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KS Alternative Factor

“Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez"

I went with a group of friends for some fun at the Mardi Gras celebration at Farmer’s Market yesterday. I had dressed for the occasion in a glittery-t-shirt accessorized by lots of Mardi Gras beads, including one which sported a four inch long green plastic alligator, along with 6 inch long beaded earrings, and mundane black pants. “D” had brought along a couple pairs of Mardi Gras themed sunglasses which would have done Elton John proud back in the 1970s, and some of us took turns wearing them. “M” was wearing a top hat accessorized by lots of beads and a rubber crayfish.

“D” has been going to this celebration for years, and had prepared by purchasing 36 dozen strands of beads from mardigrassupplies.com. It was tremendous fun handing out all these beads to total strangers! Most were happy to to get free beads; some were greedy and wanted them *all*, and a few people just didn’t *get* we were handing these out for the fun of it, that we weren’t selling them or repping some store. TPTB wouldn't allow us to actually throw them, but it turned out just fine anyway.

My favorite was the woman from Denmark who had visited Farmer’s Market because for some reason it’s a famous tourist attraction. She was quite delighted she’d found herself in the middle of this big strange party...!

We had all sorts of Louisiana food – po’boys, hush puppies, crepes, sweet potato salad. We bought a King Cake. I’d like to know how it’s possible that the “baby” always shows up in the very last piece...!

“R” and I reminisced about the New Orleans WorldCon we’d both attended, all those years ago. It’s always entertaining to do the fannish six degrees of separation! I met “R” last fall at a local slash party, but we’ve attended several of the same events over the years, including the slash con Calicon.

A great zydeco band was playing, and people were dancing and partying all afternoon. It was slated to go late into the evening as well, but that sort of partying is a been-there-done-that thing for me now. (Total amount of alcohol consumed: one bottle of dark ale, split among three people. Last of the big-time drinkers, I guess...!)

Sense memory is a funny thing. Come this Wednesday, I know I'll be able to feel, as if it were being drawn anew, the ash cross on my forehead. How many years has it been? Too many to reveal here... :-)

A toast to everyone in New Orleans; they are on a long and difficult road. A friend of mine grew up there, and on a recent visit back home she discovered everything from her childhood is simply – gone. It’s going to be years, I suspect, for recovery to take place. But I see on the net that they’re doing many (all?) of their traditional parades and partying. Let the Good Times Roll!

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