The Ultimate Vignette Guide to Surviving Mount Mardi Gras

Another year, another expedition in the whimsical wonderland of Uptown. Looming over it all is the intimidating Mount Mardi Gras, a treacherous climb that will take at least 14 days and just as many handles to conquer. Mardi Gras is viewed by some as an extreme sport, while for others it is an exhilarating pastime that offers the ultimate challenge of strength, endurance, and sacrifice. The sheer enormity of the mountain may seem daunting at first – and it should. It is a highly unstable mass of trash and booze that could avalanche at quietest “woo-hoo!” Mardi Gras is Latin for “merciless motherfucker” and for good reason. Luckily, The Vignette has scoured the world’s libraries in search of the top-notchiest knowledge and most secretive secrets about Mardi Gras. What follows is the full guide to making the climb – and living to tell the tale.


  • It is recommended to establish a Base Camp on the roof of New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co., as they are quite tolerant of drunken teenagers sleeping on their roof. From this heavenly perch, expeditions can easily disperse in teams of 2-20 to quest deep into the belly of the beast.
  • Keep up with your group. Stragglers are customarily left to fend for themselves before being kidnapped.
  • While police horse mouths can be deadly, professional adventures know the rest of the horse is fair game. Nothing makes NOPD officers happier than drunk college freshmen giving their horses a nice hearty pat on the haunches. If you try it and you get a stern look, just do it again — it is part of the joke!
  • When the sun sets and the creatures emerge from the shadows, consider settling down to build a temporary igloo made from plastic cups. Don’t worry if the structure collapses – focus on having fun.
  • The sub 60 temperatures, may freeze those with weak dispositions and icy blood, so be sure to fortify yours with liquid fire. Consumption of liquor and alcohol is crucial for physical, mental, emotional, and soulful survival.
  • If a native mountain man offers you a frothy beverage – accept (refusing is an act of war), and drink it only if the froth is at a safe level.
  • While the journey will weigh heavy on your mind and body, it is essential to remember that yes, those dancing mermaids are real and no, you’re not hallucinating from exhaustion.
  • Be proactive – apply band-aids to probably injury zones BEFORE departing.
  • Put something soft on your neck like a Mac Miller album to act as a cushion from the weight of all the tribal necklaces you’ll receive.
  • If you’re fond of the hitting the slopes and plan on skiing, be sure to wear goggles to keep the snow out of your eyes.
  • Communication will be severely limited. Keep a backup carrier pigeon on standby in case your first one dies.
  • Like college students trying to study, cell phones stop working if you bring too many of them together, so prepare to not check Instagram for an evening.
  • Bead avalanches are as fun as they are lethal.
  • Trading posts can be identified by banners adorned with 3 foreign letters. Visit them often for free supplies.


  • Don’t be a dumb idiot and walk everywhere like stupid morons do. Skate by – on skates! Glide angelically over the skateless losers as you go for the gold on blades of silver.
  • Designate who in your team will be the “pack mule,” the person who gives piggyback rides and carries provisions.
  • Rent an actual mule or ox from your local grocery store to make travelling with youngsters easier, and, as always, buckle up!
  • Befriend a dumb brute and trick him into pulling a heavy sled if your group is large.
  • Don’t be that fella who takes a helicopter there – you WILL be pelted with glass bottles.
  • We all know the saying, “friends who caravan together, stay together.” Form a wagon train and blaze trails with 60-100 of your favorite comrades. Convoy ahoy!
  • You will most likely walk everywhere, so bring along a sewing kit or super glue for when your feet fall off.

