Mardi Gras Nuttiness

OK, now for something light, even silly. My friend Dave is a lawyer who lives in New Orleans, right in the French Quarter. I have known him since 1981. He was the pledge master at my Phi Delt chapter. He is a total maniac. After he moved to New Orleans, there was a brouhaha involving the Krew of Comus, one of the very old social clubs which put a float in the Mardi Gras parade every year. The city barred any organization from participating which did not racially integrate. So, after over a century, Comus was off the street. Dave, a traditionalist of an extreme sort, was upset. So, he spent a fortune having a spectacular Comus costume made for himself, and he returned Comus to the party all by himself. He founded the Mistick Social Drinking Club of Comus as the vehicle for an annual party, which commences at 9:00 a.m. on Fat Tuesday at his pad, which then spills out into the street. I have yet to be able to go. But I at least write an elaborate regrets letter, this year’s went thus:

Thrice hail, O Great Comus!

I am in receipt of your missive anent those delightful annual revelries, which will raise many raucous shouts and much jolly laughter, amidst copious bibulation, in daylong merriment, both within your own temple precincts and bursting forth as it were onto the ancient flagstones of the French Quarter of the Crescent City. Yet again you so kindly deign to solicit my participation in these fabled events. Yet again, O thrice great Comus, I tremblingly approach you, and humbly prostrate before your Olympian eminence, I express my renewed and tearful regret that I must once more decline your proffered invitation. Train not upon me thy baleful eye! Visit not upon me thy more-than-human wrath! Would that I could join you, and those others similarly blessed by your many kindnesses, garbed in motley (or other suitably festive raiment) in full-throated imbibement and convivial companionship — before embarking on the usual course of severe and arduous Lenten austerities commencing the next day. I pray that you will forgive my absence, knowing as you do that duty alone keeps me from your company. I trust that you will convey my greetings to the assembled throng of your votaries. I hope too that you will quaff at least one flagon of savory and ardent spirits in my name, O most splendiferous and aureate Comus! Farewell.

Maybe some year Iíll make it down there.