It was a Fat Tuesday at Farmer’s Market. Mardi Gras. There was a good New Orleans band doing funk, zydeco, etc and the people were drinking too much and throwing beads. The crowd was relatively tame this year and the drunkenness was toned down and I saw less wanton behavior…beads were being handed out but no one had to show anything to get them. Ordinarily that is a requirement. Well, it’s not a requirement, but of course some of the women pretend it is. Even some men pretend it is. Most are drunk. Not all of them, though. Many are quite sober, lifting their tee shirts and gracefully catching the beads. Some have a few strings. Others are burdened down by a weight of beads, some very expensive looking. That’s a lot of flashed tits, hours and hours worth. I wonder about those sober ones, the ones who flash and catch, flash and catch with such admirable skill. I wonder what they do for a living. Are they teachers, secretaries? Lawyers? Were they in the office just a few hours ago? We’re they sitting in dull meetings answering dull questions and thinking about beads?

A couple ladies stood before me. Tomorrow they’d be teaching Sunday School. Today they were dripping beads. The drunken male chorus demanded their tits. The Sunday school teachers obliged. Beads fell like rain. Tomorrow would be Lent, but tonight is about laughter and drinking and venal sin. There will be plenty of time for confession later. They’ll be heartily sorry for having offended Thee. They’ll say it over and over, a dozen times over. The more beads, the more times. A string of Acts of Contritions is worth its weight in beads.



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