Being sober at any point during Mardi Gras is a crime. Seriously, policemen were on the look out for people who weren’t double fisting cans of beer or flashing their boobs to Pavlov’s Dogs drooling men. The sober ones visibly stood out, almost as much as a Westboro Baptist Church member at a gay bar. You may be thinking to yourself, why would anyone be sober for Mardi Gras? The answer is simple: I am an idiot. While there was a ubiquitous amount of Four Loko, I stayed away because I’m pretty sure the drink’s real use is for killing crapping geese or as a North Korean torture method. The fact that I even remembered I went to Mardi Gras is pretty sacrilegious in itself. However, my sobriety was good for one thing and that was observing all of the freaks around me (yes half of Penn, I am speaking to you). I learned many things on this trip, and they weren’t just limited to a realization of why 78% of the south wheezes like a bypass patient in recovery after walking three feet (corndogs make Paula Deen’s cooking seem organic). If you gain one thing from this article it should be this: Learn from my sober mistakes.
Observation 1- All of the Homeless Vietnam Vets Head to Bourbon Street for Mardi Gras: The amount of old men frolicking on the streets of New Orleans shouting inarticulate jargon at you is enough to compete with Boca, Florida. While you can’t understand what 99% of them are saying, most of the words are some variation of “boob” or as I heard one man say, “Bouncing Buddhas.” Avoiding these men can sometimes be difficult. However, youth is on your side. Most of these men are sitting in a puddle of some type of liquid, whether its rum, urine, or tears, so they really won’t be able to chase after you. Unless they have Hugh Hefner’s sexual ambition, prowess, and Viagra, then you should be worried.
Observation 2: The Bead-Throwers hold all of the Power: Mardi Gras is run by an oligarchy of bead throwers. They are the ones who everyone bows down to in order to get those highly coveted Mardi Gras beads. Most of the bead throwing happens during a parade, and most of the throwers are dressed in costumes that make you feel as if you are at the Moulin Rouge. On Acid. Believe me when I say that people will do ANYTHING to catch a necklace. I even saw someone hand over their first-born child and another southern woman was willing to trade her plantation and her family recipe for hush puppies. I have to admit, some of the beads were cool. If you are an underdeveloped five year old. Also, if you flashed your boobs, man boobs, or Jesus tattoos you were usually luckier in the necklace acquisition. There were sometimes other things thrown, I even almost caught a two-legged cat. That’s a lie, but do those even exist?
Observation 3: Fried Food: 1 You: 0: Before Mardi Gras, you tell yourself that you really wont eat that badly because you want to keep at least one ab before heading to Mexico. The truth is, you are really lying to yourself. People get so drunk that even a chicken finger on the pee stained ground sounds delicious. Even after it was stomped on by a parade of frat boys. The funnel cake is really topped with powdered cocaine so you can’t help but come back for more. One woman even used the combination of her belly and a star wars light saber to get to the front of the food line. Your souvenirs from New Orleans will end up being a broken shot glass, an ever lasting hang over, and an old slice of pizza that you found in your bag next to an unused condom (the prostitute had her own).
Observation 4: Don’t Lose Your Friends: If you separate from your friends, plan on making new ones. If you are incapable of making new friends, hide in a port-o-john. If the port-o-john smells too much like shit, it probably isn’t the port-o-john, it is you. Finding your friends after losing them takes an exhausting variety of hang signals and maps, so just buy one of those baby leashes and attach yourself to your “friends.”
Observation 5: You should really just drink more: That way, you wont notice anything that is going on and you can wake up in the morning next to a skeleton bandana, a pigeon, and a picture of a mysterious penis on your phone. Trust me, it is better that way.