(Like the festive fonts? No yellow, I’m afraid, because you can’t see it on the white background.)

I really don’t have any Fat Tuesday plans this year.  I may or may not get away from work early enough to drop in on the tail end of the pancake supper being cooked by the eldest gel and her youth group friends for parishioners over at RFEC, but aside from that I suppose I’ve simply got too old to whoop it up before the onset of Lent.

Every year, I recall to myself what happened my first year of law school.  A classmate of mine, who hailed from Noo Awlins, invited a bunch of people over for some home-made jambalaya.  Even now, all these years later, my mouth starts to burn in memory of teh hot that I put into it that evening.  Dayum, it was gooood, though!  Later, a group of us went down to the then-only bar in the entire town of Metro-Lex, Virginny.  There, we got the bartender to concoct a drink we called the “Generals’ Crewe”, a layering of purple, yellow and green liquors, the actual names of which I can no longer recall. I also cannot recall how many I had, but I do remember that the final bill was stupendous.

The whole evening I had a nagging feeling that, instead of being out partying, I really should have stayed in swotting up my Crim Pro reading for the next morning.  Roger Groot, the professor (now, sadly, deceased) who taught the course and was known as the “Groot Monster”, was a big, tough, ex-Marine Corp JAG country boy who did not suffer fools or layabouts gladly.  He was famous for singling out one or two students per class session and making their lives pure hell, and being called on by him hung like the Sword of Damocles over all of us.  For some reason, I got it into my head that evening that I was going to get nailed the next morning.  And damme if I didn’t.  (I suppose in retrospect that he was actually rayther lenient on me, since all he did when I failed to answer adequately was to give me a look and move on to someone else.  Those who really angered him were often subjected to shotgun-like personal critiques.)

The other Mardi Gras memory I have is of being in Mobile, Alabama on Ash Wednesday the year after Katrina hit Noo Orleans.  Mobileans are very tetchy on the subject of Mardi Gras celebrations, claiming that they started having them first, but that the folks from Louisiana pinched their idea and exploited it.  Because of the hurricane damage that year, however, Mobile was able to snag a lot of people who would otherwise have gone to New Orleans.

Wandering around downtown Mobile the morning after, I was simply dumbstruck by the aftermath.  It was utterly disgusting and the only thing that kept the stench from knocking me flat was the fact that there was a keen northwesterly wind whipping through.

I’d like to do more by way of celebration next year, I think.  Perhaps the weekend before we should join in on the tradition of baking King Cakes.  It looks both fun and tasty.