Monday, March 7, 2011

Mardi Gras, the "ever-growing" demand for Moonpie Baby Food and the Webb Compartment

Growing up in Bay St. Louis and having an Aunt who lived on the corner of Jefferson Davis and Banks in New Orleans, how could I survive a childhood without vivid memories of  Mardi Gras Season and all it's revelry, parades and beads?  The "Murphy Family" would all pile up in the "1960ish" blue Chevrolet Corvair which was the proud and snug location of the "Carleen compartment".  The "Carleen Compartment" was really nothing but a storage compartment behind the rear seat and a very compact storage compartment at that.  Nonetheless, it was MY compartment.  It was my spot for special events, trips and vacations.  A place all to myself, away from the prodding and aggravations of my brother and sister, but as I will elaborate, apparently NOT FAR ENOUGH away.  Somehow I always ended up in the lime light and in "trouble".  Apparently, my inability to say "NO" to anyone began at a very early age, somewhere around the age of two (2).  My beloved brother, Pat, and my revered sister, Mary Ellen, truly had me trained to behave like a circus  monkey.  We had a #1, a #2, a #3 and so on, all of which were miscellaneous routines in which I broke into a gyration of  faces, songs and acts of stupidity that had been rehearsed for days upon end prior to our "family outing".  My siblings found great humor and entertainment in watching these shows of asininity done souly at MY expense.  My mother spent a great deal of time disciplining my siblings about "putting their baby sister up to such foolishness" and poor father spent a great deal of time trying to keep his eyes on the road.  I imagine that was a pretty tough job.  Not only were there multiple acts to my show, there was the never ending anticipation and fear of crossing any bridge over any body of water which had a heightened or elevated hump on it.  My brother and sister also spent a great deal of time explaining to me prior to our family outings the "history" of "The Hand" that lived in the water under the hump of every bridge between Mississippi and Florida and Mississippi and Texas.  This was not just any hand, it was a hand that lay in wait under the bridge to rise up like Neptune out of the sea, to grab a car of it's choice off the peak of the hump and whisk it away to the ocean's deep dark crevices, or at the very least the bottom of the Pascagoula River for the occupancy of the car never to be heard or seen from again.  At any rate, is it any wonder that I grew up even remotely normal?  I know, I know, none of you will attest that I did.

Anyway, to get back to my adoration of Mardi Gras, at this point, all I will say is my favorite part of the Season is the music.  As the first note is played and the first Indian makes his appearance, this Bitsy goes berserk.  I never cared much if I had the beads and trinkets that were thrown from the amazing floats, but I did and do get down and scrap for those shiny metal doubloons.  I have boxes of them from years back that I have kept for no apparent reason other than they make me smile.  They make me feel like as long as I have them, I have something that is highly coveted and to me, they are a treasure.  It warms this big ole Mardi Gras lovin' Bitsy's heart to know that I will pass these along to Webb.  It warms this Mardi Gras lovin' Bitsy's heart to know that I will make a point of getting the little man to his first parade, when he's old enough and I will make sure he has his own ladder.  I've been thinking about ways to make his ladder "bop on the head proof, asshead proof, well really~anything proof, and by the time the little man needs his ladder, I have visions of a purple green and gold chicken wire covered, heated, padded, weather proof Mardi Gras contraption customized just for him, envied and lusted after by every other child on the parade route.  A ladder with his very own "compartment", a Webb compartment.   I just can't wait, but for now, I will have to.  I will just keep looking at these colorful doubloons and think of the years of happiness that go right along with them, and the years of happiness and Mardi Gras revelry that lay in wait for the Webbman.
Here is the most coveted, Chevy Corvair, proud keeper of the Carleen Compartment.  No this isn't an actual picture of the wondrous mobile circus show from my youth, but it's as close as Bitsy remembers.  Yep, it was not the best venue to stage a 2-3 act mobile extravaganza, but The Murphy Family managed to do it!  Best of all . . . how many kids can say they got to "STAR" in such a production?  You got it, not one but ME~

Throw me something and make it good.  I've got my Mardi Gras britches on and I'm ready to go!

Here I am on Lundi Gras waiting for the Lil Momma to put my Mardi Gras britches on me.  Wait til you see them.  They are so darn snazzy.  You won't be able to stand it.

I'm waiting patiently and truth be told, I wanna go downstairs and watch Baby Einstein, but I'll do anything for my Momma and she said Bitsy wants to see me in my Fat Tuesday apparel.  So  HERE I AM!

Cute, just slap ass cute.
Throw me something MisterHappy Mardi Gras Ya'll.

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