Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kyle Tackles Mardi Gras... and Wins!

Yesterday was the most fun i've had in a LONG time.  Mardi Gras is a regional phenomenon that, until experienced for yourself, just doesn't garner the respect that it deserves.  My family has a float that they enter in multiple parades during the season and yesterday, Fat Tuesday, was my opportunity to join this crew of pirates and enter into the realms of Mardi Gras history.

The day started at 9 am when we met up with the float to begin our voyage.  I began by burying my case of beer deep down into a cooler full of ice.  You can't party with warm brews after all!  We loaded up and headed to Biloxi to meet up with the rest of our pirate crew.  (Mardi Gras is a legit excuse to dress up like a fool and just be completely crazy)  My cousin Brice and I started discussing when we were going to pop our first top.  We decided on 10 am our time.  We found out that 10 am here is 5 pm in Rome.  So, to pay our respects to our ancestry we would have a toast at that time.

10 a.m. 

We crack open our first cans and send a toast into history.  Brice surprises us by breaking out Jello shots.  We take a few in respect to this historical day.  They were so good!  They were those ones that can be really dangerous because you can't taste the alcohol in them at all.  That's ok with me!  After picking up the rest of our crew and having toasts for every new member we acquire, we head off to get lined up for the parade.  The line-up is one of the best parts of the whole day because it's just one big party!  We got into position and let it rip.  We had our DJ on board and the tunes were kicking.  It's around 11 a.m. at this point and the parade doesn't start rolling until 1.  That is plenty of time to get a little on the tipsy side without much effort.  These next few hours turned into partying with my parents and family, throwing a few cheers up to our neighboring floats, and heckling random parade goers passing by.

1 p.m.

I can see up the line that floats are starting to move.  I get really excited, finish the beer in my hand, grab another, then insist on more shots because the parade is moving.  That is the moment when I realized something.  I was beyond the point of responsibility and decided I needed to go ahead and apologize in advance for anything anyone may see me do, hear me say, or hear someone else say something I did over the next couple hours.  I was in Kyle Go-Go Gadget mode and was about to get crazy.

1:18 p.m.  We start Rolling

At this point I can hardly stand the anticipation of what's about to happen.  I've got beads in my hand just ready to start flinging them into the air.  A few minutes later we finally start to hit the crowd and I go nuts.  I'm shoveling beads over the side like they are on fire and about to burn the ship down.  I realized very quickly that I need to slow my roll because I would've burned through my entire stash before we reached the first turn at that rate.  At some point, in this first stretch, I was accused of being a racist because one child of a certain ethnicity received something and a child of another ethnicity didn't.  Come on man, i'm not even looking where i'm throwing this stuff.  

Once we finally got down the first straight and into the turn things changed immensely.  All of a sudden the crowd tripled in size and they were going nuts.  You get that feeling of being in a huge band or being a professional athlete.  These people are SCREAMING and waving their hands at you like crazy.  Of course it's because you have something they want.  That something is beads.  Crazy, I know!  I love it though.  I love that, at this point, I have a crowd of people in the palm of my hand that I can basically manipulate to no ends.  They will do almost anything for their prize.  That is when I started throwing my hands up telling them they will get nothing if they don't get loud.  At one point is was yelling at the crowd, "I AM YOUR KING, YOU ARE MY SUBJECTS, YOU WILL BOW TO ME OR YOU SHALL RECEIVE NOTHING!!"  Someone actually did bow and was rewarded for their effort.  I am completely eating all of this attention up.

Throughout all of the excitement between the king and his subjects, I haven't slowed down very much on working my way through my adult beverages.  The shots continued to appear as well.  It's getting pretty ugly at this point, but i'm not slowing down.  The people need their King after all.  That is when I got my best idea of the entire day.  What are people willing to do for beads?  I formulated a plan.  I know many of you already know the currency used to peddle beads in New Orleans.  If you can't figure this one out let me explain it to you.  Women have them and they are situated on their fronts between their chin and navel.  That's not what I decided to use as my selling point.  This isn't New Orleans for one.  It's a day time parade.  There were children everywhere, so I just didn't feel that was a very viable option on this particular day.  I decided that if you wanted a pair of King Kyle's "fancy" beads, he would need a beer in return.  (Sorry for all the third person jargon, I was three sheets to the wind at this point and these are just the thoughts I remember having and the way they came out in my head.)

Beer for beads mania has hit!  Well at least it hit in my head.  This tactic worked exactly as I had hoped it would.  I would hold up said "fancy" beads, the crowd would erupt into insanity, I would point to my drink in a fashion that would let the subjects know that this is what I needed in return.  It took me something like 30 seconds to receive my first treat.  A woman emerged from the crowd with Jello shots in her hand, we made the exchange, and I enjoyed more delicious jello shots.  I thought out loud, "wow, that actually worked quite well!"  I was instantly enamored with my new found skill set.  I continued on.  Another set of beads for more jello shots.  I'm getting quite beyond my means at this point.  I can barely speak in decipherable English, but I don't care.  I'm a hit!  I continued on with this act for the next hour and a half, or so, of the remaining parade.  I made out like a bandit.  I came close to replacing the entire original case of brew I started out with.  We got a little bit of everything too, Mic Ultra, Bud tall-boys, Busch (gross), Coors, and etc...  I even gave a couple of beads away to women that thought this was actually New Orleans. (refer to above New Orleans currency)  They would just appear out of the crowd, give me an eye full, then demands payment.  Of course I obliged!  I'm only human after all! haha

The day rolled on and I had a blast.  I remember telling my mother all that had happened and she thought I was a step below genius with the beer trading, but informed me that I was not supposed to tell her about what the random ladies had done.  Sorry Mom! ;)  I also remember telling everyone that Mardi Gras was better than Christmas and Santa Claus sucked anyway.  The things you will say when you've had a few drinks!  I will say that MG is definitely one of the best holidays going.  Sorry to everyone that has never experienced it.  It's pure madness, but such is life.  I enjoyed every minute of that and pretty much every minute of life to begin with.

I had really great intentions of taking a bunch of fantastic photos along the way, but if you've read up to this point you should realize that it probably didn't happen as I had planned.  I did get some though.  Enjoy.

My mother getting the party started!

Father of the King


DJ Hostile aka My cousin Justin

Crazy suit guy.  Not a victim of the King's heckling.
You gotta respect a guy that willing to go into public
wearing something like that!

Brice and his boys before the parade.

The pirate parents of the King

The King himself.  
I wish I had a picture of myself drinking my beer with
the double hook hands.  In my mind it was impressive!

Dad and Dougyver

Brice handing out Jello shots

The kings subjects.  This is about where I lost interest
in taking anymore photos.  Sorry!

The ride home party.

After we got back I demanded that I needed to be taken home because I was too tired to continue the festivities.  I passed out on the couch for a couple hours.  When I woke up my ears were ringing.  It felt like my whole head was underwater.  That was an evil hangover.  It was only like 9:30 p.m. at this point.  That's when I knocked out the "What a Night" post.  I hope you've been enjoying these post because i've really enjoyed living them.  Thank you for all the continued support!  

Until Next Time,

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