Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Samedi Gras and Ash Wednesday

by on Monday, February 26th, 2018

Determined to test the truth of William Blake’s proverb “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” a bacchanalian throng of New Toulouse citizens and visitors ate, drank, and reveled their way through the Carnival season, which culminated in the annual Samedi Gras Parade on Saturday, February 10. Masked men, flirtatiously fleshy women, and even a team of stately unicorns rolled through the streets, either leading or atop a series of intricately wrought floats, all of which stood out as pristine works of art. A further delight was the surprise appearance of Ms. Maggie Hawksby as Queen of Carnival, a revelation which warmed the memories of even the most inebriated Taloosters. Ms. Hawksby reigned with elegance over Carnival just a short two years ago, and her presence served as a poignant reminder of our fair city’s storied history and deep tradition.

Queen of Carnival Maggie Hawksby (photo by Andrea Jones)

Samedi Gras Parade (photo by Joss Floss)

Masked man (photo by Andrea Jones)

Masked dancers (photo by Andrea Jones)

While eager onlookers were treated to a multitude of different “throws” from the float riders, the prize catch of the season was the Krewe of Wulfenbach’s engraved silver beer stein. Though there were reports of at least two unaware onlookers requiring a set of stitches to repair gashes resulting from stray steins, those with quick reflexes and sticky mitts came away with a keepsake both lovely and useful.

Dancing fool (photo by Andrea Jones)

Reveler with Wulfenbach stein (photo by Andrea Jones)

Having arrived at the end of the road of excess, the more pious among us marked the beginning of the Lenten season by attending the Ash Wednesday liturgy at the recently renamed Our Lady of Wisdom chapel. Visiting archbishop Aloysius Nolasco presided over the solemn service, marking the foreheads of each penitent with ashes, a reminder that our lives, like our revels, are impermanent.

Our Lady of Wisdom (photo by Lepanto)

Ash Wednesday crowd (photo by Shannon Spoonhunter)

Ash Wednesday service (photo by Lepanto)

Performing the liturgy (photo by Lepanto)

With Carnival officially closed, one jelly-legged and red-eyed penitent paused while leaving the chapel and remarked, “Holy and profane, sordid and sacred … that’s New Toulouse. That’s the rhythm of our lives.” He then tipped his hat, bid me adieu, and shuffled off bayou way, singing out to the stars, “Dum vivimus vivamus” (“While we live, let us live”).

Diogenes Teufelsdröckh resides in New Toulouse Bayou, where he drinks bourbon, wrestles mudbugs, and ponders the Mysteries.

Rewards offered for ghost sightings

by on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Following a sharp rise in reports of local hauntings, a fresh survey of ghostly activity is taking place in New Toulouse Parish.

The Spectral Activity Survey will continue through December 5, so be on the lookout for any haints, spooks, wraiths, phantoms, specters, poltergeists, or other apparitions. Citizens who register 20 ghosts with the Beacon Spiritualist Institute will gain access to gifts organized by the Taloo Boosters Society.

“The ghosts of this parish, among them the oldest inhabitants of the area, have for too long been without a voice,” said Richard Mains, a recently deceased candidate for New Toulouse mayor. “Since many ghosts are housebound, we call upon the living to find us and tell our stories.”

The most recent survey of this type was undertaken in November 1914, when 2,720 spirits were reported in this parish.

To get started finding ghosts, visit the Beacon Spiritualist Institute at 23 Nightingale Street, New Toulouse, and pick up your “Ghost Hunter’s Kit.”

Jack Mondieu, Ace Reporter, is awfully fond of spirits.

Bacon of hope? Group takes aim at bayou woes

by on Friday, June 30th, 2017

A volunteer studies water hyacinths in a display at the Bayou Safety Initiative.

If you’ve ever wanted to turn flowers into bacon, now’s your chance.

No, this isn’t just more of the usual bunkum. We are daily bombarded with fantastical assertions, and now we are weary and jaded. Flowers into bacon, you say? Why, only the other week a traveling man of God—with his very own tent and a parish permit and a not untalented banjoist—promised that if I added whatever coinage I could to his collection plate, my prayers would be heard and addressed. I can report that despite my having put a solid three lindens into the holy kitty, not one of my prayers has been answered, including the one about the trousers. But I digress.

