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Mardi Gras? Try Emily Gras!
February 29, 2012 6:20 AM   Subscribe

11-year old Emily Mueller wanted nothing more than to see the Krewe of Muses during Mardi Gras.. But when a drunken man blocking Emily's view and after spilling beer on her referred to Emily, who is autistic, as a "retard," Emily asked her mother to take her home. AJ Mueller, Emily's mother, blogged about the encounter, and when she woke up the next morning, the page had over 30,00 views. One of the first comments on the page is from an area DJ offering to send Emily gifts from their stash of prizes. And the Krewe of Muses -- the act Emily so wanted to see --- opened their den for Emily Gras.
posted by zizzle (75 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
There is hope.
posted by tommasz at 6:28 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not crying, I have something in my eye...Shut up!
posted by dry white toast at 6:29 AM on February 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


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.”

See, this is where the savage in me might have gone right off the deep end and it wouldn't have ended well.

And yay to the Krewe for making it up to her.
posted by jquinby at 6:29 AM on February 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


Dang that story made me cry. Alcohol really brings out the mean in people, and I say this as someone who enjoys alcohol.
posted by sswiller at 6:32 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dammit now I've got something in my eye too . . .
posted by Carillon at 6:32 AM on February 29, 2012


What I'd LOVE to see happen now, as an epilogue, is:

One of the guys who was WITH that bastard comes forward and exposes him ("you know what, I should have had something at the time, but I didn't -- so I"m going to now publically say to my former friend, Fred Asshole of Tulane, that dude, YOU'RE the guy who was making it hard to watch the parade, and you should have been the one to fuck off rather than telling that kid off").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 AM on February 29, 2012 [23 favorites]


What is it with all the things in eyes here? Because it's gone in my eye too...
posted by panboi at 6:40 AM on February 29, 2012


Sometimes it's difficult to be a misanthrope.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 6:43 AM on February 29, 2012


panboi it said something in the NOLA link about it being viral.
posted by sswiller at 6:43 AM on February 29, 2012


Oh, but this is a good epilogue as well --

Apparently Emily is now asking for suggestions for where she can share her haul with other kids.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:45 AM on February 29, 2012 [14 favorites]


Oh, man, not while I'm at work.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:46 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I want to know where Emily and her Mom were standing and then do some sleuthing and find pics on facebook where the angle of the shot lines up with where they were.

What happens after that, I leave to you...

Bravo to the Krewes for having mammoth hearts.
posted by Dagobert at 6:48 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


What dry white toast said.

The positive side of having douchenuggets like the guy from the original incident is that there are quite a few normal people willing to make up for his bad behaviour.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:49 AM on February 29, 2012


This story made my day better. Which is cool, but not as cool as that the Muses made a whole lot of things a whole lot better for Emily.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:50 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


One thing I was surprised about after becoming a parent was the "Child Protection Rage Fantasy." This is where you, for whatever reason, imagine someone being cruel to your child right before you completely demolish them. The fantasy is vivid - you picture yourself destroying this fictitious jerk, whether with your raw, bloody fists or scathing, stinging words. Even though it's imaginary, your body starts to get that fight or flight reaction, adrenaline making you quake and your vision cloud just a bit as you revel as to what you would do to someone who made. your. child. cry.

I was really relieved upon talking to other parents that this is actually pretty common. Adam Scott even mentions it on an episode of WTF.

So I'm glad this story had an upbeat ending. Otherwise, I'd be on the verge of a CPRF all day, my fists clenched and knuckles white, rather than simply dealing with this eye thing that's going around.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:52 AM on February 29, 2012 [40 favorites]


Also, the Mom's article mentions a badge to alert medical personnel that the wearing is autistic.

Now, I'm a fairly with kinda guy (oddly enough, I am the only person who thinks this) but I had never heard of this. Google shows some images but I can't be sure that I am looking at what Emily was wearing. So, unless the patch said the word 'autistic' or some varient, how did the guy know she was?

I'm hoping it said autism on the badge because the other solution is he *knew* of it and by either personal experience (family member, relation of friend) or he knew about it because he came across it through his studies (if he was indeed a college student).

