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Why Mardi Gras Was a Real Drag – 1994

Why Mardi Gras Was a Real Drag

It had been several months since my buddy, Fernando, had invited me to participate in a local event. I think probably because he is not totally comfortable about me writing about every single incident that happens to me. However, the other day I was asked if I would like to dress up and parade around the streets to celebrate the “Carnival de Ajijic”.

Well at that point my only idea for a blog was an expose on concrete furniture – “the inside story”, so this sounded somewhat more interesting. When I met Fernando that morning there was a pair of large dangley earrings on the breakfast table. He handed me another pair and said “Which ones to you want?” The noise of the penny dropping was audible.

This is the local version of Mardi Gras and they want me to dress in woman’s clothing! Having been to the celebration in New Orleans twice I have seen the guys who walk around in drag and they were really weird.

Now I was raised in a town of 300 people in rural Ontario and to say we were taught to be homophobic is an understatement like “The OJ Simpson trial captured some media attention”. My buddies may have had intimate relations with livestock but they were female livestock. If I had anything half way interesting to say about the concrete furniture I would have begged off. As it was I said “OK”.

As the rest of the troop assembled I realized I was the only one in drag that didn’t spend way too much time exploring their feminine side. I opted for the blue evening gown with standard balloon breast and buttocks. Personally I thought I made a very attractive woman. Better than my date for the senior prom in high school (which was Michael Eager, from the Nueva Posada) but that’s another blog all together. However, when everyone saw me they all laughed which in an odd way, was kind of insulting. After two hours of excessive preening the band showed up and we were on our way.

“What do I do now?” I asked. “Just dance and jump around. Here is some confetti to sprinkle on the women and flour to throw in the children’s faces” was the reply. “Dance? I don’t samba. I’m Canadian for goodness sake! I had rhythm bypass surgery when I was a child.” “Just follow me” said Fernando who was dressed as a male by the by.

For the next hour and forty five minutes I kept thinking “Man I hope this mask doesn’t fall off.” It didn’t and somewhere in the first couple of minutes I started to have a great time. In fact, the term “dancin’ fool” could be applicable. The only problem was when Fernando and I tried to do that knee to groin dance that’s so popular here. It got good laughs but next time I’ll lead.

The scene after the parade was a “you had to be there situation”. You try cavorting around in the midday sun with a mask on. . A bunch of sweaty guys sitting around in dresses drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, spiting and swearing was a Kodak moment from a Gary Larson cartoon.

That afternoon, Fernando, his family and I went to the bull riding exhibition. The unspoken benefit was that it would bring our testosterone level back to normal.

Next year I think I’ll go with a tea frock. Evening wear is so tacky before 6:00 pm don’t you think?

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