Boogie avec le Marquis le Marquis’ Intimate Diary

“Beads! Beads!” THURSDAY, 22 FEBRUARY, 2001, NEW ORLEANS
Beads! Yah? So? I haven’t updated in a week. What the hell do you want from me?

  1. I have Bat & Kallistí in town from San Francisco. It is a rare, momentous occasion that all four editors of “Suffering Is Hip” magazine are in one place at one time, and the moment requires some attention. So I haven’t been able to write.

  2. I have suffered (not hiply) a cold for the last two weeks that has made me feel like a great, steaming pile of ass (and not in a good way), so I haven’t been able to write.

  3. It’s frickin’ Mardi Gras ovah heeah! So I haven’t been able to write.
Beads. It’s alllll about the gosh-demmed beads, doggonnit.

Last time I lived in New Orleans, I had some next-door neighbours who had a baby. The girl’s first words, in this order, were, “Dada”, “Baba”, and “BEADS!”

My modest writer’s skills are not honed sharp enough to convey to you the allure, the power, the master/servant slavishness that is incorporated in a string of sparkly, cheap, plastic beads flying at you from a gaudy papier-mâché float on a balmy February evening on St. Charles Avenue. People go fuckin’ nuts for this shit, myself included. Whooping and screaming and jumping up and down and making lascivious lip-licking gestures to the throwers in the hope of a huge handful or a medallion being flung down.

Not I, not Kallistí, nor Bat are particularly fond of parades. Verily, they are comprised of every odious attribute a situation could contain: Crowds, Children, Herd-like Jocularity, Not-So-Pretty-Princesses Waving Half-Heartedly With One Tired Hand. But throw into the mix a deluge of green, silver, white, red and gold sparkly-warkly beads, and for some frightening, deplorable reason, the damn event comes alive. You lose your mind and your modesty. You become a whore for beads!

Kallistí knows. She lived here. She timed her visit to coincide with the Mardi Gras parades, knowing I lived off St. Charles Ave. Bat was skeptical. She and I share the same abhorrence for crowds and haphazard children bounding about, and not even on leads!

But by the third day of parades, Bat is teasing her hair out, propping up her formidable tits, daubing body-glitter in her cleavage, wearing chemises décolletées, and whooping it up with the rest of us as a float floats by, plastic manna shooting out quaquaversally like heavenly ejaculate.

You get fixated on one particular object per parade. It’s important to catch a cup from each theme (yesterday, “Saturn” and “Muses”), and a medallion from same.

Muses! “Muses” had two medallions — rare for a parade. The more common, a leaf with funky M-U-S-E-S letters, and then this rarity — the pump!

“Red. I should have known it would be red.”— Piper Laurie in “Carrie.”
I became fixated on getting more pumps. (Hélas, ‘twas not to be.) But the weather was warm enough to warrant taking off my shirt and bounding about like some red hot chili pepper, and “Muses” is a ladies’ parade — that is, the ladies throw. So I scored, and walked home swishing my hula skirt of beads! humming “Caramba! It’s the Samba!” to myself blissfully.

And speaking of Caramba, It’s the Samba, today’s “DJ, Save My Life” selection is dedicated to Kallistí and Micha-Pooh-Pooh-Kitten-Ass (in absentia) and all those lost, hopeless days and nights when we used to sit in Monaghan’s at 811 Conti (pronounced “Cont-Eye,” duh), being entertained by Darrin the Aging Punk Rocker while listening to that song on the juke sung by the Queen Mother of Amphetamines herself, Miss Peggy Lee in her later, sloppier days. The song is a rarity (and took no little effort on my part finding the right version on Napster) as it has an out-take as a lead-in.

Messy Peggy begins the song, fucks up early on and starts barking weird chants, “Beir-beir-bum-bum-bong-bong.” The music stops. A frustrated producer mumbles something incoherent to her. She whines and complains about “not being able to hear the flutes,” then does a take two which is successful.

Kallistí, Micha-Butt-Butt-Kitten-Butt and I would laugh along with the song every goddamned time, quietly realising that Loopy Mz. Lee was mimicking our own lifestyles, and that our own death-by-debauch was imminent. Hearing this ghost from the past warble and klutz her way through Caramba! It’s the Samba! was like laughing in the face of death for those of us still on this planet and going about things pretty much the way she did.

History repeats itself, and for a damn good reason.

Meanwhile, in Boston…

Lisa shoots out a dubious email to some of her friends and correspondents, opening up a forum to mock her, as she asks people to write a LisaMcC-esque mock-diary in her style.

So I did this, then.

I don’t know if I have the cajones to ask people to do the same for me. It’s a frightening thought.

“DJ, SAVE my life!” TODAY: Peggy Lee at her pill-poppin’, booze-swillin’ best: “Caramba! It’s the Samba!” (3.2 MB)