The Heliosphere of Mardi Gras

March 3rd, 2014, 10pm

I have detected a new phenomenon, a ripple in the waves of Nature emanating from my beloved city of New Orleans. I believe there will be ample evidence all year round to prove that my brand new theory matters, bringing enough cosmic funk to trigger these sensitive infrared machines known by astronomers & tin foil scientists. I hereby propose that we recognize there is a magnetic bubble filled with, well…the preferred phrase of physicists calls them “energetic particle accelerators” (who zoom about in a growing collective frenzy of costumes, masques, shiny baubles & absurdist half-fast walking clubs) who have created what can only be dubbed The Heliosphere of Mardi Gras.

We already have a heliosphere for our solar system, which is the principal reason astronomers held a yard sale to give away the planetary status of Pluto for a box of Cracker Jacks & a decoder ring. These astronomers have measured the faint yet persistent magnetic pull of our veritable Helios, the Ancient Greek symbol for the Sun, and discovered that our old majestic Sun rules a pile of space rubble extending quite a ways beyond the wobbly elliptical orbit of Pluto. Today’s modern astronomers see more of these rocks than could Clyde Tombaugh, the avid self-taught Kansas kid who had built his own telescope & published esoteric findings before being hired by the renowned Lowell Observatory to search for & discover Pluto on Feb. 18, 1930. This new breed of astronomers gave their field of space rubble the name: the heliosphere, which grooves as predictably as a bunch of Grateful Dead fans on ‘shrooms, operating under the magnetic force shield of the Sun binding this tribe of touring Space-heads, of which Pluto held no more importance than the guy recording tapes of each show from the girl in the tie-dye t-shirt who sold space cakes and bracelets to stay on tour. The heliosphere of the Sun is just a bunch of meteorites, faded comet dust, and a trippy belt of cosmic debris that decided such an eternal life following the distant Sun was about the same as waiting for another version of Casey Jones to ‘watch your speed.’

The key indicator that gives proof to a heliosphere revolves around magnetism. Now that I have moved from New Orleans faraway from actual physical contact with Mardi Gras madness for the first time in 25 years, I’ve constructed a tin foil helmet sporting colorful whirligigs that spin in synchronized rotation to the evidence of magnetic contact with fine citizens I know who are deep in the throes of catching throws or simply breathing in the psychedelia of the Carnival strewn streets of the Crescent City. These Nola citizens remain under strict orders from me in the name of Science to precisely record when each reveler suddenly starts pounding marimbas outta trash cans, or shaking The Wobble with the active boogaloo synchronized participation from real members of the NOPD. I have it all documented on Facebook & Twitter & a carefully annotated Big Chief notebook detailing the exact moments for every magnetic Nola contact compared to the rpm velocity of my tin foil whirligigs.

During Muses on Thursday, Feb. 27, just as one of my best friends caught a coveted leopard print high heel shoe, my whirligigs nearly sent me soaring across the Willamette, like Sally Field in The Flying Nun. Fortunately, after my recent knee surgery I was tethered to both a walker and an inert growler of particularly obnoxious IPA, which maintained just enough force of gravity that kept me from floating like a manatee in a Marc Chagall painting. I’m dead certain that the fine citizens of Portlandia are thankful they did not have to encounter such a weird specter, even though in Nola under similar circumstances, I probably would have gone unremarked as just another Lucky Dog vendor taking a short cut back to the hot dog barn.

The facts are irrefutable. The magnetic force of Mardi Gras clearly extends a defiant ‘won’t bow down’ force far beyond the typical repercussions that normal American cities can radiate. Why Atlanta is unable to co-ordinate their collective moments to emanate any useful joyful signal, which we witnessed in the unfortunate Snowpocalypse; instead, The City Too Dumb to Care attracted the opposite reaction, with which my whirligigs measured to an appalling fail; thus, I have a corresponding theory of negativity very deserving of the sobriquet, Inverted Collapsing Schaudenfreude. Yes, it is as painful as it sounds….

While my official paper includes exciting corroborating proof from the bottle on how gravity and magnetism work together in ribbon theory where there are portals where the earth’s own magnetic forces meet disruptive solar flares in a cage match to, essentially, put a bow around places, latitudes & longitudes that are both breathtakingly pretty and where they can handle the high proof octane of strong grog in the quest for Science. In the final analysis, a select few cities & seas are simply more magnetic & charming than others, and the Earth has bestowed honor & legends upon these sacred locales. Obviously…’nuff said!

So please welcome my latest discovery of celestial principles, encompassing a pie chart illustrating the range of magnetic cities, now forever known as The Heliosphere of Mardi Gras! I think this groundbreaking work may be worthy of a Nobel Prize in astronomy, or at least a couple of free drinks at Pal’s Lounge!!! Thank you, yes, thank you to the Nobel committee for their prompt recognition. Most of all, a heartfelt thank you to you, to all my Mardi Gras maniacs back home for inspiring this crucial environmental research by being the best darn “energetic particle accelerators” that you each can be…I proudly share this Nobel Prize with all of thee!

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!!! Do everything I would do & ever so much more! Keep sending me data, photos, tweets and more silliness than you think I can stand. Me and my tin foil whirligigs are eager to spin until we’re dizzy from chasing all the glitter coming all the way out West to PDX…thank you! Be simply unforgettable….

written on Lundi Gras, otherwise known as Monday, March 3, 2014 by those faraway from this Carnival heliosphere.

PS thx to Whitney A for the photo of the Orpheus float, from their Lundi Gras 2014 parade. Notice the little seahorses holding beads as reins to lead the way….

Ginevra, Jessica, Bonny Rose and Cassandra said thanks.

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Chris DeBarr

Chef who believes in eating the world to save it. Wine & language & sharp knives are the tools of my métier. At heart, I'm a warm & fuzzy Dadaist.

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