My Great Big Booty
Taking home more than souvenirs from Mardi Gras lady krewes
By Kate X Messer,
5:03AM, Wed. Feb. 6, 2008
Throw is not a verb in Mardi Gras speak. Throws are the baubly/trickety things that come flying at you off of a float, hurled with wild abandon by float riders.
Most throws are beads. Cheap plastic strands from China. But some are fabulously sought-after prizes. Some are created by artists who go to great lengths to concoct totally unique and one-of-a-kind throws. (Sadly, I did not see any of these.) Others are unique to the particular group who is throwing them. Like anything thrown at a Muses parade.
Hands down, my favorite prizes so far have come from the two post-post-feminist, hyper-femininity, stereotype-soaked womens groups in NOLA, the Muses and the Divas.
The Divas are a bit of a mystery, but are known for taking old Mardi Gras beads and elaborately enhancing bustierres with them. They are often seen in the company of hunky middle aged fellows who look like a certain peanut-butter and banana eatin' dead celebrity. The Muses, on the other hand, are greatly documented as New Orleans first all-woman krewe.
Throws from both groups of babes are treasured. This year's Muses theme was Muses Night Fever, with floats, costumes, and trinkets all thrown back to the Seventies: In addition to their patented pump (mine is filled with lip gloss!), there were disco balls, rollerskates, lava lamps, etc. I made out like a blizzard-sniffin' Studio 54 bandit.
Some of the most valuable throws do not come in the form of tangible object. My personal favorite Mardi Gras catch thus far has been a delusional (mine) bit of eye contact with one stunningly delightful Camel Toe Lady Stepper. I mouthed, "I love you" and traced the shape of a heart over my heart; she very kindly winked and blew a kiss.
[Edited Jan. 2015 to display full gallery of pictures and update links.]