In any event, it speaks very poorly of his character.

(BTW, who the Hell think autistic kids are 'retarded' these days anyway?)
posted by Dagobert at 6:55 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Assholes, that's who.
posted by Harald74 at 6:58 AM on February 29, 2012 [16 favorites]


True but the young man's inabilty to pick up on social cues could be interpreted a sign of autism as well.
posted by Dagobert at 7:04 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


So shines a good deed in a weary world.
posted by tzikeh at 7:05 AM on February 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


I want to know where Emily and her Mom were standing and then do some sleuthing and find pics on facebook where the angle of the shot lines up with where they were.

If the frat boy gets doxed (and with the amount of GPS tagged pictures at this event I wouldn't be entirely surprised) I slightly wince for what will happen then.
posted by jaduncan at 7:07 AM on February 29, 2012


True but the young man's inabilty to pick up on social cues could be interpreted a sign of autism as well.

Or drunkenness. Three guesses as to which it is, and the first two don't count.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:08 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope he is identified cause there's no fucking way to spin this as defensible, so I imagine he'll do some time as a social pariah.
posted by jonmc at 7:11 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe the Muses felt guilty about their Mardi Gras Prankery.
posted by ColdChef at 7:14 AM on February 29, 2012


(Also: come on, guys! I couldn't even see the floats and this girl was getting all the beads!)
posted by ColdChef at 7:14 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


And to give full credit: "In addition to Muses, costumed members of the 610 Stompers, the Rolling Elvi and the Pussyfooters showed up…" as well.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:25 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hmm. Over on the Huffington Post report of the event, one of the commenters was tutting about what a shame it was - but let slip that they were standing there when it happened. A few people have followed up to ask "why the fuck didn't you say anything AT THE TIME, then, if you thought it was so awful?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 AM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


BTW, who the Hell think autistic kids are 'retarded' these days anyway?)
posted by Dagobert at 9:55 AM on February 29

Assholes, that's who.
posted by Harald74 at 9:58 AM on February 29


People with mental disabilities--the 'retarded', as you say--don't need anyone referring to their medical diagnosis as an insult that only assholes use, thank you very much.
posted by magstheaxe at 7:35 AM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


What?
posted by brokkr at 7:37 AM on February 29, 2012


Hmm. Over on the Huffington Post report of the event, one of the commenters was tutting about what a shame it was - but let slip that they were standing there when it happened. A few people have followed up to ask "why the fuck didn't you say anything AT THE TIME, then, if you thought it was so awful?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:32 AM on February 29 [+] [!]


I know when I have my kids with me, and I encounter someone who is off, be it drunk, creepy, or what-have-you, the last thing I want to do is make a situation worse by antagonizing said person.

My instincts as a parent are to protect my children and I do worry that getting into it with someone would lead to something far worse than saying something. Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave the situation, and when faced with one of several drunken people during Mardi Gras, I can't say as I'd want to say anything more, either. And especially since this mother was alone with her daughter who has special needs.....I really can't fault her.....
posted by zizzle at 7:37 AM on February 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


A few people have followed up to ask "why the fuck didn't you say anything AT THE TIME, then, if you thought it was so awful?"

The main reason I don't do this is because calling out drunk assholes for being assholes would greatly increase my odds of getting punched in the face.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:41 AM on February 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


I hope he is identified cause there's no fucking way to spin this as defensible, so I imagine he'll do some time as a social pariah.

Thank god we live in a world where it's perfectly acceptable to take tales of outrage at face value. I hope this asshole gets whatever we decide he deserves.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:43 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have three children with autism. My oldest son is his late teens. He likes for me to hold his hand when we walk through the store. He's pretty insistent about it, as a matter of fact.

We were in Wal-Mart when a man walking behind us said, "You faggots ought to be ashamed of yerselves!"

I whipped around at looked that redneck piece of shit dead in the eye and said, "He's autistic. What's your excuse for being such an ignorant dumb-ass?" The rage sang in my veins, demanding vengeance. I wanted to hit that fucker so badly. I wanted to hurt him in a way that he would never forget. I wanted to do even worse than that.

