My friends, all ten of them, will attest to my being a Carnival jumbie. This comes from years of trying to find me during the season. This has included tracker dogs and threatening voice mail messages. I have friends who, for years, have been begged to bring food to various mas camps while I toiled; or actually press ganged into finishing costumes. Then there are the faithful who drag around with me on my journalistic pursuits. You know, until recently I was still getting e-mail from brownie troops in north america, how's that for staying the course.
Yes, it's true, Carnival is the one time of year that I feel the need to engage in "the Culture". It's my thing, or it used to be. In the course of my rather checkered life, I have played mas, made mas, covered all things Carnival, in short, designed the T-shirt and sold it... I am a 'Carnival 'ho and proud of it. I've written over 300 articles on Carnival and its connections. So you get it, I'm into the Carnival. But I'll tell you now, I have only ever worn the bead and bikini thing once. It was an interesting experience. I spent the day tugging at my beads hoping that they would magically multiply and cover the large amounts of flesh that seemed to be on display. I had culture shock accustomed as I was to the more flattering, read covered up, creations of Mr. Minshall. No need to slave away in the gym, the love handles were covered. I did not appreciate my size six body when I had it but that's for another day.
Having slaved away at what was a labour of love for so many years I wonder when exactly I realised the honeymoon was over. Was it when I realised the costume cost more than my rent and car payment? Or could it have been having written yet another description of the what looked like the same King and Queen costumes. No, I think actually it was when it became all about the which fete and how many fetes. But it's not fun anymore. And I can't squeeze my size ten body into the size small costume, they all seem to be size small. If you looking for me, I'll be hiding out at home with hound, eating junk food in front of the tv in my jammies. Have fun for me allyuh!