one last song Volume 22/Issue 4/2004
by Donnie Jay
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Mardi Gras is now upon us, the season of frivolity, merry making, masking and unbridled wantonness parading through our neighborhoods and streets. Visitors doing everything and anything that they would never even consider back in their hometowns. It is that time of the year again indeed, when a walk down Bourbon Street affords you the sight of a thousand dancing boobies, which is of course fine if you are a straight guy or a lesbian, well cest la vie, live and let live I suppose, but quite frankly they hold no appeal for me
"Show us your tits," are the cries that fills the air from almost every balcony you pass and beads are tossed as an incentive for the females of our species to raise their shirts or sweaters. Then those overly horny males hoot and holler, jab each other in the ribs, and drop about sixty-nine cents worth of beads into the sea of outstretched arms. Not a bad price to pay for seeing mammaries on parade, I suppose.
Now during this time of the year many law enforcement offices are brought in from all over the state to beef up our local guys and keep the streets as safe as possible, which is of course and admirable thing. They are state troopers and sometimes even the National Guard, so there is plenty of watchful eyes and manpower to uphold our laws. So it gives a person pause as it were, at least it gives me pause, to wonder why it is that there are so many bare breasts bouncing on Bourbon during these few weeks.
After all if you bare your buns during Decadence you are almost certain to buy yourself a ride with one of our boys in blue, and I can assure you it wonít be a joy ride. It seems that they turn a collective eye when it comes to heterosexuals flaunting their anatomies.
In the past few years women having gotten tired of being the only ones used for sexual exploitation, so they themselves have taken to the balconies en mass with their own rally cries of "show us your dicks" or "bare your buns". More than one young college guy has dropped their drawers and gleefully bent over to moon the cheerleaders. Of course Iím rather pleasantly surprised when I happen to be there to witness these wanton displays of glorious male mounds. I guess I am truly bias when it comes to the baring of tits and ass. The point of all this rhetoric of course is simply the difference of how laws are enforced during the two separate celebrations Mardi Gras and Decadence. In truth I have also seen men whip out their weenies for a pair or two of big boobs (excuse me big beads) and rarely have I seen them drug away.
Then we must think back to all the controversary caused by the Reverend Storm last fall, as I recall he said he would be back to close down this sinful celebration also. So where is his hateful noise now?
Last year during Decadence we were told over and over again that the laws always were and would be enforced equally at all times, that the police department would not turn and look the other way during Mardi Gras nor Decadence. Well Mardi Gras is here and I guess we will see just how equally we are treated. Now I am not suggesting, nor do I want a police state, and I donít see the harm in nudity what so ever. I think a little harmless flashing is part of what makes our celebrations so unique. I really donít want to see fornication in our streets, gay or straight; we have porno theaters for that sort of thing.
When it comes to family values, Iím all for that, but let's face the facts: We were born nude and if that was so sinful why didnít the creator cloth us then? Puritan interests are taught, just as hate is. The human body is a beautiful thing in its totality, so why single out parts and make them unlawful to be seen? We teach our children that being naked is wrong and there is something dirty about it when we should be teaching them the beauty of the human form
In essence what I would like to say here to our boys in blue is simple. Go ahead and look the other way when the beautiful blond bounces those boobs for beads during Mardi Gras, but then when the beefy brown eyed boy drops his drawers during Decadence look away also. That way you wonít be led into temptation nor acquire a sudden case of penis envy and you will leave me with some priceless memories.
Now speaking of priceless memories, let's talk about some of the great balls and parties weíve been privileged with so far this season. Donít you love that segue? I do, if only to shut my big mouth before I get in trouble with the whole City Council et al.
Almost twenty-five years ago I had the privilege to reign as the Queen of Apollo New Orleans during itís fourteenth annual Bal Masque at the Municipal Auditorium. I can remember stepping out onto the ballroom floor as if it were yesterday. It was a wonderful and glorious evening for me as it has been and will be for many others. A few days from now I will return to the same ballroom floor for the second time since, as a part of the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon. I am a new member of this krewe and will be a maid to Bianca Del Rio, Queen Satyricon the second and I know I will be making a new priceless memory.
When I ruled as Queen Apollo the Fourteenth, there were many more gay krewes than there are today and the Gay Mardi Gras season seemed to last forever. The club memberships in that time past were so large that in order for all the members to get their chance to cross the floor, many productions numbers were staged with as many as ten to twenty people in any given group. Lavishly costumed and choreographed they were almost mini balls in themselves. The cost of materials in those days, compared to now, were quite reasonable in comparison. A new krewe made its debut that year and to this day I remember it all vividly and what I remember most about it was the grace, beauty and elegance of itís first Queen.