If you have the right kind of flower—Eichhornia crassipes, the water hyacinth—you can indeed exchange it for bacon. Of a certain type. While supplies last.

The Bayou Safety Initiative is kicking off its flagship campaign with help from Perrineau & Co., a local provider of innovative meat solutions. Foreign flowers threaten our domestic waterways—nay, our very way of life. Buying liberty bonds won’t stop flowers. Only hippopotamuses, and you, can help.

Perrineau, near packages of lake cow bacon.

In partnership with the initiative, Perrineau & Co. is offering a free package of hippopotamus bacon in exchange for any living water hyacinth plants. This comes in the aftermath of a recent water hyacinth giveaway, the ill-advised promotional effort of a local grocery.

“Our lake cows already help control the water hyacinth population,” said Perrineau. “They find them delicious—but not as delicious as you’ll find our lake cow bacon!”

(In case you’ve been asleep for the past few years—I’m looking at you, Krewe Van Winkle—a “lake cow” is a hippopotamus, at least in the parlance of Perrineau & Co.)

The Bayou Safety Initiative could use your help. The group has offered to pick up water hyacinths from homes and businesses, but the response to the bacon-for-flowers deal has been overwhelming. To volunteer, go to the BSI office at #8 Rue Bayou, New Toulouse.

Jack Mondieu feels far more threatened by zombies and gators than by any flower.

Tinies kick up their heels for a good cause

by on Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

If you heard the patter of Tiny feet in New Toulouse on Saturday, you weren’t imagining it. The Tiny Social Aid and Pleasure Club held the seventh New Toulouse Tiny Dance in aid of Relay for Life. Those critters raised a staggering L$15,050 in the fight against cancer, and they had a great time doing it.

Mayor Henri Godenot and Miss RMarie Beedit were unable to attend but sent apologies together with generous donations. Among the Tinies present were Miss Eilidh McCullough, who started the ACTS team Tiny Dance tradition, team captain Olde Eldemar, who looked most dashing as a cavalier, and his co-captain and wife, Cassie Eldemar.

The DJ was once again Manfred “Owlbear” Hancroft with his “totally legit” tunes.

Our photographer was there capturing the scene as the cream of Tiny society strutted its stuff.

Frances Lava is a Biggie and intends to stay that way. She lives in Gloryville overlooking her family tomb.

Founder’s Day party this Saturday

by on Friday, March 17th, 2017

WHAT: Founder’s Day
WHEN: Saturday, March 18, noon

The singer/guitarist Untolerable Bohemian will perform, and presumably the mayor will give a speech (and possibly jump into a bucket). Make for Laveau Square on Saturday and see for yourself.

Samedi Gras ’17 movie

by on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Relive Saturday’s fun, thanks to Natascha Randt!

Samedi Gras ends, unhappy resident to depart

by on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

[Here’s an anonymous letter along with some parade photographs taken by our own Miss Pie. Visit her gallery to see these pictures (and more) in their full glory.—Ed.]

Dear Sirs, or Madames, or Pirate Cats, or whatever you are—

I cannot express how angry I am at the recent displays of outrageous behavior in our City.

While the world is fighting the War to End all Wars, our city is playing in the streets.

Saturday, February 25, was the day of the Annual Samedi Gras Parade. People filled the streets of New Toulouse, carousing like wild beasts or hedonistic fools, and behaving in a generally unchristian fashion. Men were wearing masks, in direct contravention of the laws of this city, and women were wearing masks, and little else, while shaking their bodies in immodest ways.

There was the occasional well-dressed woman, it is true. Mrs. Rose Whitefalcon and Miss Francesca Alva were modestly dressed, but when the post-parade party started, Miss Alva was out there shaking like a wild woman just like everyone else. Miss Beedit was showing entirely too much shoulder. My husband and I grabbed our child, boarded the ferry, and took refuge in the Bayou, fully expecting divine retribution as in the biblical stories of old.

And to what do we owe these expressions of sinfulness? It is our own people’s fear of penance, people who cannot observe a few weeks of Lent without preparing for it by drinking, smoking, carousing, idolatry, the worship of pagan gods, and every other imaginable vice.

The displays of flesh were appalling. I estimate that the City should have earned several hundred in Parade Fees, and at least that much in nudity permits. I hereby call upon the administration of this den of iniquity to donate at least that much to the Gumbo Charity.

