Fat Tuesday in Mamou

March 22, 2012

You know what's even more lame than a post about Mardi Gras more than two weeks into Lent? A second Mardi Gras post that comes two weeks after that.

(But in fairness, I actually have a task on my to-do list to blog about the haunted -- or at least very creepy -- hotel room that we had when we went to Lisa and Josh's wedding. This would be their wedding two Novembers ago.)

One of Louisiana's finest citizens.
(It's a very good story. I can't believe I haven't posted it yet.)

At any rate, I have to tell you about the much different experience we had on Fat Tuesday this year, and it's been tough to write about. I don't even know where to begin.

theskinnyonbenny family kind of invited ourselves to follow the Chandlers to the small town of Mamou. The Chandlers live in Minnesota, but the old man of the clan -- one JC of a famous "now we're going to run around the Chi-O house with no pants!" incident when he was between college girlfriends -- is from the area, and he knew that the Mamou Mardi Gras was an experience for his family not to miss.

It's something we've always talked about doing too, so finding someone who knew where to go and what to do seemed good. Having boys around Vanya's age made it an even better idea. The small Cajun towns have their own Mardi Gras tradition, and if you haven't been there, you haven't seen it. If you're interested, the Wikipedia article has as much information about it as I would be able to give, without being too detailed, as Wiki articles can be sometimes.

After we parked in Mamou, we walked to the Rozas's house, which is the parental home of a guy I haven't seen in 15 years. Or, I might have seen him at a football game or something once every 5 or 6 years, but at any rate, it was very hospitable for them to take us in and let my fat baby eat their gumbo. (It was really good, too).

After that, we wandered out to the town's main drag, where people flittered in and out of bars, waiting for the dunks on horses to bring their collected gumbo ingredients into town. This is one of the most fantastic places that I've ever stood around to watch people. It's a great merger of Cajun and Redneck, white trash and white trash wannabes. All manner of dress and all of the various accents in the state are covered. We waited around from about 2:00 until about 5:00 before the group came back into town, but it went by fairly quickly.

kids raising their hands

It appears that the age range for an enthusiastic response to "Raise your hand if you're having fun!" is limited.

I know that the idea is that they come back into town with all of the makings for a big gumbo, but the hour is too late and the participants are much too drunk to start a gumbo. Some of them can't even ride in... Well, see for yourselves.

And I'll finish this up with one more pic. Words can't really explain all of this anyway.

chicken guy

Like the others on this page, I have this pic in the gallery, but I wanted to post this particular one here too. I don't know who this guy is, but the pic is just perfect. And yes, it's a real chicken, and it's either alive, or was recently alive at the time of this photo.