Garbage City

This blog may entertain you.  It may make you laugh.  It may make you wonder if you’ve landed on a strange planet…

But the “Enjoy New Orleans” category of our blog is just that – a place to make note of the things that make our city so unique.  A simple walk outside your door will confirm it… there is rarely an hour that passes without some strange sight, some quirky advertisement, or some interesting character interrupting our complacency.

A quick example… it’s just a Monday.  It’s President’s Day, which (gasp!) does not even warrant a parade in New Orleans.  I am working from home today, in hopes of catching up on some tax preparation, but even here in our quiet neighborhood, I am still clearing away the rubble from Mardi Gras.  This will take approximately three months to accomplish.  Every resident of New Orleans knows exactly what I mean.

In our fine city, we measure the success of each Mardi Gras by weighing the trash.  For real.  On Ash Wednesday, the day after all the celebrations are over, garbage and clutter in the streets is quickly raked, swept, scooped and loaded.  Then it is weighed.   If we have more tons of trash than last year – it was a success.  I think 2013 is probably the all-time winner, but I haven’t heard the official numbers.

Here are the official numbers from my house – mine are based on left-overs.

1.  Half a king cake, two boxes of beautiful, dying truffles from Sucre.

2.  Four full bottles of wine.

3.  A soggy ice chest full of water with two Bud Lights, apple juice and another bottle of wine still in it.  This is at the office.

4.  Two large wicker baskets full of Mardi Gras throws.  Sixteen no-longer-working Hermes light up necklaces.  Four scepters (which also no longer light up).  Approximately 500 strings of beads, eighteen stuffed animals and characters, and miscellaneous logo panties, paper flowers and plastic balls.  This stuff will be around for a long time because our three-year-old, Bryce, will not part with it.

5.  Same things as #4, but duplicated at the office from our open house the Friday before Mardi Gras.  Also three mini umbrellas with purple, green and gold fringe.

It takes a long time to get rid of all this stuff, because in this first week or so after the parades, the excitement is still living in it.  It sparkles and shines with recent memory of lighted floats and drum beats and spangled costumes and friendship and laughter and hoarse throats.  It seems too valuable to be discarded… but give us some time.  By the third week of Lent we’ll be sufficiently sobered to realize that some of it can be weighed, then thrown away, measured and recorded as another fabulous season, gone for now.

So for today, I’m finally going to dump the cakes.  Mold was spotted on a raspberry.  I may even empty the ice chest of the water… and consider what to do with perfectly good hooch that will probably not re-chill.  Be patient with me.  Tomorrow I’ll take care of the half mason jar of moonshine the kids made… and so it goes.

Happy 2013 everyone!  Enjoy New Orleans…