9 Out 10 Louisiana Residents Say This Is A Real Problem
Wow, what a delicious headline. Hmm, what could 90% of us be so bothered by that we would actually admit it to a stranger? Is it a political issue? Could it have something to do with the irrational numbering system of Star Wars movies? Maybe it's a problem that seems to be specific to Louisiana and this time of year?
If you guessed the latter then you'd be right. It's about Mardi Gras. No, it's not that people don't enjoy the good times and celebration and the occasional cocktail, it's mostly about the beads.
The time-honored tradition of collecting Mardi Gras beads from raucous float riders seems to create at least a little stress for almost all of the state's Mardi Gras-loving population.
31% of Louisiana residents surveyed said that catching beads is a concern for them. Granted it's not like a family illness or having to spend the evening watching a Twilight movie concern. But it is something that weighs on their minds. Most of those that had at least a bit of angst were parents. They worried their children might be disappointed or injured reaching for beads on the parade routes.
There have also been reports that some beads imported from China contain unsafe amounts of lead. This could be a serious health issue for small children who might be inclined to put those beads in their mouth.
The other issue with Mardi Gras beads was how to dispose of them after the season. Fortunately, there are many organizations that can help you with that chore and you're doing someone else a big favor by disposing of unwanted beads through these charitable programs.
57% of Louisiana citizens said that Mardi Gras beads had been responsible for some kind of damage to their property. There are real concerns about how a large concentration of the beads could actually damage a tree.
The most frequently mentioned damage had to do with beads getting wrapped up in vacuum cleaners,lawn mowers, or washers and dryers. Who knew these innocent beads could be so devilish?
27% of Louisiana residents said bead catching or bead throwing has caused a significant injury. While most of the maladies were not big issues like stepped on fingers or bumps and bruises that were the product of "fighting" for beads.
There were more than a few reports of injured arms, elbows, and shoulders. I personally tore a rotator cuff on my shoulder because of my overzealous bead throwing one Mardi Gras.
Those that don't understand the Mardi Gras season will absolutely not understand our feelings about beads. We know they are trinkets with very little monetary value. However, many of those beads are tied to a memory, an experience, a way of life that is only understood when you've stood by the barricades or heard someone shout "Throw me something, Mister".