An alarm clock is just a clock if you don’t set it. I learned that the hard way early Fat Tuesday morning.
The night before heading out to the New Orleans Arena to ride in Zulu, I rode on Orpheus. It was my first time and it showed: I had too few beads, didn’t get enough sleep the night before and got to the convention center just in time for the parade. It was an amazing experience, as I’ve been looking up at floats for my entire life, so the hiccups didn’t slow me down.
Judging by my experience riding in Zulu, though, I didn’t learn much. Instead of having too few beads, I only had 12 beads and three sacks of coconuts. I was working on an hour and a half of sleep because I got home from the Bacchus Ball around 3 a.m., and I (thought) I had to be at the New Orleans Arena for Zulu just two hours later. I would have slept through that deadline if it weren’t for my dog slobbering all over my face on the couch. So at 5:45 a.m. I bolted out my door to try and make the beginning, which was set for 45 minutes from then, and get onto the float.
Fortunately, after running for what felt like a mile after parking, I was able to make it in time and the Zulu krewe was more than obliged to get me situated.