Other Travellers

  • You will encounter many varieties of law enforcement: from a copper who’s tired of your shit and a bootlicker who’s just tired, to a lickspittle handcuffed to a 6 pack and a lackey who’s misplaced his 1-horse power horse.
  • Be on the lookout out for devious no-gooders who offer phony advise – they are known colloquially as “bad llamas.” These unsavory wrongdoers are often found hanging around bead burglars, scrapy hoodlums who scrounge around through mud and vomit for bits of colorful plastic.
  • Acquire a friendly Sherpa to act a guide and help you find things, although, in the end, he may turn out to be the one you were looking for all along.
  • You will meet the love of your life only to lose them forever 30 minutes later. This will occur every half hour.
  • If you stumble upon a fratster doing coke in porta potty, remember, he’s more scared of you than you are of him. If by chance he gets on two feet, try and make yourself look bigger. If this doesn’t work, shout “I bench 350!” until the creature retreats.
  • Get in a stranger’s car and tell them to “FOLLOW THAT CROCODILE!”
  • Mardi Gras Indians are safe to observe at a distance, but make no sudden movements if cornered by one, and for the love of God, NEVER get in between one and its young.
  • The Pope is a common sighting during Bacchus; he is typically wearing a flambeau mask with a Drew Brees jersey and shoes that he caught at Muses. If you see him, yell, “Pope-sir, Pope-sir, I’ve got your nose!” This will cause him to flee upon the nearest bike and is great fun for families and large groups!
  • Some dork who gave into peer pressure and got drunk will certainly make an appearance.
  • Heads up: you will definitely run into that person you know.
  • Yetis and other hairy, white creatures are often problematic, which is why you packed your harpoon gun.
  • You may encounter some pint-sized adventurers called children. Under no circumstances should they be kicked, tossed, or dropped, as this will enrage the mother.
  • Many will claim the title “King of the Mountain.” Pay them no heed, there is only one true king and his name is Freddie.
  • The elusive wise man or “guru” will offer you sage advice in exchange for acid.

What to Wear

  • Dress fabulously to catch the eyes and turn the heads of search & rescue parties.
  • Green, gold, and purple striped shirts will help you blend into the green, gold, and purple striped scenery.
  • Snowshoes, while not comfortable, are mandatory.
  • Wear 4 pairs of socks on the foot you’d rather not lose to frostbite.
  • Helmets keep your marbles where they should be. Nested on your head in the special bag you left them in.
  • If an Italian man says “park-a over here!” you may need to clarify as to whether he wants to give you a jacket or a parking space.
  • Pack your packs – fanny packs, backpacks, snack packs, and Pac-Man Fever on GameCube.
  • Pro move: put the fanny pack in the backpack, the snack pack in the fannypack, and the Pac-Man disk in the snack pack.
  • Make the smart choice. Make the scarf choice.
  • Cover yourself with melted crayons and glitter to appear god-like to any plastered village drunk you may find.
  • “You can do no wrong wearing only a thong.” – Marlon Brando
  • Silly hats look silly as a byproduct of their warmth, so be sure to wear one on each head.
    Don’t be afraid to put pants on your head. Be yourself.



  • Hot pockets cure hypothermia. Hot lemons cure “hyposcurvia”, a vicious disease that will claim many of those close to you.
  • Do we even need to say it? GraNOLA!!!!!!
  • If there is absolutely no food nearby, remember the rules of chivalry are still in effect. A true gentleman will offer to cook himself up for the rest of his team while they prepare the sides dishes.
  • No matter how appetizing it may look, gravel is not fit for human consumption and should not be eaten in large amounts.
  • Try the local delicacy – water. It features a wet/warm melody reminiscent of a bathtub with hints of real swamp. All the flavor with none of the color. Best when gulped.
  • King Cake is for monarchs only, so stock up on Nomad Cake, also called Ritz crackers.
  • In cases of extreme thirst, Crystal Light packets can add some much needed tang to your urine.
  • Stuffed animals taste better when roasted over an open fire.
  • Only fill a CamelBak® with CamelBak® brand malt liquor.

(Disclaimer: The Vignette is not legally responsible for any hijinks caused by police horse-student touching. For more information, call Freddie King.)



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