Fun on Frenchmen by Kim Welsh

Party Like You’re Local—
With Somewhat of a Brain

Coming to your Mardi Gras soon: Biodegradable beads in; plastic beads out. No more clogged city drains, no more seemingly immortal beads on oak trees throughout the year.

Ditto offensive throws.

blackfaceWho in their right mind thought “blackface” throws would be funny or in any way acceptable? Whoever you are, you should be ashamed of yourself. This even made national news; really makes New Orleans’ Endymion krewe look bad.  I suppose in the future, krewes may now monitor their members’ throws. Did anyone throw ladies’ panties? Have seen those in the past and thought they were just nasty. I guess the #MeToo movement killed those drawers.

I go through the same rant every year: why do we allow people to bring guns to parades? The police “ask” people to leave their guns at home, but have absolutely no way to know if someone is carrying—unless shots ring out and someone gets hurt, or killed. The few screw up everything for the many. Awful.

Every year, The Knuckleheads appear and someone gets shot along the parade route over some inane argument. Again, shame on you for ruining the fun. I also despised hearing about another shooting at Second and St. Charles Avenue. For some reason, it seems to be a favorite Knucklehead haunt. If you must have a gun, do your arguing and shooting in the privacy of your own Knucklehead homestead. Please.

I sincerely don’t know what the solution to this is, except to impose a $10,000 a serious fine on anyone who is found with a gun on their person during Mardi Gras. Is it going to come down to searching people to keep the general populace safe during a time of year when we’re all trying to be neighborly and having fun? Maybe.

It was also reported that there were hundreds of grim-faced young kids holding hands and walking single file through the Quarter: Were these the spawn of the evangelists who show up every year to try to tell everyone in the Quarter how sinful they are for throwing a Mardi Gras party? This is also awful.

(Obviously) tourists on a Bourbon Street balcony. Photo: Brian Lin

(Obviously) tourists on a Bourbon Street balcony. Photo: Brian Lin

Mardi Gras—the greatest free show on earth—is also the time when tourists who don’t know (and don’t care) about Mardi Gras traditions flock to the city to do one thing only: get wasted and party. On Saturday, there were two young non-costumed couples standing on the balcony of the building across the street from my office at 11 a.m. screaming, hectoring and throwing beads to passersby on the street. Those “grateful” bead recipients were guys who were delivering beer and liquor and supplies to the bars on Frenchmen Street who ignored them (they kept at it anyway). These four partiers looked and sounded like morons, and the delivery guys just shook their heads and went about their business.

These are people who should have probably been parked their drunk butts on a balcony on Bourbon Street at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning to get that inimitable thrill of throwing crap to the masses and playing king for a day, but hey, what do they know? The city’s marketing itself as the ultimate place to party has now converted Frenchmen Street into “Subourbon Street”! (exactly!, but I can’t take credit for this; that goes to Anna Ross Twichell who coined the name while trying to explain to a friend how the city has changed over the past few years. Go Anna!).

My opinion is, if you’re gonna come to our Mardi Gras party, you should at least try to get your balconies and times straight. There are a few rules to the cultcha if you want to party like a New Orleanian and not a tourist