CLASH OF THE ENTITLED
From the SPANKwire
All Hail Bromion, the largest parade and the most extravagant party of Mardi Gras! As dedicated merrymakers, we believe that there’s just no point in doing something unless you cover it in LED’s, fiber optics, and make it so large it can’t take a corner regularly cleared by 18 wheelers! After all, money is no object for the Krewe of Bromion. With a membership drawn from a who’s who of personal injury attorneys, podiatrists, investment bankers, and regional restaurant franchise owners, the full resources of our Krewe members are brought to bear on creating a once-in-a-lifetime (or at least once a year) show for the people of New Orleans and our visitors.
This year, the Krewe of Bromion will feature Mr. Ambrose Cyrus Beauregard, Esq. as King Humbert II, and the young and lovely Ms. Delores Lolita Haze as his Queen. They will ride at the head of the parade in lavish feather costumes so enormous they must be suspended from a metal pole. Be-in-the-know-like-a-pro-tip: don’t bother asking the royalty for beads, they’re just there to preside over the party! The real fun will follow the King, the princes, his dukes, knights, squires, and pages, the Queen, the Princesses, her ladies-in-waiting, assorted attendants, the Friars and the nuns, a float of eunuchs, the falconer, ushers, heralds, and the stewards. You can hear it coming, echoing down the crowded streets. That’s right, that’s one hundred percent grade A bass in your face courtesy of the lovely ladies of the Chalmette Face-Stompers Dance-and-Grind Club. By the time they finish whipping and nea-neaing past you, you’ll be primed to shout for some throws.
Why throws, you ask? Don’t parades throw beads at Mardi Gras? Of course! But Mardi Gras is about creativity! In addition to variety of short and long beads we’ve curated from our family archives of Mardi Gras memorabilia, we also like to throw things that blink, break easily, hurt to catch when your fingers are cold, are comically oversized and/or plush, or can be ordered in bulk from the Oriental Trading Company. Most respectable, popular krewes in New Orleans also throw a “signature throw” and Bromion works hard to be thought of as respectable and popular. When the floats go by, try to make eye contact. If someone notices you through their mask, just tip your wrist back like your drinking. If your girlfriend is cute, maybe he’ll throw you one of our limited edition, hand crumpled empty beer cans. No New Orleans porch is complete without at least one!
Mardi Gras is about partying, so after the parade we rent out the biggest stadium in the city and rock out to the sounds of the biggest acts of the late 1980s and this year, someone the Queen suggested named “Pitbull”. But the party is, as we say in New Orleans, “lagniappe.” We spend money, we hire armies of people to build and run the parade, we buy vast quantities of lite beer, we do it all so you can watch us have fun. There’s nothing more fulfilling than the attention of begging throngs fighting over useless trinkets in the dirty, broken streets. We can’t wait to roll by on our blinding, city-sized floats, talking amongst ourselves and drunk-texting in front of the joyful crowds of Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras Viewing Fundamentals
By Arthur Hard-on, presented by the Krewe of SPANK
Click here to download a PDF of the guide: Cover / Inside
Welcome to Mardi Gras! If you’re planning on attending a parade, it doesn’t matter whether you’re new to it or were born into it, this is the guide for you. Here, in brief, are the basics about attending parades during America’s greatest party.
The best way to view a parade is to plan ahead. The first step is to enlist your own “Krewe” of family and friends, even friends of friends, even complete strangers. Carnival is a great time to meet new people, particularly with its tradition of heavy drinking often by those who do not regularly imbibe.
Next, get to the route early to claim your own personal area. The earlier you arrive the more space you’re entitled to, and it will become a valuable commodity come parade time. Here you need to make a decision, neutral ground or street side. There are also vacant lots, and unused yards that are free for the taking. Remember if it has not been sufficiently fenced off, it’s fair game.
Once you have your location, mark out the boundary along with the name of your Krewe with spray paint in bold Carnival colors to claim it, then rope it off with caution tape. If you’re on the street side be sure to include the sidewalk. Then you can add old sofas, port-o-lets, just about anything large, to cement your claim. You can give it a colorful name and add a sign if you like, such as the “Krewe of Chad” or “Spanktuary”. Come parade day, bring all the tents, tarps, chairs, ice chests, chaise lounges, barbecue grills, and all the other similar personal effects you desire and block off all access to your personal space.
Common everyday stepladders are a great way to protect your territory and let children and adults view the parade. Be sure to place them right on the curb and even in the street if you can. Use the ricketiest you can find, fasten them together to make a palisade around your area and particularly, your section of street frontage. Don’t worry about the people behind you who failed to claim their own territory. By basic Carnival rules, you claimed it, you’re entitled to that spot. Don’t let anyone force you to share.
If you arrive too late to claim an area, public streets, especially the intersections, are a great option. Don’t worry about the traffic, they can find other ways to cross the parade route. Again, use ladders, chairs and other similar personal effects to wall off your area and block all access to your space.
Facilities along the route will be limited so if you can, get your own port-o-let. If the company will not deliver to your location, have it dropped of nearby and move it yourself. Otherwise, walls, landscaping and sheltered spaces of the adjacent homes traditionally serve as restrooms. As with most things, whatever has not been sufficiently fenced off is fair game.
Once the parade is finished, simply retrieve the items you desire, and leave about the rest. The city or locals will take care of any required clean up.
Remember these basic rules: you claim it, it’s yours, if it’s not protected, its fair game, when you’re finished with it, it’s someone else’s problem, and your sure have a great time! You’re entitled to it!
Photos by Roy Guste