Mardi Gras

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So tonight is one of those nights when I sit down to write a blog and I’m not sure what will come out. You’ve been warned.

Today, as I sit here writing, is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, the typical New Orleans celebration of parades and masks and let’s just say “all kinds of things.” The premise is pretty simply. Tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent, which used to be a big sober bunch of prayer and fasting and abstaining from a whole variety of things to prepare for the celebration of Easter. Big 40-day-long shindig of guilt.

Mardi Gras was the last big hurrah before all the somber started, beginning with Ash Wednesday, which is a holiday, or holy day, to remind you that you’re going to die.

Today it’s just an excuse to get wasted. My favorite Tuesday night fish tacos have been overwhelmed by the most obnoxious people who are compensating for their drunken unpleasantness by being extra loud and laughing like open-mouthed nightmares with their cavities on display.

Seriously. If I wanted to see that, I’d go upstairs and hang with the muse.

YA Author Tom Hoover on Mardi GrasAnd have you ever noticed that on these kinds of obligatory party days—along with St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Cinco de Mayo, and whatever other ones I’ve blocked due to emotional scarring—people decide that you’re somehow going to like them better when they’re reveling? I’ve been drunk. And loud. Obnoxiously so. I’ve seen pictures of me in this state—I’ve even seen a few videos of me that I wish I could unsee.

Here’s what I learned. When I’m altered, in public, all annoyingly festive and stuff, I am exactly like the people I’m avoiding tonight. So instead of pointing a damning finger at them, I will be honest and include myself in the mix. Join me in the self-revelation of the public drunkard’s oath:

I, say your name here, am not as stupid as I seem to be. I realize that when I party, I am not wittier, sexier, or more attractive.

Women (or whatever your gender preference) do not find me more appealing, but rather more repulsive, a condition that becomes truer with each tossed-back shot.

I am not funny, only loud.

I am not endearing, but rather the thing that others point to when they mouth, “Oh dear god, please no.”

I am smooth like a cheese grater, and as kissable as that toilet in the original Trainspotting movie.

I am truly the opposite of everything I think about myself in this state.

And I deserve how I’m sure I’ll feel tomorrow.

Feel cleansed? Me too.

Now shut up and ask someone to call you a cab.

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