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Mardi party hearty on the redneck riviera
Feb. 24, 2004

"FAT TUESDAY", SOMEWHERE ALONG THE FLORA-BAMA COAST

The beads were flying all afternoon, the pirates have taken the coastline and are not giving up anything for Lent. This is the only Mardi Gras where when the call of 'show your tits' goes out, most people look away. There is nothing pretty about it, 'go ugly early' apparently is the theme this year. Our hosts, and their pirate crewe, are the notable exception to this rule, however.

Here on the lovely redneck riviera, which is basically the Gulf coastline of Mississippi, Alabama, and the panhandle of Florida, the living is easy. Bushwhackers, Mudslides, and plenty of cheap beer flow like the ocean tide. Politics are ok for discussion, as long as you sit somewhere to the right of Rush Limbaugh. The mullets were jumping all weekend (not the fish) as long as the band kept pumping out their unique selection of classic rock cover tunes. The parade today, a succession of floats and folks towed along down the strip, was a lovely display of southern hospitality. To recieve a string of cheap beads, your average drunken 14 year old Britney wannabe girl simply had to bare her pubescent breasts to a pirate. A pirate is a usuallly mid-50's or much older gentleman, dressed in a pirate costume, and on the ass-end of a week long drinking binge. Their wives, often much drunker, and more rowdy by far, happily approve of this behavior, because as one said, "Billy Earl won't need no viagra tonight!".

Overall, the weekend of festivities can hardly be described properly with mere words. I highly recommend a visit to the area, especially during Mardi Gras week, because you will never see anything else like it. The people are wonderful, as long as you agree with their politics, values, and know how to avoid direct eye contact with that one guy by the bar with the "Sodamn Insane" (read saddam) t-shirt.