|Shrove Tuesday Pancakes|
The word shrove comes from the word shrive, which (if you believe the OED) means to impose penance upon (a person); hence, to administer absolution to; to hear the confession of.
In other, more civilized parts of the world, today is Fat Tuesday. Today we eat, drink, and make gluttonous khazers of ourselves, for tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which signals the beginning of recovery week for all those of you who party hardy on Tuesday.
As I said, Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, and we all turn over the new leaf of austerity. But let's not think about that; it's unnatural. Instead, observe party time, for tomorrow may never come.
Party Central for Mardi Gras is Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, otherwise known as The Big Easy. The truth (being somewhat less appealing than fiction) is that most of the New Orleans locals leave town during the Mardi Gras season. Those that stay are working and making a nice income off the tourists, all of whom are busy doing the best they can to give themselves alcohol poisoning. The crowds are massive, and the press of people is the only holding some of these party patrons upright.
By the way, if you're ever stuck in a crowd on Bourbon Street and want to get out, the best thing to do is to bend over sharply and make retching noises. People around you will believe that you exceeded your drink limit and will quickly back away, then will give you a tunnel to exit.
As for me, I've never been to Mardi Gras and have no intention of ever going. Mardi Gras is the number one original worst amateur night anywhere, ever. It incorporates tourists, money, and copious amounts of booze. Put all these together and agitate them; see what happens. If you don't believe me, just ask the New Orleans Police Department officers who get stuck working the crowd. They can tell you some real horror stories.
For a safe and sane celebration, go out and have some pancakes for lunch, then indulge yourself in your favorite dinner and top it off with a hot fudge sundae. There you go - Fat Tuesday.