New Orleans has many needs. More police. Fewer potholes. A drive-thru snow ball stand.
But this time of year, our wish list starts with a Mardi Gras Czar. Someone whose job it is to rule on all things Mardi Gras . To resolve those issues, big and small, that get stuck in the craw of Mardi Gras devotees.
The Mardi Gras Czar would hear grievances each Ash Wednesday at Gallier Hall. Citizens with Mardi Gras complaints would have three minutes to state their case and suggest a solution. Decisions would be quick and final, at least until the following Ash Wednesday.
Since her rulings would not please everyone, the Czar would wear a mask, likely plucked last-minute from the remnants of her costume box and missing more than a few feathers.
Why do we need a Mardi Gras Czar? Well, why do we need Mardi Gras? How come you can never catch a moon pie when you're hungry? Why don't people outside the French Quarter dress up anymore? (FYI: Mardi Gras rugby shirts are not a costume.) Why does Orpheus allow its celebrities to go mask-less and wear street clothes? What can be done about the floats that get caught every year on the same branches of the same oak tree on St. Charles and Jackson?
The Mardi Gras Czar would chime in on these and other VERY IMPORTANT issues that affect the Mardi Gras experience for everyone.
Another example: heavy beads.
Who hasn't suffered a bead-related injury? Yes, we parade-goers like the long beads. But they are heavy, especially when thrown by the dozen in shrink-wrapped plastic.
Broken hands, broken noses, broken Mardi Gras dreams.
When your children are little and ladder-bound, you learn quickly that the parent's role is not just to anchor down the ladder and shag overthrown trinkets. Defense is key. Swatting away incoming sleeves of plastic cups and heavy, long beads is a matter of Mardi Gras survival. Helmets on toddlers should be de riguer .
New rule: No throwing beads over a certain weight. And please: no more cement or large, ceramic medallion beads. They might look artsy, but they hurt like hell.
So what's your issue? What grievance would you bring to Gallier Hall on Ash Wednesday?
This Carnival season, MardiGras.com has appointed our own masked Mardi Gras Czar to hear your complaints, answer your questions and take your petitions about the Mardi Gras experience.
Tell us your pet peeves. Your wish list. Your good ideas. And your unsolved Carnival mysteries. What the Mardi Gras Czar cannot answer, you will, via comments, social media (#MardiGrasCzar) and reader polls.
Want to get on the docket? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your feedback in the comments below. We'll hold court on mardigras.com , in The Times-Picayune and, of course, on the parade route. Look for someone dressed like a 19 th century Russian aristocrat, waving , screaming for long, medallion beads from the title float. And wearing a helmet.