Each year on the day before Fat Tuesday, Phil Johnson would deliver this classic editorial:

And what else is there to talk about except that which everybody is talking about of course, Mardi Gras.

It's that time again, that wonderful, crazy, colorful, crowded, happy, mixed-up but glorious time when all New Orleans forgets itself for a day, lets its hair down, puts on a rubber nose, a funny hat, and walks around laughing at the silly people in the crazy costumes.

It's a day for contrasts, a day for change. A day when legions of quiet, timid, introspective little men forsake their cashier's windows and their neat clerk's desks, put masks across their faces, and suddenly become Don Juan. A day when a secretary can become queen of England. A housewife, Annie Oakley.

Mardi Gras is fantasy in a fright wig, reality with burnt cork on its nose, a dream with a scepter in its hand, and pompousness about to be punctured.

Mardi Gras is fun and laughter, vulgarity and coarseness, color and light, and at the end, quiet.

Mardi Gras is a state of mind, an attitude, a pose, an opinion. But at its most basic, and perhaps most satisfying of all, Mardi Gras is the day when New Orleans can tell the whole world: we're going to have fun. And we do.

That would be followed each Fat Tuesday by these words:

Good evening.

No one should be serious on Mardi Gras Day. So we won't be. But we do reserve the right to be serious tomorrow.

Good evening.

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