year I took Chewbacca, my black lab who has since gone to the great dog playground in heaven, and got lots of stuff. Seems children and dogs are a favorite to throw to. Just to show you what a great dog he was, we were sitting on a small grassy knoll about 20 feet from the floats. Someone threw a moon pie right at him, landed right next to him. Good throw. And some older woman (a little too wild and happy) actually snatched it from him. He didn't even growl. Guess I had a great dog, uh? I just looked at her and said "Thank your lucky stars, he's not a Rotweiller, ha."

I can't explain Mardi Gras except that it's fun. Today is Fat Tuesday, the last of the celebrations, and the parades will run through the night. If you ever have the chance to go, go. It's fun. I particularly like the chocolate moon pies slightly nuked after I get home, giggle.

Of course the technical writer would simply say, it's Mardi Gras, a time to party.


  1. Where I live, Sedro Woolley, WA, they have parades at the drop of a hat. Lots of logging trucks and tractors and enthusiasm, but I've never seen a Mardi Gras parade.

    My daughter Terry served her mission in Bolivia, and she said that Carnival, as they called it there, was a giant water fight. She said walking down the street was hazardous, because complete strangers would throw water on them, all in the spirit of Carnival.

    I actually think it's nice that Mardi Gras is a southern tradition. Thanks for sharing this.

    p.s. I've never had a Moon Pie.

  2. you make it sound like so much fun! I know my step-sister loves Mardi Gras and goes to New Orleans whenever she can...although I have never been.

    The small town parades of my childhood were special events and nearly always culminated in some kind of fair or circus or some other event. I always eagerly anticipated the Shriner's driving their miniature cars...looking for my Grandad with his red fez so that I could catch the treats he would throw to us. Thanks for the memories!

    hmmm...I've never had a Moon Pie either!

  3. We love moon pies and never seem to get enough. Great piece, Terri.


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