So far, Barry Obama has not gotten back to me on my personal shovel-ready projects. I guess he’s just really busy trying to, like, save us from backsliding into third world nationdom. Anyway, that has blink-all to do with the Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade that happened in Burlington on Saturday. While I have been to the Big Easy several times and eaten my weight in beignets, I have never attended Burlington’s homage to southern decadence. That’s mostly because the idea of standing outside in frigid temperatures screaming at people on half-baked floats to throw me beads isn’t all that awesome to me. And I only do things that are awesome.
But somehow Saturday I was persuaded to join the festivities by my friends Galison and Tolly Fae (names are changed to protect the innocent. Also, so they won’t get mad at me if I write something stupid about them.) We staked out a place in front of Red Square so we could listen to the sweet jams and watch all the drunks tripping over each other. But we didn’t actually have to be anywhere specific to see the drunks tripping over themselves. That’s the whole point of the Mardi Gras parade- to get drunk in the streets. Yes! Party! Wooo!
It should be noted that I don’t much care for crowds. I try to avoid them at all costs. That’s why I rarely leave my apartment, or rather my hermitage. There’s something about strangers pressing up against me and breathing their rank breath down the back of my neck that is unsettling to me. Plus, I like to maintain three feet for Jesus at all times. Jesus doesn’t like to be crowded either. So going to a Mardi Gras parade where half the population of Vermont is in attendance probably wasn’t the best idea.
As we waited for the parade to get started, more and more people started crowding around me. I like to think it was because they recognized me as the famous newspaper reporter that I am, but I think it was just because I was standing close to a bar. I tried my old concert technique of widening my stance as to take up more space and give the appearance that I’m bigger then I am, but the idiots around me just stepped on my toes. It might sound mean to call my fellow parade-goers idiots, but really, these people were certified. The guy next to me was wearing a understated trucker hat that said “Gimme head ’til I’m dead.” (see below) Classy.
Finally, the parade got going. By that time, I could have hammered nails with my toes they were so frozen. Sambatucada, Burlington’s resident parade-opening band, led out the floats and whipped everyone into a screaming frenzy. I started to get excited about the prospect of people throwing stuff at me from the floats. I wanted some damn beads.
As each float went by, I beckoned for beads. “Pleeeeease, give me some beads. Pleeeeeeease.” But nobody listened. The WIZN float went by- nothing. The Jet Blue float went by- nothing. The Northfield Savings Bank went by- nothing, not even a piggy bank key chain. What does a girl have to do to get some damn beads? Probably I should have flashed my girl parts, but since I was had on more layers then Jennifer Aniston’s “Friends” haircut, I wasn’t really able to whip them out.
[A brief aside about the floats- three out of the four major mayoral candidates in Burlington had floats. Dan Smith and all his Facebook friends tossed beads, as did Bob Kiss and all the peacenik prog candidates. Kurt Wright rumbled up Church St. in a huge construction dump truck with the words "Necessary Evil" enblazoned on the front of it. Andy Montroll clearly doesn't want my vote. He didn't bother with a float. He didn't even walk in the parade in a silly costume. If he had made the effort (and by effort I mean give me a dang bead), he'd get my vote.]
Plus, people were being really aggressive about the beads. You’d think those beads were 24k that they could have sent in to cash4gold.com. People were plucking them right out of the air, just as they were about to land in my hands. I didn’t realize that I should have brought my A-game. But instead I was playing at more of my F- or G- game, so I wasn’t prepared to gouge someone’s eyes out in order to get a bead. That’ll learn me.
Another handicap besides my lack of aggression (which is weird because I do have some serious anger management issues) was the fact that I wore mittens instead of gloves. Everything flung off the floats bounced right off the mittens. Sissy mittens! I couldn’t catch anything with them. Also, the bead-throwers were sort of whipping them at the crowd and I was nervous they were going to break my glasses.
At the end of the day, my bead tally was one. One flipping strand of beads. Tres pathetique. My friend Face (again, protecting the innocent) grabbed a few strands for me, but that just made me feel worse. What a demoralizing day. And to add insult to injury, by the time I got back to my house, the strand had broken. My booty was officially busted.
I know the parade was for a good cause and all, but I probably won’t be going again. Unless I get to be on a float.
Below is a little video of the aforementioned parade. Watch it: