Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Happy Mardi Gras Day
I know that my grandparents are probably in heaven having a good laugh over the fact that my two sons have never been to Mardi Gras. What, never you say? Never had the experience of scouring the street for candy and treats and scurrying between the legs of strangers to get as much as they can? No yelling, "hey mister throw me something!" at the top of their lungs? No chasing after the floats or dancing along with the marching bands? No wearing all their beads around their neck all at the same time? No? Never? That's right, never.
Fat Tuesday always finds me a little bit sad every year since moving here to Chicago. And even though many fine establishments here in the Windy City celebrate Mardi Gras on a micro scale, it's not quite the same. The difference was made plain to me long ago, right after I'd arrived. Some of my friends invited me to Venetian Nights with the selling point that it was "just like Mardi Gras only with boats on the lakefront." Well, of course, I was excited and approached the event with great anticipation. So great was my anticipation that I fear I wasn't quite fair to Venetian Night or my poor friends who were stuck with me in my misery that fateful night. After watching what for me, was a boat show, the loud complaints began. "This is NOTHING like Mardi Gras.Why aren't the boats decorated? What's the theme? Why aren't they throwing candy/trinkets/booze/something/anything? Where are the marching bands? Where are the urchins stealing candy right outta your hand?" Well, as you've probably figured out by now, the night went south pretty quickly after all that whining from me. My friends were only too happy to put me in a cab home, all alone, lol. Lessons learned: never assume something is "like" something else unless the describing party has actually been to the other event; also don't whine too much or too loudly to your friends or they'll ditch you. Anyway....
In honor of Mardi Gras day, I've already made red beans and rice and I'll probably have to make my own King cake. Here's Professor Longhair singing Go To the Mardi Gras to get you in the mood: