Lord of Misrule

by pjmcbride

I have called you all together to address the topic of a certain photograph recently circulated on the Internet. Said photo purportedly shows your World Leader, dressed in un-matching clothing and wearing what are commonly known as Mardi Gras beads. Questions have naturally arisen.


Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday,” because it comes before Ash Wednesday. Since the exact date each year depends on the date of Easter, it is understandable that one might not remember when it is. But we can all agree that IT COMES ON A TUESDAY, and therefore NO MARDI GRAS PARADE ON FRIDAY, UNDERSTAND?


I just learned a few days ago that Mardi Gras has its own official colors–who knew? Purple, green, and gold. I realized–I can do this! As follows: purple turtleneck, gold polo shirt, olive green pants. And yes, the fact that nothing matched (well, my underwear matched the turtleneck, and my socks were chosen not by color, but because that pair wouldn’t scrunch down into my snow boots and never be heard from again, but I digress) didn’t bother me as much as it would have bothered me to go out on Mardi Gras not wearing the Mardi Gras colors, once I knew there was such a thing. Once you know the truth, you’re obligated to follow it.

“But, but–” they say, squirming with impatience, “what were you doing eating lunch with Nick in the first place?”

Well, because he asked me. And the reason he asked me, it turns out, was because his owner was out watching 50 Shades of Gray, and he was in need of some wholesome entertainment. (Although, as it turned out, he was secretly fantasizing about how I acquired my two {2} strands of Mardi Gras beads.) (More on that later.) (More about the beads, not his fantasies.)

We were chaperoned by his two cubs, Thing One and Thing Two. Thing One is, I believe, destined to become like his father–Nick said, “I love you, son,” and was answered with “Yeah, right.” Four years old and he’s already sardonic. This was followed by a steady barrage from the back seat–“Dad, can you see me?” “No, I’m driving.” “Can you see me now?” “No.” “How about now?” “No, but I can feel you kicking the back of the seat.” Nick’s patience was saintly. I found it amusing, but I don’t have to live with it, since I have no children that I know of. Thing Two didn’t remember that he’d actually seen me a couple times before, and stared at me with solemn suspicion.

We landed at the Canton Inn, where Nick had threatened to take me on our ridealong, which now will never be, due to scheduling conflicts (the conflict being that I refuse to work on the same shift with him). I partook of the legendary buffet, which has the wonderful plus of LABELS FOR ALL THE FOOD, so I don’t have to risk a golden-brown batter coating actually containing something I don’t like. I had: egg drop soup, crab rangoon, fried rice, green beans that looked like asparagus, and which I actually thought were asparagus until my dining companion corrected me, and something called salty chicken, which was. Chicken and salty, that is. It was all very good, and the fried rice was excellent. Speaking of being corrected by my dining companion, I HAD TO BE TOLD that you’re supposed to take a fresh plate when you go up for seconds, instead of bringing back the plate you already have. Well, it’s not like I was going to stick my saliva-coated fork and spoon back into the public trough, so WHO CARES, and more importantly, HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW?

“But, but–” they say, imprudently interrupting me, “what about those Mardi Gras beads?”

OK, then. There is actually a separate story for each strand.

STRAND 1 (green round beads): This was a reward for eating lunch at Hacienda on 1st Avenue, which I did because my dental appointment happened to be on Mardi Gras one year, and Hacienda is across the street from the dentist’s office.

STRAND 2 (green disk-shaped beads): A reward for standing at the bus stop at Franklin & St Joe after the Mardi Gras parade had passed by. (And you know the old saying, “I Love a Parade!”? I hate a parade.) The beads were lying on the ground next to the bus stop sign.

So you see, there was a story to go with these beads. Just not a very interesting story. (“I came up with a better story,” Nick says, but I pretend not to hear him.)

And then he took me to DQ to get ICE CREAM, because I’d said I was giving up dessert for Lent the next day. Because that’s just the kind of guy he is.

I got home, and thought smugly, Ha! He should have taken a picture, to prove that I actually agreed to be seen with him in public, but he didn’t think of it! Went to check my email, and thought, Why are there all these Facebook comment notifications? Because HE TOOK THE PICTURE WHILE I THOUGHT HE WAS CHECKING HIS TEXT MESSAGES. So, speaking of 50 Shades, I think his owner should spank him when she gets home.


All together now: What old country? Any old country!

Nick was quite taken, in an icked-out sort of way, by a playful threat grownups used on children back in Rom’s childhood–“I’ll turn you upside down and spit in your butt!” Feel free to use it on your own children, if any. It will at least make them stop and stare at you for a moment.