Mardi Gras Expected To Draw Crowds, Encourage God To Smite City Again

As Mardi Gras season draws to a close this Tuesday, New Orleans city officials are optimistic that its return will bring much needed tourist dollars to the devastated city, but have cited concerns of drawing the ire of God, who smote the lawless city with Hurricane Katrina last fall.

Known for its casual moral code and prodigal party atmosphere, the annual celebration might be exactly what the city needs to get back on its feet, but organizers have urged restraint amongst revelers, lest God smite the city for its sinfulness again come hurricane season.

"I'll show you hurricane season -- bottoms up!" smiled French Quarter resident Brenda Timmons as she pounded her first of what is expected to be tens of hurricanes, the popular drink made from rum and fruit juices that both encapsulates the Mardi Gras spirit and makes God furious. "Thank God we made it out alive, and not only that, but that we still have a city. The Lord has been merciful to us, so in celebration of His mercy and forbearance, who wants to see my tits?"

Though God could not be reached for comment, others speaking on His behalf insist that it was no mistake that New Orleans suffered major flooding and destruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and have warned partiers to keep a close watch on their bra straps if they don't want to be submerged in the waters of Lake Ponchatrain again.

"Be warned, sinners, that God has singled you out and smote you for your sinful and godless ways, and He will do so again if you do not repent," said Reverend James Wilson of New Orleans Covenant Baptist Church. "There is a reason that the Lord did not hit Bismarck, North Dakota, or Pigsknuckle, Arkansas, with a hurricane and broken levees -- the citizens of New Orleans had drifted too far from the shore and needed to be brought back to the loving and tender mercies of the Lord, thus God sayeth 'I shalt bringest uponest thy city a storm' and God didst bringest thy storm unto ye sinners. The only way to prevent a second disaster is to turn from your sinful ways and beg forgiveness."

Officials are pondering Reverend Wilson's message. But plans to reinforce the levees and increase the capacity of the city's lift stations are already in the works, and turning from sinful ways would use up too much taxpayer money, some say.

"What a nightmare it would be to see New Orleans turn its back on sin and move towards a more pious and devout future," said New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin. "Think of the loss of tax dollars. However, though City Hall continues to encourage balls-out, titty-waving, crazy-ass partying, we hope that Mardi Gras revelers will exercise some amount of prudence lest we draw the Lord's fury. Maybe instead of girls showing both your tits, maybe show just one; maybe instead of sleeping with three or four people in the same night, limit your extra-marital affairs to one or two, and try to stick with members of the opposite sex. Thus the Lord will be merciful and spare us a repeat disaster in '06."

"And if He doesn't spare us, then oh Lord, please take the white people," he added, later clarifying that he meant take them "to Dairy Queen".

Mardi Gras planners and leaders have also expressed reservations that the very celebration meant to bring vivacity and economic prosperity back to the ravaged city might also put them at risk of a catastrophic earthquake, a pillar of sulfuric fire, or an evangelical visit by Pat Robertson. But despite the fear of God's righteous anger, many feel that the much-needed tourist dollars are paramount to any concerns of things like eternal damnation, the Second Coming, or the city's abject ruin.

"Man, God just has to lighten up a bit," said James P. Rowell from Chicago, who makes the annual trip to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. "So the whole town gets blind drunk, strangers fuck in the streets, underage girls flash their boobies, and the whole town ends up in a sinful, butt-wild, sleazy orgy -- not like this is Sodom and Gomorrah, or anything. Jeez, after all this town has went through, you'd think that God would give 'em a Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free card this time around."

"As for me," he added, "I plan on laying every girl in stock, but I'll definitely be out of the city well before hurricane season kicks in."

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