Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras in Los Angeles.

Chris Sullivan and Justine Sullivan eating . . well eating gumbo!

Today is Mardi Gras – or to be translated from the French, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday in the UK; Pancake Day.

Most people there will cook and eat crepes with sugar and lemon juice or they'll have savory pancakes with various fillings.

They will toss those pancakes – it's part of the tradition – and I guess some of them will stick to ceilings.

It all comes from religion, of course, with shrove meaning, as a verb, to impose penance upon a sinner and also has something to do with the word shrive and all the other connotations so I prefer Fat Tuesday.

As with most of the religious traditions in Britain, Christmas, Easter and Whitsun, the religious side gets forgotten about and it is now secular tradition.

Today they will have the mardi-gras in New Orleans which is an excuse to celebrate; people will dress up in costumes and dance in the street.

On Saturday we went to the Gumbo Pot at The Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax here in Los Angeles – a place I have written about before on here.

Near the Gumbo Pot a band played a kind of New Orleans type of rock and roll; they had a pianist/singer, drums, bass, a trumpet and two saxophones and they sounded great.

When they played their first song an older man with beads around his neck and white hair (not me) got up and started to dance with a woman who was sitting near by; I don't know if they knew each other or not but they didn't mind as they were enjoying themselves and everybody was looking at them.

I must admit I had thoughts about granddad or an embarrassing uncle dancing at a wedding but they loved it and the crowd were loving it so who cares.

The next piece of music was a little more up tempo and standing near by was another fella with very long hair and a very curly pony tail and he was listening to the music and tapping his feet as he listened; then his feet started to move to a little more than tapping and he was snapping his fingers too.

Then he moved to the dance floor where the music seemed to catch hold of his body; I couldn't help think of the bear in The Jungle Book and I almost expected him to say the same line “I'm gone man – solid gone!”

He was swinging his hips, shaking his shoulders and generally rattling his bones as the music moved along.

Hovering on the side of the floor was a fairly tall woman using a walking frame; she had nice teeth and a lovely smile and was quite attractive and might have been around 70 years of age as was the pony tailed guy swinging his hips and taking the floor; he beckoned the woman with the walker and she shook her head; again I don't know if they knew each other but she kind of didn't really mean no so she left her walker on the edge of the improvised dance floor and joined the shaker on the floor like Lazarus getting up for Jesus.

He looked after her and guided her as she was, indeed, without the walking frame; it didn't stop him shaking his hips and dancing but she could only manage one dance.

Didn't stop him though – he was still dancing when we left.


  1. What follows "Shrove Tuesday"? I think it's called Lent, when you are supposed to give up something for the duration. I gave up sex a few years ago, trouble is I'm a bit old and can't remember when I'm supposed to 'resume' again, any pointers please? Nice story Chris.

  2. I always thought lent was the past tense of the money you lend to your best friend and never see again!!

  3. I don`t get it... I`m a bit slow today...

  4. What don't you get, Justin? The joke?
    The season of 'Lent' follows Shrove Tuesday it is also the past tense of to lend - silly joke that's all.