|Pink elephant in City Park, New Orleans, LA|
If Rex is the King of Carnival, then Mr. Bingle rules this time of year.
Before we get into that, let's take a look at your humble narrator pretentiously posing at Celebration in the Oaks in 2010, our first year as New Orleanians:
|I've gained ten pounds in the last five years|
Howzabout a commercial for Maison Blanche from what looks like the 1980s?
That's a tough one for me to sit through, but it's not as tough as this puppet show that used to play in the Maison Blanche department store on Canal Street:
I'm not a big fan of puppetry. That's just me. It is no reflection on the artistry of the late, great Oscar Isentrout, Mr. Bingle's primary puppeteer.
We're a little light on real content this post and a little more heavy than usual on video links. Sorry. I know that regular readers stop by for some scintillating informative prose. Some things are just better shown than discussed in depth. The spirit of Mr. Bingle is best grasped intuitively, like the spirit of Christmas itself.
We'll finish with a song. Take me back, Mr. Bingle...
If you've spent enough time in New Orleans, you'll recognize every image in that last video. They aren't obscure but, if you haven't spent a lot of time in the city, you probably can't name them all. The only puzzler for more-than-casual visitors may be the water color painting shots of what look like Christmas trees at night. Those are bonfires that get lit on the levees in the River Parishes, further up the Mississippi from the city. People light enormous fires on the levees so that Papa Noel can find his way to deliver toys to good girls and boys, with Mr. Bingle riding shotgun in the pirogue, naturally.
Now you know that, too.
If you don't come to New Orleans during Christmastime and you still want to see Mr. Bingle, we know where you can find him. We know where he resides all year long and it's not at the North Pole. It's on South Carrollton Avenue. Ask us about it when you get here. Like Mr. Bingle, we like to share and we like to make people happy.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
Where the rest comes easy.