Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras

In 1990 (I think?) I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and I got the prized Zulu coconut.  And I did not show my boobs to get it.  (Although, I have to say, my boobs were and still are pretty cute, and would certainly have deserved a Zulu coconut.)

We were right by the parade route, way out in a suburb where the parade started (much bigger crowds later in the afternoon in actual New Orleans).  This was my first day and very first parade, and I was SHOCKED at how huge, how elaborate, and how amazing it all was.  The first few floats floated by slowly, and the music started, and then suddenly right in front of me was this huge man all decorated with beads and feathers and then the DRUM started, right behind him and it was REALLY loud, the kind you can feel pulsing in your internal organs, and he started dancing and waving his huge headdress around to the beat and it was, literally, one of those moments in my life where every aspect comes together for one dazzling second that is better and more perfect than should be possible.  Top ten magical moments in my whole life, seriously.

I was goggling, mouth hanging open, and the guy on the back of the float laughed at me. I saw him holding a coconut with ZULU painted on it in multicolored glitter.  I pointed at the coconut, and he mimed pulling up his shirt, and I made a sad face and shook my head, and he laughed again and tossed me the coconut.

He was probably less than 6 feet away from me.  I found out later that one of the reasons the coconut is rare is that they are not allowed to throw it, as it could hurt someone.

I sure wish I still had the actual coconut.  I had it for years, but apparently they are perishable...