It's usually my favorite time of year. Weston is constantly informing the krewe of his insane throws purchases. Lucas is wheeling and dealing for his hotel room and a new place to find char grilled oysters. Felix is texting me his shirt size for the exclusive "Krewe of Scoundrel" t-shirts. Renee and Katie are not letting me forget the time I gave my self a Mardi Gras black eye, Jason (not Voorhees) and Nancy dream up new ways to get drunk and desperate bead whores to lick Bourbon Street (literally) to get another set of Weston's now famous Sunflower beads.
Well...not this year. Thank you Latoya "The Destroya" Cuntrell. You've suppressed and oppressed this city under the bullshit guise of "The World's Most Deadliest Plague". No permits for parades, people wearing masks, and not of the festive Mardi Gras variety. No indoor dining or drinking. And just an all around feeling of uncertainty running rampant through the city I call home. I hear no live music, the French Market looks like a mall in Detroit that's ready to get torn down just as soon as the Montgomery Ward closes. No laughter, waves from the galleries and balconies, no line a block long to get into Café du Monde. To hell with our lives, our livelihoods, the way of live we've known forever. This transplant from Los Angeles, CA has done nothing good since she arrived oh so many years ago.
Career politicians are cancer. They eat away at the souls of those that put them in office. Now for the record, I didn't vote for this piece of work. Didn't vote for Bitch Landrieu either. People were mortified when Ray Nagin uttered the words "New Orleans is a chocolate city" but sat there with their finger up their ass while Bitch Landrieu started the process of tearing down our history here. The history that made us unique, different, and a destination for people around the world. He had this crazy vision of making New Orleans Swamp Vegas. He actually talked about putting a dome over the French Quarter. Look it up! I shit you not!!! Then you have his horrendous Bourbon Street reconstruction project that took twice as long and went 4x over budget making all of his family members in the construction industry rich. He thought he could parley tearing down Confederate statues into a run for the White House. That didn't pan out for the small time New Orleans political hack. Thank God!
Enter Latoya Cuntrell. She sashayed into City Hall on the heels of a credit card scandal that everyone seemed to forget because not only is she a female mayor...but a black one too. And anyone who is white knows that if you question the policies or questionable acts of a black person you are nothing but a RACIST! So she she began her reign of terror. We're renaming streets now, schools, leaving dead construction workers in collapsed buildings for months at a time, and just recently introducing a "Guaranteed Income" for New Orleans residents. Last I checked Stalin did that...it's called COMMUNISM YOU BITCH! But that seems to be the theme of the new regime and all the little college fuckers running about wearing their Che Guevara shirts.
Will Mardi Gras even take place? Will my Arthur Hardy Mardi Gras guide be a waste of money this year? Will I get to stroll through Larry Flint's Hustler Club dressed as Jason Voorhees scaring the tampons out of strippers? I don't know. I plan to still celebrate but not sure in what capacity. I see people decorating their houses like floats just to have that atmosphere and the visuals associated with Carnival and Mardi Gras. I'm sure we'll get "those tourists" to stumble down Bourbon Street proclaiming how drunk they are and telling me that they're gonna move here (please don't, go back to New York and take your Yankee ways with you) because you can drink while walking about. Not a reason to move anywhere you douche nozzles.
So much has changed here. Katrina didn't help things any. Insane real-estate prices keep most locals from living in the French Quarter. Hell, they keep locals from living in any of the nice areas of the city. Air B&B's and short term rentals have turned some neighborhoods that once flourished into ghost towns if there isn't a festival going on. Aside from bartenders and restaurant workers I don't recognize too many people. I can spot those yuppies from California and New York a mile away though. They're usually the ones complaining about the noise level, lack of Starbucks franchises, the smell of the Gutter Gravy on Bourbon Street, or that there isn't a dog park for their Pomeranian that looks simply adorable in a sweater vest.
Everything changes, or so I'm told. New Orleans has changed and it looks like Mardi Gras will be different this year, maybe even for the foreseeable future. The proof that masks do not work is out there. Social distancing doesn't stop the flow of anything except long lines at Mango Mango at 3am. Florida is wide open and they're killing it. That's what we should be doing here. Going about our day during Carnival season, walking like a peacock, smiling and waving to friends, families, tourists, and trading smiles because we live in what was once the most unique city in the United States. Before divide and conquer politicians figured out that they can scare most people into submission. Never have we quarantined the healthy to stem the tide of anything. I will make one prediction however. If the Saints win the Super Bowl this year we'll have a Mardi Gras just like we did in 2010. Hell, I'm not even much of a Saints fan but that was, and will be one of the most amazing Carnival seasons ever. Capped off with a Mardi Gras that had Cab drivers handing out cans of beer at red lights to the screams of "who Dat". Despite the fact that damn phrase annoys the hell out of me.
Laissez les bon temps rouler ~ Gus