Daniel Gingras

My first Mardi Gras here at Cal Poly was an unforgettable one. I spent the week prior to “Fat Tuesday” loitering in the dark corners of Sierra Madre’s walkways, peddling an assortment of cheap Chinese-made beads to would-be boob-beholders, and fleeing to the bushes whenever UPD cars were in sight. Come February 28th, I sprung for a bottle of Gordon’s fine Vodka with the extra cash I’d made and hit the streets, fleeing to the bushes whenever UPD officers were in sight. Pandemonium was everywhere, but Gordon and I pressed on. Before we knew it, I was on one of the balconies at the infamous Cedar Creek Apartment Complex. Everybody started chanting “Show your tits!” and looking in my direction. I was confused and wondering if they were talking to me, when bright lights from several medium-grade film cameras in the crowd all flashed into my eyes. Before I knew it, the girl to my immediate right’s bare tits were so close I could feel the heat waves pulsing off of them. Then a beer bottle hit me in the chest.

            What I really want to talk about is this: What is it about Mardi Gras that gets women in the mood to show their tits to everybody? I’m not trying to discourage it; I’m trying to understand it, because we can’t seem to get them to do this for any other holidays. Out of 365 days, Mardi Gras is some sort of fluke day where throwing things at women makes them want to be naked. I tried throwing a bouquet of roses at some girl this Valentine’s Day and screaming “Show your tits,” but instead of breasts I got a faceful of fist, and I never got to try again because the bitch walked away with my flowers. I wasn’t about to spend another $9.99 on more Albertsons rose-like carnations.

            So, is it the tradition? If they think they’re upholding a tradition when they hold up their cans, they’re wrong. The Mardi Gras “tradition” of baring breast for beads isn’t even a tradition at all. Though the first Mardi Gras was more than 300 years ago, Louisiana records indicate the naked breast thing didn’t begin until the 1960s. Sure, promiscuity was always the theme, but it never got that out-of-hand until drunken tourists of the ’60s showed up. Once that happened, the New Orleans Police Department tolerated the bosoms so long as they weren’t causing public disruption, but these days things are getting stricter. In the interest of women’s’ safety, flashing has become less and less tolerated by the law due to increasing “acts of indecency” done by men to women just trying to earn a few strings.

            Is it the fame? Maybe it’s that the girls aspire to get captured on film in a GGW video. Girls Gone Wild, the trademark of the series of videos most closely associated to drinking, mammaries and promiscuity that is Mardi Gras, makes millions of dollars each year selling video footage of intoxicated nubiles bouncing around. I can’t see this as an incentive to women. When they consent to being filmed, most girls in these films have a blood alcohol level that would rocket them to the moon if you lit their urine on fire. Right-minded girls would probably decline the offer to become a nationwide image in the male spankbank.

            Truthfully, I can’t figure out why it works the way it does. But on this one holy day of the year, it works. And just like Sudoku puzzles, not understanding something has never kept me from continuing to do it. So this year I’m digging out more of the beads I never sold, and practicing my aim on some mannequins in my backyard. You should too. Feb. 28 is one of the best days to observe peculiar human nature in concert with peculiar human sexuality. Or if that doesn’t do it for you, check out that perky tit on the left bouncing into that perky tit on the right.


 For Questions, comments or to buy twenty-five strings of beads from Daniel for only $5, write to dgingras@calpoly.edu.

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