lost in jane austen

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Humorous Ode to Mardi Gras (Bio to Bs...look for a version of this story in an upcoming Emma Wood novel)

Who doesn't love the New Orleans French Quarter? It's like visiting a foreign land without the hassle of showing your passport or the likelihood of dysentery. And when you add in Mardi Gras, it's like heaven on earth. Well, if heaven was about drunkenness and debauchery. I'm more of a jewelry girl, so for me, it's all about the beads! What is it about useless plastic beads that gets me so excited? I wait all year for the opportunity to catch these ugly bobbles and obviously…I’m not alone.

A few years ago, we were in  New Orleans for one of the parades. We waited on the street, eyes glazed over in the anticipation of  catching colorful trinkets. Finally, the mayhem ensued. Beads were flying everywhere and I wasn’t above elbowing children, tripping grannies and crawling on my hands and knees,  in order to add to my loot.

Covered in beads we reached the apex of the frenzied pursuit, when the Nike float arrived. They were throwing out all sorts of fun Nike paraphernalia. As I was jumping for a wrist band headed my way, I saw a bigger object hurling towards me.  When I landed back on earth, after an amazing LeBron James type of jump, I realized I had caught a shoe.  Wow, that had to be the holy grail of parade trinkets. I was so proud of my prize that I didn’t even wonder, what I would do with ONE size 13 shoe.

Above the shouts of the crowd, I hear this guy yelling, “She’s got my shoe, she’s got my shoe!” Everyone in the general vicinity turned to stare and I realized the one shoed guy was talking about me. It seems that in his exuberance to catch Nike stuff, he had kicked off his shoe. I looked down at my prized shoe and for the first time realized it wasn’t new. It wasn't even a Nike and there was a not-so-pleasant odor emanating from it. Even then, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to part with my prize. But finally, I came out of my bead frenzied haze and handed over the shoe.

As Barry and I trudged back to our hotel room weighted down by tons of beads I realized that in my heart the count down had already begun until once again, I could jump for the beads or... even an old shoe.

Thanks to all of the Etsy shops for loaning me pictures of their wonderful Mardi Gras creations!! I hope you will check them out. Support Handmade...go shopping on Etsy!


  1. I'd be rather surprised to have caught someone's shoe! lol!

    Visiting from Blogging Buddies

  2. Hi Heather,

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I always love to hear from other Blogging Buddies!

    I checked out your blog. Sounds like a wonderful trip!