It’s Fat Tuesday! Is that something you’re into? If so, our congratulations. And if you, dear reader, are celebrating inside or close to the Crescent City, know this: There’s a necklace that doubles as a dangly chicken plate out there with your name on it.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which first opened in a New Orleans suburb in 1972, is celebrating Mardi Gras and showing some hometown pride by offering up the Popeyes Mardi Gras Beadbox to revelers who visit the chain’s Canal Street location. The beads will be distributed outside, and an email from a company representative stresses that no transactional temporary de-robing of any kind will be required to get your necklace-trough. (“No flashing required” is not a phrase we’d read in a Popeyes press release, and yet.)
These suckers, which “hold any Popeyes meal that comes in a snack box,” strike us (honestly, sincerely, truthfully, for real) as a decent idea. Yes, it’s a tad dumb. But it’s Mardi Gras, you’re surrounded by drunk people, and dumb is kind of in the spirit of things. But more importantly, my lifetime of going to concerts, conventions, amusement parks, and festivals—to say nothing of a) spending many Black Fridays as a retail worker and b) a decade of hurling my body through drunk Wrigleyville crowds during Cubs games—has taught me that the value of at least one free hand at all times is incalculable. Think of it: One hand for a drink. One hand for fending off wobblers, leaners, and those who don’t have any sense at all of the fact they’re in a big sweaty crowd. No hands needed for your two-piece and biscuit, and yet, the biscuits and both pieces are right there with you. It’s the entire reason these plates exist.
Maybe you’ve got expert shoulder and elbow technique, and you don’t need that hand. Guess what: Two drinks! Like beer-festival pretzel necklaces, these boxes look stupid until you realize the person wearing one has access to two beers and a snack.
Revel safely. And also, please, everyone, get better at being in crowds. Please. It’s the worst. Some of you turn around and gesture real big all at once! Some of you yell directly into other people’s faces! Way too many of you wear giant backpacks and then forget you’re wearing the backpack and are blissfully unaware of how many people you’re smacking with every turn! Lots of you just stop! Just out of nowhere, just stop, like you have no idea that human bodies are moving around you! Many of you are bad at crowds. Happy Mardi Gras, don’t step on someone’s feet and then get mad at them because the feet you stepped on were not the ground, have fun, be safe, eat a paczki, hurrah!