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Mardi Gras moments: Beware of the beads

It started out as a classy evening, at least as classy as an evening during Carnival can be …

I was thrilled to be attending my first ball (the Endymion Extravaganza), and even more excited to be sharing the experience with my sister and best friend from college, both of whom were in town visiting. Another friend, who was riding, assured us we would leave with more beads than we could physically hold around our necks (if you have never been, the Endymion Extravaganza is held where the parade ends, which the krewe saves all of its best throws for), and he did not disappoint.

We stood on our chairs, in our fancy gowns, among boxes of Popeye’s chicken and empty bottles of vodka, screaming “throw me something mister.” But make no mistake: Bead catching in the Extravaganza is nothing like it is on the streets. Instead of begging for a single strand of beads, we were pelted by krewe members with entire bags of them.

As I was bragging about all of my fab catches, Mardi Gras karma smacked me in the face — and by Mardi Gras karma I mean a 5-pound bag of beads. It came with such force that it knocked me off my chair and caused one of my eyes to swell completely shut.


Me in triage.

I won’t lie — it hurt; but my pride hurt more. I had invested a tremendous amount of effort into my appearance, only to leave looking like the loser in a UFC fight. Luckily the ball had a triage set up in the Dome for such bead-related emergencies, and the nurse hooked me up with an awesome eye patch to wear the rest of the night. Despite the pleadings by my sister to go home and rest (there was a chance I had a concussion), I decided to drink the pain away. It was on this night that the phrase “sorry for partying” was born.

Lesson noted: If your friends don’t punch you in the face for bragging about what you caught, flying objects will.

— NolaVie contributor Rachael Kostalec


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