Monday, February 19, 2007

Mardi Gras in Lake Norman

Purple, gold and green balloons formed an arch above the bar inside NV nightclub. The head of a giant jester hung from the

ceiling. A man wearing purple royal robes and purple face paint handed out beads.

On Saturday, NV made partiers feel as if they were on Bourbon Street. Beads dropped from the club’s balcony, music boomed, women and men wore masks, and people danced all over each other to top 40 hip-hop.

To make the experience even more authentic: a girl standing on the dance floor threw up, apologized, and went back to dancing. Surprisingly, the only thing I didn’t see was girls showing their breasts for beads.

My girl and I got into a contest to see who could get the most beads. We each started with three. On the way inside, she found a set on the ground. Once inside, the purple-face man gave me a set. Then a big sweetheart from Asheville gave me a handful. He said he’d recently ended an 11-year relationship with a woman who had a wild hair. He was visiting with his two brothers, and he wanted to give me a handful of beads because he liked us.

I was leading the bead pack, but my girl got inspired. She hustled one guy out of a nice set, and then the big Asheville guy gave her a handful. Before the end of the night, she’d earned 17 and I only had 10 -- but hey, Mardi Gras partying is just getting started.

On Tuesday, there are Fat Tuesday parties at Cans and Dixie’s Tavern. My girl is going down.