But to do that, I would have had to let go of my son's hand. I looked at him, happy and completely oblivious to the situation. We walked away, hand-in-hand, and I bought him a Thomas the Tank Engine toy.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:43 AM on February 29, 2012 [90 favorites]


This was all over the local NOLA media last week. The news here has been rather upleasant lately; our murder rate is ridiculous, we just had a good Samaritan who foiled a carjacking shot to death in front of his two kids for his trouble, there's still fallout from Katrina, the former President of Jefferson Parish (who might be remembered for his tearful on-camera post-Katrina eulogy for his mother, which went viral) is being indicted for racketeering, shots were fired into a crowd on Bourbon Street, there's the usual litany (mercifully short this year) of accidents and attacks during parades and so on.

But the thing is, when you throw a party for a few hundred thousand people, you're going to get jerks and things are going to happen. As individuals we can't do much about the crime, the weather, or our past corrupt politicians, but this was something that certain people could make right. That they did so enthusiastically and in a spirit of celebration is just the way things are in NOLA when we can make them so.

It always amazes me that this city can throw a party like Mardi Gras, or the even more crazy post-Saints-Superbowl victory party, and it doesn't end up with looted storefronts and burning overturned cars. I can guarantee that for every person who showed up to fete Emily and make it right, there are a hundred more who would have joined in if they had the chance. Laissez les bon temps roulez.
posted by localroger at 7:44 AM on February 29, 2012 [11 favorites]



People really suck sometimes...

"Child Protection Rage Fantasy."

I can tell you the one and only time I have ever frightened myself with my rage was when my young son fell while crossing a crosswalk on a quiet residential street and a guy driving way too fast - like 55 in a 25 - and talking on his cell nearly hit him as he lay there.

It's very fortunate for us both that after he came to a stop, he slowly went on his way, because there was a murder about to happen.

He probably knew that because I had thrown my mountain bike at his car and broken a window.

It took me a long time to calm down after that, and thankfully nobody was hurt.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:59 AM on February 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


I love New Orleans. That is all.
posted by blucevalo at 8:02 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


This does not add rational arguments against my long-held desire to move to New Orleans and join a Krewe. There are times I really need those rational arguments.
posted by oneironaut at 8:07 AM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


@Pogo_Fuzzybutt: IMHO you did the right thing. Including the bike.
posted by jaduncan at 8:12 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know when I have my kids with me, and I encounter someone who is off, be it drunk, creepy, or what-have-you, the last thing I want to do is make a situation worse by antagonizing said person.

The bystander commenting in HuffPo didn't say they had THEIR kids with them, however. Sounds more like they were just a lone bystander.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:13 AM on February 29, 2012


Oh, similar story. As a kid I had a bike crash with a car in icy weather. The driver rang my mother up to complain about the mark on his bumper, but I could hear my mother's responses through the headset and he stopped thinking that it was a good idea not to be calling an ambulance about 5 seconds in.
posted by jaduncan at 8:14 AM on February 29, 2012


I'm shocked, shocked, to hear that there are rude drunks in attendance at Mardi Gras.

That being said, I'm glad that Emily got some GOOD moments to remember out of the whole thing.
posted by Currer Belfry at 8:16 AM on February 29, 2012


I'm shocked, shocked, to hear that there are rude drunks in attendance at Mardi Gras.

There’s a difference between being a rude drunk and a complete belittling jerk.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:22 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


This phrase

sometimes the best thing to do is to know the truth about yourself and ignore what other people say.

and this paragraph

A year ago, I asked my daughter what she most loved about Mardi Gras, expecting her to say the throws, the beads, and the pretty costumes. Her answer surprised me: “I don’t feel like I am different than everyone else during Mardi Gras, Mama. During Mardi Gras, everyone is a little weird like me.”

reveal two people as beautiful as you could want them.
posted by mistersquid at 8:24 AM on February 29, 2012 [25 favorites]


Metafilter: Everyone is a little weird like me
posted by Lame_username at 8:29 AM on February 29, 2012 [28 favorites]


Dammit now I've got something in my eye too

Close it down. Quarantine the area. I, too, am displaying symptoms of this ocular virus.
posted by yeti at 8:31 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've known my share of rude drunks (even been one occasion) and had most of them witnessed this, they would've torn this guy apart.
posted by jonmc at 8:39 AM on February 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


It always amazes me that this city can throw a party like Mardi Gras, or the even more crazy post-Saints-Superbowl victory party, and it doesn't end up with looted storefronts and burning overturned cars.

