Yesterday was my first time at this fun event. This year, they blocked the corners of Duval & Fleming and Duval & Olivia. The various themed beds were all staged prior to the “Parade of Beds” on Petronia Street amidst “portable” bars on Bourbon Street Pub property. Bourbon Street Pub’s “special drink” was the Malibu Carribbean Punch. It was served in a white, one-quart (you read it right), Malibu pail for $10 (you read *that* right, too). CaptBonez was a little uneasy with me drinking this, but I ordered it anyway…women are funny that way. For anybody who would like to duplicate this recipe at home (all rums were Malibu, obviously): 1 part Coconut Rum, 1 part Pineapple Rum, 1 part Passion Fruit Rum, 1 part Mango Rum, 1 part Banana Rum, 26 parts Pineapple juice and Cranberry juice. Cooler than even the cute little pail of booze was watching the bartenders make them. A couple had some really neat “handy work”.
We took our drinks and got ourselves a place on the sidewalk. As was mentioned previously, the KWPD did not enforce open container for this. Anyway, there were 15 teams. A couple of my favorites were “Charlie Sheen’s ‘Winning’”, “Lindsay Lohan’s Necklace Theft”, and “Kate Middleton’s Royal Carriage”. Words cannot do justice to Kate’s “chariot men”, lol. The race started at the corner of Fleming & Duval and went up Duval Street, ending at The 801. Amidst the wobbly tires and near-misses of beds running into the crowd, a fantastic time was had by both locals and tourists.
Afterwards, we enjoyed the Post Bed Race Party & Awards Ceremony at Bourbon Street Pub and New Orleans House Pool. For $1, people cast as many votes as they wanted for their favorite bed(s). Proceeds from this event went towards AIDSHelp. After casting votes, Bonez asked if I wanted to stay where we were, or move over to The 801. I looked at him as if he had three heads. New Orleans House Pool banned women within the last year or longer. I never wanted to go swimming there or see anybody naked…I just wanted to enjoy lounging back there with a drink. However, many regulars wanted it to be men only and I had to respect it…so those few times/year when they open it up to everybody, heck yeah I want to stay there! ;D
So over to the sand we walked and bought another “Malibu Pail”. Bonez was “helping” me with the pails, presumably so I would not get sick. We stood at a table over to the shaded side and started to watch the results when a young man just about ran into us…literally. He apologized, admitted he was drunk (duh), and motioned for his friends to come over. One of these men was a young lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen (NYC). Bonez and I had a very long, very philosophical, and very political conversation with this man. Aside from being very nice, he was probably one of the most introspective and intelligent people with whom I have held a conversation. He wanted to buy us a drink and we protested…it did not matter. The LAST thing we needed was a third “Malibu Pail”, but what we got was… a third “Malibu Pail”. Oy. Friends of our new friend wanted to leave and do other things so we bid them adieu. It’s still surprising how, whether a tourist or a local, one can meet people quite easily here (especially when they least expect it).
This event was great in the way it pulled a community together to benefit a fantastic local charity. It is wonderful knowing Key West High School has a Gay-Straight Alliance and that they participate in this event. If anybody happens to be in town at this time next year, I recommend the Red Ribbon Bed Race.
PS—The last “Malibu Pail” was barely touched and ultimately dumped.