A few weeks ago I attended Amon-Raís ball and what a totally enjoyable and incredible evening that was. The theme was books and the execution was so unbelievable that it took me back to the balls of so many years ago, when as I just mentioned the cost was so much less, and the extravagance so much more, over the top. To begin singling out any one costume over the other would be impossible because they were all great, some elegant, some executed with so much tongue in cheek fun, I was roaring with laughter. Each and everyone were right on target, representative of its literary namesake. Costumes the size of mini floats were the order of the day for the most part. Some daring the natural laws of the universe, one could only stare in amazement as props turned into costumes and came to life. How to top all of this, well naturally with the presentation of the Royalty. Representing Tennessee Williams and his writings, the King entered wearing a balcony on his shoulder piece. Dashing and self-assured, he greeted his loyal subjects the krewe members and we their honored guests.
Then came the piece de resistance her royal highness Queen Amon-Ra as The Glass Menagerie. The music swelled, the curtains parted and through the mist she appeared, the most exquisite of creatures, tall, elegant and as graceful as any model that has ever walked upon a runway. Resplendent in a rhinestone encrusted gown, collar and headpiece; she was a true aristocratic throw back to the balls of legendary times.
One need not have known her to rise and bow with reverence and respect as she passed, for she earned the awe of all in attendance with the way she carried herself. Her brilliant and warm smile lit up the auditorium with such genuine love and affection, that the spotlight dimmed in comparison. The twinkle in her eyes invited each of us to join her in celebration of this her special night, and when she gave a little wink, which she did from time to time, it was as if she meant it just for you, but then again maybe it was just meant to let us known she wasnít taking herself all that serious. She glided across the floor as though she were floating on air and the train from her collar bore this illusion out, for it seemed as if a giant cloud was following behind her.
When her king joined her for their final walk on this night and then they ascended to the stage to receive their guests, the applause was still thunderous. I am sure that even today it is still echoing through the halls of the auditorium.
Queen Amon-Ra XXXIX,
Michael "Fish" Hickerson
The Queen walked with the same grace, beauty and elegance that I had witnessed some twenty-five years ago at the inaugural ball of the Krewe of Polyhemas. As hard as it may be to believe, but that the Queen of so long ago and the one a few weeks back, was the very same person.
Michael "Fish" Henderson, my heart thanks you for these priceless memories. Not only are you one of the most sincerely beautiful people, inside and out, that it has been my pleasure to know, but also your kindness and generosity are overwhelming. From your tireless efforts for Buzzyís Boys and Girls to the care you show for every individual who needs your help. You are indeed a positive role model for all in our community. May your new reign bring to you all the joy you so richly deserve.
Next up was the 11th Krewe of Queenteenas' King Cake Queen Coronation Bash at the world famous Ambush headquarters on Bourbon Street. The editor and chief Rip and his lovely other half Marsha Naquin-Delain hosted this festive occasion.
A virtual whoís who of the gay and straight communities, entertainers, bar barons, celebrities of all sorts, etcetera; mingled, chatted, drank and dined with many of the cityís political body including our Mayor.
Her highness King Cake Queen XI, Ms. L Ford, looking her exquisite best received the guests in the Ambush offices. Rip and Marsha graciously opened their private residence to accommodate the overflowing crowd. Ascending the staircase to the second floor bar I noticed that the portrait of the new Queen, by none other than photographer and portrait artist, Larry Graham, was already hung in itís place of honor.
On the upper floor our host and hostess provided some of the tastiest morsels I have ever placed upon my palate at any event of this type. Being that the theme for this year is Drums, Drags and Dragons, they personally prepared and served an array of Oriental Cuisine with touches of their Louisiana heritage thrown in for good measure. Auntie Dee, who I raved to about the food when I got back home, she being unable to attend due to the fact she could not find a single pair of stockings without runs, swore she would find out their culinary secrets and publish them for the world to know.
The Oriental theme was carried out right onto the balcony where the 17th annual Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss will be held on Mardi Gras day.
Now the big week is upon us and it is time to collect your own priceless memories. Enjoy this Mardi Gras season as if you were the tourist, go ahead and let yourself go for a change. Run amok in the streets, barf up your beer if youíre so inclined, throw some beads to catch a glimpse of that someone your lusting after, who knows the God of misrule just might be smiling down at you. Just remember not to drop your pants no matter just how great you think your arse looks, especially when the boys in blue are around, they may not turn their heads the other way and that might not be a good thing.
Phyllis this goes for you too girl, just because you have Ambush tattooed on your derriere doesnít mean theyíre going to bail you out. I on the other hand, of course love you dearly, had you tattooed my name on your bodacious butt, I would even cash in my collection of Conway Twitty memorabilia to get you released.
Well when I have been reduced to talking about Conway Twitty and Phyllisí bodacious butt in the same column I know it time to drag out the bottle of Jagermiester and begin collecting some more priceless memories. Til the next time we meet, this is Jaeger Jay singing you ONE LAST SONG.
Have a safe and happy Mardi Gras!
You may e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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