By Angus Lind, Staff Writer for Times-Picayune
“There are more clues this year than ever before,” said an excited Deep Float, as we deftly maneuvered our way between tightly parked floats in a double secret undisclosed location somewhere in the city limits.
As per the agreement with the duke in exile intermediary that Float cut a deal with, our blindfolds were removed once inside Le Krewe d’Etat’s den.
“It would be nice if the lights were on and we could see,” I told Carnival’s most famous Carnival espionage agent, who specializes in the theft of mystic secrets .
“You can’t have everything,” he said. “My invention, the Infra-Red Infallli-bull-ator Imaging Device, can see everything that needs to be seen.”
“And through it you see . . . what?”
“I see rock and roll song titles, lots of them, everywhere I look.”
“So what’s the big deal with rock and roll song titles?”
“Only d’Etat could hook those titles up with the politicos and the pretty people who make the news worth reading, scribe. This is not some namby-pamby ‘Famous Flora & Fauna in Films’ copout theme with recycled floats. This is nasty, biting satire, the way Carnival was meant to be, with original old line floats and flambeaux carriers that will please the parade-goers and The Dictator.”
“The Dictator? Who is that?”
“D’etat does not have a king,” said Float emphatically. “Because of the nature of this volatile organization, it has a Revolution instead of a ball. The Revolution is allegorical in that the krewe revolts against or opposes any commercialism. It has no use for corporate sponsorships, throws that can be redeemed for anything of value, renting floats to out-of-towners, riders without masks and monotonous dance groups. And everyone swears allegiance to their leader who rules with an iron fist, the Dictator.”
“And who might that be?”
“His name is never revealed, of course, but my sources tell me this Dictator is old and cranky and not especially stable – which makes him a perfect leader for d’Etat. But enough about that. Look at these floats with me, they are something to behold. And only you and I are fortunate enough to get a glimpse before the parade rolls Friday night after Hermes, a fine old organization itself.”
“This looks an awful lot like Gary, uh, what’s his name?” I said.
“Condit. So soon you forget?” he said. “Every float has a song title and a song title clue. This is ‘Go Away Little Girl’ and the clue is ‘Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.’ And we thought we had some sleazeballs in office here in Louisiana.”
“This has got to be Emeril with the chef’s hat and ‘Moi’ embroidered where his name should be on his white chef’s jacket.”
“This one is not tough to crack at all,” said Float. “The song is ‘Mr. Big Stuff’ and the clue song is ‘You’re So Vain.’ His TV show was more like a collapsed souffle and that hissing sound is the air going out of his ego.” On the front of the float, it was observed, was “Ham!” instead of “Bam!”
“This one over here appears to have the motto of the state of Louisiana legislature or something like that on it.”
“It’s apparently the new logo that replaces ‘Union, Justice, Confidence.’ The new one is ‘Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll.’ It seems to be based on Lonesome Charlie Dimwit, the speaker of the house who livened up the partying and sex scandal scene in Louisiana. You know, you’ve got to wonder: Just what kind of house is he the speaker of? And we thought things would be dull without EWE.”
“You’ve got to like the float title, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and the clue, ‘Sugar Shack,’” I said. “Say, Deep, what’s this?” I handed him some beads I picked up off the floor of the den. “Good Lord! I haven’t seen these since I was a kid. Could they be . . . .?”
“Yes, they could,” he said. “No one has seen them in years. They are throwback beads. Which doesn’t mean you throw them back at the floats – that’s not allowed. No, these are authentic successfully cloned glass beads from the 1950’s. They will be THE CATCH for all of Carnival. Mo’ better than costume jewelry, they are prized baubles. Fashionable women will wear them year-round.”
“How did this happen?” I asked.
The organization’s Special Man, Float said, has issued a position paper on this. Naturally, he had already secured a copy of it: “DNA was extracted in a smoke-filled room from several pairs of old glass beads. It was then hermetically sealed and shipped to our laboratory overseas where the new beads were created. We have no comment on the effect this will have on the economy of the Czech Republic.”
“Wow! That’s dynamite!”
“Speaking of dynamite, check out this busty Brittney Spears float. The title song is ‘I’m Too Sexy’ and the clue is ‘Like A Virgin.’ The judges have given her these scores; Looks, 10. Talent, 3. She is a looker, no doubt about it.”
“Those couldn’t be Kentwood water jugs she’s, uh, holding, could they?”
“You never know with this krewe, scribe. They even have Dancing Elvi, (CQ) a choreographed dance team of Elvis clones. Come, we must hurry along now. By agreement, our time here is limited and the clock is ticking. We have pledged not to reveal all the secrets, just enough to titillate the parade-goers. And we surely don’t want to violate that and have to deal with the High Priest or the Keeper of the Bones.”
“Who would they be?”
“You don’t want to find out. They make The Dictator look like a cupcake.”
“Hey, look at the clue song on that float, ‘Willie and the Hand Jive.’ Doesn’t that look like Pee Wee Herman?”“I’m not going there,” said Float. “And neither are you. We’re outta here.”
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