This type of behavior must not stand. We intend to leave this damp wicked place and live somewhere safe, clean, and dry, perhaps Las Vegas.

—Color Me Gone

Zombies throw shindig, resurrect old floats

by on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

On February 3 the Krewe des Zombies threw a Float Decorating Party at Kari’s Bar and Dance. Miss Karima’s club was decorated to the hilt, with green, gold, and purple covering every bit of the stage, and covering some bits of the reveling audience. Retired Zombies floats from past years decorated the club entrance and the waterfront warehouse doors.

Mamaa Saiz warmed up the crowd at six o’clock, playing standards and favorites, and within a few minutes everyone was dancing. After a great performance, Mamaa Saiz put away his guitar, donned his dancing shoes, and joined the crowd.

The Hogman was in fine form, bantering with the reveling crowd, teasing and joking, greeting old friends, and changing up his playlist to deliver a fun, festive show. Quitting time came around, but the Hogman didn’t slow down, he just kept playing long after quitting time, and the audience loved it. The Hogman played a half hour longer than expected, enjoying the warmth of New Toulouse and the enthusiasm of the crowd at Kari’s.

The party ended at 8:30; the tired but happy crowd went home. Not a single bit of float decorating had been performed.

The Zombies krewe had so much fun not decorating their float that they plan to not decorate their float again this Saturday, February 18, at 12:30 PM. Miss Kari will entertain the club with zydeco recordings until the live performer, Mr. Winston Ackland, begins at 1:00 PM.

When Floyd Barrileaux is not writing art and music columns, he can be found moving cargo at the docks.

Carnival season is upon us

by on Friday, January 6th, 2017

Twelfth Night, January 6, marks the traditional start of the Carnival season leading up to Mardi Gras. Let the festivities commence!

The captains and krewes of New Toulouse encourage all citizens of New Toulouse to participate.

How can you participate? The easiest way is to join an established krewe. New Toulouse has at least half a dozen krewes, some of which have been parading here for the better part of a decade.

What can you do in a krewe? Krewes decorate floats and parade on them, but they also throw parties and perform charitable fundraisers.

How can you join a krewe? Most krewes have information kiosks in the research room at City Hall. If you don’t see a krewe that strikes your fancy, you can form your own. Contact Yvonne Follet (phone NT-321) to add or update your krewe information.

Mardi Gras falls on February 28 this year, so the multi-krewe Samedi Gras parade will take place on Saturday, February 25.

Happy New Year, and happy Carnival season!

Henri Godenot is the mayor of New Toulouse and the captain of Krewe des Zombies.

Cards on the loose in New Toulouse

by on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

When Celestina Navarre arrived in New Toulouse, she couldn’t have known that she would become the most celebrated soothsayer in the parish. Or maybe she did know. All bets are off when it comes to fortune tellers.

Madame Celestina, as she is known to her many satisfied patrons, was part of a traveling carnival but jumped ship to set down roots in New Tou, in what was to be the most heinous mixed metaphor in Tattler history. She soon built up a large and varied clientele that ran the gamut from housewives and underpaid journalists to moneyed landowners and the holders of the highest offices of city government. Now these patrons are upset because she can no longer offer her acclaimed tarot card readings. Why? Her special cards are missing.
You would think that a seer would be able to find her own lost property, but apparently that’s not how it works. It seems that this is akin to losing one’s eyeglasses: Without her cards, poor Celestina cannot see any farther than you or I can.

If her cards are so important to her, how did she come to misplace them? When asked, Madame Celestina said that she discovered the cards’ absence right after the leader of the Goat Gang had asked for a reading. She hinted darkly at a connection between the two incidents but did not outright accuse the gangsters of stealing her cards. This reporter tried to get her to divulge the identity of the mysterious Goat Gang leader, but she demurred, citing professional confidentiality.

A coalition of Madame Celestina’s clients is offering a reward for the return of her tarot cards to their rightful owner. Without her insight into their lives, they say, it is harder to make important decisions. For more information about this effort, citizens are urged to visit Madame Celestina’s place of business, located at #8 Bayou Street (rear entrance).

Jack Mondieu hopes for the return of Madame Celestina’s cards, because he can’t recall where he left his best pair of trousers.