Happy Mardi Gras, Mr. President
Written by C.W. Cannon
Thursday, 15 February 2007 16:50
The guy who lost the White House china in a poker game. The guy who invented the term “bloviating” to refer to the verbal release of hot air to placate the suckers in the audience between cocktails. This “Jazz Age” president wasn’t into the “wiggle and wobble” but he was game for speakeasies and bathtub gin. Remember, before the Ohio Players, there was the Ohio Gang. The chapter on Warren Harding in one history book is called “Weak and Mediocre Presidency.” But hey, what’s Mardi Gras all about anyway? Crowning the weak and mediocre and anointing it with booze and bodily fluids until it’s transformed into something…presidential! The poor man just wanted to be left alone. As a senator he minded his own business, too. But of all the votes he missed, the one on prohibition wasn’t wise. Hey, at least he didn’t vote FOR it! He was a skirt-chaser, too, so that gets him invited to our party. (What would Mardi Gras be without inappropriate sexual overtures?) For placing the Partay above the interests of ideology, politics, or the good of the country, we must honor Harding with a flowing purple cape and maybe a headdress of some kind. At least Harding blew off his job for a good reason! (As opposed to pretzels, brush-clearing, etc). And don’t worry about that “Worst President in History” label; my money and my china are on him shaking that moniker soon.
Best Place to Party with Harding: A private room at the Harrah’s hotel, with a card-table, well-stocked bar, and newly fitted out with a customized balcony for occasional bloviating to the public.
#4: Ulysses S. Grant
The guy of whom Lincoln said, “Find out what that man’s drinking and give it to all my generals!” U.S. Grant, the lush on the fifty-dollar bill, is one of America’s best-known boozing presidents. They even named one of the signature Grant administration corruption scandals after his favorite drink: the Whiskey Ring. Hey, if you’ve got to party with a politician on Mardi Gras, have the good sense to pick a corrupt one. He was a good guy, though. When he inherited a slave from a wife’s relative, in 1858, Grant did the right thing and immediately freed him, rather than selling him to put beer on the table. (On the other hand, he did want to annex Santo Domingo as president and ship all the black people of America there—but whaddya expect from these DWMs on the greenbacks?) Mark Twain was a buddy and you can’t beat that kind of entourage. Mark Twain actually said he was a good writer. That’s like Chris Rose calling somebody a good writer today! If you find Grant’s tomb (and if he’s in there) and bring his remains back to wheel through town in a grocery cart on Mardi Gras day, be aware that it wouldn’t be the first time those bones got beer spilled on them in New Orleans--in the summer of 1845 he could be found quaffing spirits in the lower Ninth Ward (Jackson Barracks—but maybe Grant would be more comfortable in Arabi, given the whole Santo Domingo thing).
Best Place to Party with Grant: At Lee Circle for Zulu. Get a bunch of coconuts, zip over to the Confederate Memorial Hall around the corner to loot a howitzer, load it up with coconuts and hike back to Lee Circle to blow that stuck-up asshole in gray off his phallic perch so he can stop embarrassing us.
#3: Andrew Jackson
America’s first redneck president—and what would Mardi Gras be without the redneck presence? But was he a good guy? A mensch? Hard to say. He was without doubt a bad motherfucker, though. Be careful what you say and try not to jostle him, or you might be in for a gouging match. He was attractive to the ladies, though, and that’s a great Mardi Gras bonus (you know, adapted to our more omnivorous times). And he wasn’t a chicken-shit puritanical virgin lover—he married a woman who was already married to an abusive asshole and took her away from all that (she also had lots of money). Did he party in New Orleans? Hell yeah, they named a park after him! He partied with Jean Lafitte! Lafitte the Pirate! One thing NOT to do with Jackson, though, is bring him around Orleans and Claiborne or Shakespeare Park or anywhere Indians are known to congregate. He sort of killed lots of them and deported a whole lot more, but he threw the wildest inauguration party in the nation’s history! It was called the “People’s Inaugural,” and them “people” (Americans, us?) really trashed the place. Smashed thousands of dollars worth of china, crystal. They had to wheel the booze outside to get rid of them.
Best Place to Party with Jackson: Duh, if you have to ask. OK, OK, take him by the Square, but don’t let him jump the fence and try to urinate in there. Then take him by his old hang-out, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.
Remember? Y’boy, Bill. The “good ole boy” in the old classic non-derogatory sense of your down-to-earth Southern white man who likes to party. Smokin’, drinkin’. Banjos, barbecue and beer. And tail, oh yes. Remember when they tried to bust Bill for beating on a drum and smoking a cigar in Africa? Well, he can do that right here. Presidential blow-job, cigar as dildo. Hey, whatever, dude. Just like the Harrah’s ad says, “C’mon, it’s New Orleans.” And the N.O. Marketing Corporation’s “Dry? We’ve never been dry” (and let’s include the sexual implications of our ready ‘wetness’ as well as the gustatory ones)? Those ads may seem lame and greenhorn to our veteran local partiers, but their message is sound: Bill and you and me can do our thing here in our shameless brazen fashion and the blue-noses can whine all they want on their preferred drug, righteous finger-pointing. Never forget: Bill is the guy they tried to bust for sex. He deserves a parade in his honor, better yet a brothel in the newly re-opened Storyville called “Slick Willie’s.” Besides being a renowned party animal, after partying presidents were no longer cool, Bill is also smart, funny, and the type of good-hearted bubba that’ll go ahead and buy a 40 for a guy in need. Remember his cute date, Monica? He gave her a copy of Leaves of Grass. This proves not only that he has a brain but that he is a true unreconstructed pagan fuck-lover who’s into “…he-festivals, with blackguard gibes, ironical license, bull-dances, drinking, laughter” (Song of Myself : 33). His only mistake in life was not inhaling. But that’s where we come in—we get him down here, get Willie (Nelson) to come over too, and they can smoke up and Bush-bash and Bill can return the favor and toke us up back in the White House in ’09.
Best Place to Party with Bill: On a Krewe du Vieux float with a giant cock creaking along behind.
The Number 1 Mardi Gras Party Freak President: JFK
Simply outclasses the competition when it comes to over-the-top large living. This stylish swinger was lucky to grow up in the home of a bootlegger, the guy who got rich trying to make Boston Big Easy II, the Cold One. (Didn’t really work, they got ‘beantown’ instead). Kennedy flew with the Jet Set and did only the best drugs. It may in fact be true that the dude was high the whole time he was in office. On what? Ask his slick sweet-smelling dealer, “Dr. Feelgood.” It was pills for the pain and shots for pick-me ups—with a needle, not a jigger—and steroids to buff up and be fine. The Kennedy posse is definitely not for poseurs. Marilyn, Dino, Sammy G. (sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, oily crooner Dean Martin, and Chicago crime boss Sam Giancana). And babes, babes, babes. Jackie, Marilyn, Frick and Frack (sort of like Monica but two of them), and hookers procured by the Secret Service in the great ho capitals of America. This guy was the Energizer Wer-Rabbit of the presidential suite. And there’s reason to believe he had crossover appeal, too. Gore Vidal reports that he was partying with the president and Tennessee Williams in Palm Beach and Tennessee rated him hot, rendering special praise for the president’s ass. So we’ll dress him in chaps for Mardi Gras. Add a leather cap so he can play some brinksmanship in his inimitable macho-stud style and cause a fleshier missile crisis than his last. But if Mister Jack’s the top, his brother Bobby is a cute, sweet bottom. Bring Bobby down and pass him around, too.
Best Place to Party with JFK: Corner of Bourbon and St. Ann, honey. Open wide.