The Mardi Gras Olympics – 5 Events You’d Only See Here
The Winter Olympics are an event that sports enthusiast around the world enjoy. I personally like the Olympics. My family hosted a lot of foreign athletes when I was a kid so I learned an appreciation of how Europeans view the Olympics as opposed to the way we Americans do.
What I do know is if the Winter Olympics were held in Acadiana the games would be different. We have no snow, we have no mountains but we do know how to have fun. The Winter Olympics are held every four years and they usually coincide with Mardi Gras. Since they do we thought it would make sense to have purple, green and gold medals instead of gold, silver and bronze. We've still got a few years before the games come back around, so let's get to training on some homegrown Mardi Gras events.
Often the measure of a South Louisiana resident is how well one throws and catches Mardi Gras Beads. The brightly colored beads need to fly in a certain form in order for the catcher to make an eloquent grab. The qualifications for the thrower are simple, can you symmetrically toss a strand of beads with one hand and not spill the beer in your other hand. For the catcher the qualifications are a lot more rough and tumble. Can you jump without spilling your beer? Can you elbow children and old ladies with one hand while preparing to catch with the other? Do you understand great body position and using your hips to move people off of beads that have hit the ground? This sport would be graded on accuracy, physical ability, and blood alcohol level.
Law enforcement officials will tell you the reason for the barricades along the parade route is to keep spectators safe. We all know the barricades are put there to provide added height to those vertically challenged. The art of maintaining balance on one or two feet while controlling a 16 ounce beer is not only appreciated in South Louisiana, it is judged. The criteria are based on the contestants ability to stand fully upright, not spill any beer and get to the ground at the first sign of law enforcement in the area. There are also penalty points for falling over into the parade route or slipping in such away that the top bar of the barricade prevents reproductive organs from ever working properly again.
There is a tradition in Mardi Gras that says the person that gets "the baby" is responsible for bringing the next king cake. While most good spirited citizens of the area abide by that code, there are some that do not. They always seem to avoid the baby. It's kind of like NBA players do with real children and child support. These cunning connoisseurs of king cake have learned to reapply the baby to an unsuspecting persons plate. This allows the cake taker the ability to enjoy king cake all season long and never have to pay.
If there is a by product of prodigious amounts of beer drinking it would be the over abundance of bladder emptying. Since so many people along the parade route will be consuming, there is a great need for the portable toilet. The game is this, can you time the amount of time it takes you to empty your bladder to match the exact amount of time that you can hold your breath? Most people train for this event by attending festivals through out the year. Training in high heat and humidity tends to make using a portable outhouse easier around Mardi Gras when the weather has cooled off.
Tossing a strand of plastic beads while sober and with both feet firmly on the ground is easy. If you add the degree of difficulty of riding on a moving float, cognitive thinking disrupted by alcohol, and the fact that the darn things get tangled the minute you turn your back, you will recognize the sport in this event. Anyone who has ever ridden on a Mardi Gras float knows the feeling of recognizing someone in the crowd. That someone recognizes the float rider too. The challenge get the friend on the ground a good strand of beads before the float rolls by. Failing to do so will result in months of "I saw you on the float and you didn't throw me nothing". It's embarrassing and it's shameful. That's why the gold medalist in this particular event knows the secret strategy. Wear a mask and nobody will ever know it's you.