My calves are a-sore from walking and dancing the weekend away. I was super jazzed about a night of debauchery and booze at the 2nd Annual Long Beach Mardi Gras, which promised costumes, music, and New Orleans flavor. They had a parade at 3, but I missed it because I’m a layabout and I just couldn’t get out of the house in time despite a relatively early start. I heard later from some Canadian adventurers that the parade was joyous and colorful and completely confusing because they did not remember Compton being so friendly-looking.
We arrived in Long Beach around 3:30 and the parking was plentiful, but kind of a pain in the ass. If you plan on going next year, bring cash so you don’t have to wander around looking for an ATM and also free parking so you can use said ATM. I didn’t have to do that because I somehow had cash on me, a rare occurrence, but Ernie was totally screwed. Whoops. When we got there, the children’s section was only mildly bustling despite the opportunity to jump in one of several bounce-houses, make masks, and play in a giant balloon floating in a pool of water. I really wanted to play in a giant balloon in a pool of water but the sign told me I had to ask about the weight limit and I figured if I had to ask, I was too heavy.
We wandered away from the kids section and people attempted to sell me beads from stalls even though I obviously didn’t need them.
See that yellow and pink bag? It’s chock full of nothing but beads and glitter. Ernie and I wandered away from the kids’ section in search of some debauchery but everywhere we looked were strollers and toddlers. Where was I supposed to throw my beads?! Past the art for sale and the puppet animal stalls, past the bead stalls and picnickers we went in search of the fabled Party Gras. We headed toward the press of people on the pier, but when we got there, that’s all there was really. Just lots of people, milling about. There were costumes a-plenty, more than a few pirates, and an Elvis on stilts who sweet-talked all the ladies.
Interspersed in the crowd were more children, being sticky and preventing any boobs. I still gave out a lot of beads though, because I believe in fun.
We wandered around the various shops, which were eerily reminiscent of Seattle’s Pike Place. All the buildings on the pier were super brightly painted, so of course I wanted to live in all of them. There were a couple of jazz bands and we accidentally went into a fenced-off area where our bags needed to be checked for whatever reason, but there really wasn’t anything going on. When we were satisfied that we’d seen everything that was happening, we joined a friend for dinner and drinks in the hopes that when we left, there would be less kids and more drunk, promiscuous women showing off their tits. By the time we got out of Bubba Gumps, where everyone in the damn restaurant is celebrating their 21st birthday until the end of time, there were pretty much no people on the streets. It was unfortunate because we had dragged old Lames Foreman out to Mardi Gras with the promise of boobs, but I had another engagement to rush off to so, disappointed though I was, I had to dash anyway.
I was off to 80s Night at the Hully Gully with the lovely Sara and her friend Maria. I had never been, but it was lots of fun. Basically, there are two rooms with bars and a dance floor inside and a DJ blasts 80s music at everyone and they 80s dance all night. I generally don’t dance so 80s dancing, which from what I observed mainly consists of shuffling from foot to foot, was an easy way to get into it. I was apparently good enough at shuffling because I garnered the attention of a relatively cute guy who had apparently been told that 80s dancing consisted of two-handed grabbing ladies butts and then rubbing your junk on them.
When we parted company with him and made for the much cooler smoking patio, we happened upon the aforementioned Canadian adventurers and told them many tales of dildos and lube accidentally left where everyone could see. It was still Mardi Gras for me so I gave all three of them beads and FINALLY got to see some exposed chests.
All around a fun weekend, although yesterday I came about as close to death as I’ve ever been. Ernie and I were driving home after midnight on the 241-S, the toll road that is the only freeway into Rancho Santa Margarita. It wasn’t raining so much as maliciously misting. Ernie drives a lot slower than I do, but we hit a puddle of water or something and our car was suddenly spinning out of control. We spun at least twice, then unintentionally Tokyo drifted across the wide, grassy median, and ended up across two lanes on the 241-N, completely unscathed. It was the glass lamps falling on me at Tuesday Morning but on a much grander scale. Something’s watching out for me. Once we’d gotten the engine back on, Ernie got off the freeway and got back on going the way we needed instead of just driving back over the median like I wanted to. It was probably for the best. It looks like our car got out miraculously unharmed too, although it is completely filthy and there is a lot of plant matter all up in the rims. I pulled out a dandelion before work today.
Back on topic though, the Hully Gully was a much better time than I could have expected, not being fanatical about 80s music or dancing where people can see me. Our friends from the North helped a lot with that though. And the Long Beach Mardi Gras had potential but was unorganized and lacked the type of shameless people who would really make it shine. I’ve never actually been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans however, so I really have no basis for comparison.