Lord Willin
Rack of Enchantment The Not-So-Secret of Mardi Gras

It’s 7 a.m. on Fat Tuesday, the final and peak day of New Orleans carnival. I’m up, or waking up, drinking my first bloody mary of the day, hot glue gun in hand sticking dozens of oversized fake chrysanthemums to my cape in the last calm minutes before the madness resumes.

I’ve had a few hours sleep since last night’s event, the coronation ball of the brilliant Krewe du Poux (yeah, that’s “poo”), where my group appeared wearing tall conical hats made to look like piles of shit with flies buzzing around them. We scavenged the hats from the trash of a major parade, then repainted and adorned them for our purposes at the last minute. The Poux party was a real circus, featuring a midway of homemade carnival games and a raucous shopping cart smash-up derby followed by a parade through the neighborhood. I barely made it there because I’d been in bed all day recovering from my own krewe’s parade and the afterparty where I alternated bartending and dancing until 4 a.m.