Oh, my legs are heavy today! Two days of long rides and a sunburn (antibiotics+sun=no good) have left me exhausted, but that certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to miss a daytime parade on the first weekend of Mardi Gras. Please. I considered walking, but a bike is faster, so I put the bike in a low gear and headed over to find C. and P.’s corner where I always know I’ll find healthy bead competition. I worried a little that I might not have the energy for the parade, but I did, and as soon as that lead truck came into view, I was ready to do my part for the parade and cheer on the dance squads, the high school bands, and the floats–because that’s where the beads are. The parade works best when the parade rolls steadily, there’s enough crowd to create that Carnival buzz, and the throws are steady. Sometimes, though, the parade stalls, and things become rather uncomfortable. I want beads, but a shower of them takes the fun out of it. And the riders must wonder what to do after awhile–they’ve got to save beads for the whole route, but if they aren’t throwing stuff at us, we lose interest, and then what’s the good of ruling over your subjects? I took the opportunity to get out my camera and take a picture while one rider checks her cell phone and the others look over the crowd, because if you make eye contact with us, we are going to turn on you until you give us what we want. But this isn’t what the day looked like to me, while I was there. To me, it looked like a parade. I love parades.