Add this to the files of messed-up things that can happen during Mardi Gras.
A.L. Mueller at the NoLaFemmes blog posted a disturbing account yesterday about what happened when she took her daughter, who is autistic, to attend the Muses parade last week. Mueller describes how her daughter had been looking forward to Mardi Gras for a month, asking her mother about the giant shoe, floats and beads, and even designing a calendar countdown in her diary.
When they first arrived, her daughter had loved the parade, with Mueller writing that “as cliche as it sounds, there was a sparkle in my daughter’s eye and a smile so big.” But when a group of drunken college students arrived, one of them didn’t take kindly to being asked to move a little so that Mueller’s daughter could see the float:
“Hey, man! I need to move. This woman is [expletive] at me because her retard daughter can’t see the parade!” he shouted to a kid a few feet away. He turned back to us, looked my daughter in the eye, and shouted to no one in particular. “This retard is making watching the parade a challenge.”
Mueller says her daughter, crestfallen, began to cry and asked to leave the parade. When her mother suggested they could just move spots, her daughter said: “No, Mama. I don’t think I want to do Mardi Gras anymore. Not ever again.”
Hundreds of New Orleanians have now read and commented on the blog post. Those readers included the Krewe of Muses, New Orleans’ only all-female night parade, who planned a special event today in the girl’s honor. At 11 a.m., the krewe asked her to come and visit its “muses den,” where she was finally able to climb into the giant shoe.