Hoboken, NJ canceled their 26th annual St. Patty's Day parade this year because it's too out of control. I think it's nice when a city can take a stand and say, you know WHAT? Get too crazy and we'll shut it down, don't care how long it's been going on.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:41 AM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


If the frat boy gets doxed

He'd better hope to the sweet zombie Jesus that 4chan and Anonymous don't catch wind of this.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:46 AM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


One thing I was surprised about after becoming a parent was the "Child Protection Rage Fantasy."

Yes. That and just discovering that, dammit, there's this button inside me now that Hollywood can press to make me feel stuff that didn't used to be there.

I love my kids, but I resent both of those ways their existence has changed my brain.

(Also when they were babies there was also the--OMG what if my wife and I both died in our sleep tonight?!--nightmare/fantasy. That was so pointless, stupid, and compelling.)
posted by straight at 8:53 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have also got something in my eye.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:55 AM on February 29, 2012


Emily looks awesome in her Elvis Glasses! Totally a cool look on her.

And shurely, Christ what an asshole?
posted by marienbad at 9:00 AM on February 29, 2012


The first part of this (the drunk) is mild compared to my negative experiences with new orleans. I have yet to have a good one there, so i'm glad this girl got hers, but i still hate that city with a passion after all the crap i experienced there. During one trip to a convention, i had two people try to rob me, had a bear bottle thrown at me from a moving car, and saw rats running around in what was supposed to be a "good" restaurant. No love for it here, and surprised worse didn't happen to her.

Plus, after seeing the footage of that tilt shift carnivale, it doesn't even seem worth it for the parade, how much it blows the one in new orleans away.
posted by usagizero at 9:08 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


During one trip to a convention, i had two people try to rob me, had a bear bottle thrown at me from a moving car, and saw rats running around in what was supposed to be a "good" restaurant.

Don't leave us hanging: polar or brown?
posted by joe lisboa at 10:41 AM on February 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


I read a book about the Carnival parade when I was a 10-year-old boy. I found it in a used bookstore and took it home and devoured it. I was fascinated by its history, its secret societies, its pageantry. Shortly after that, I started collecting music from New Orleans, familiarizing it to such an extent that when I finally moved there and started work at the Virgin Megastore in the Quarter, they immediately put me as their sole employee on the New Orleans music floor. I was in my 30s when I finally saw my first Carnival parade -- a small, community one early in the week -- and experience was so overwhelming, I had waited so long for this, and had thought about if for so long, that I burst into tears. Carnival parades can really catch with a young person's imagination, and, my God, they live up to it. They're really glorious.

My girlfriend Coco marched with the Muses that year, in a miniature krewe called the Bearded Oysters, whose costumes consisted of flapper-style ensembles covered with oyster shells. We already had a sense that this might be a special parade -- we had gone to the Ernie K-Doe lounge, which was run by the deceased singers wife (who kept a life-sized statue of her R&B-singing husband in the corner, dressed in full Mardi Gras Indian costume, and whose jukebox included a soul song called "Leave Bill Clinton Alone.") While we were drinking some short that the widow K-Doe made for us (that left the insides of our mouths scorched), several very old women came in and began sewing pillows. It turned out they were from public housing in Treme that used to be Storyville, the legendary legal red light district of New Orleans, and they belonged to a now defunct krewe called the Baby Dolls. There were actually two krewes called Baby Doll, one of them explained, with one made up of prostitutes and the other made up of young girls from the neighborhood, and nobody knew who came first. But none of these krewes had marched in years -- until this year, when the Muses had sought out the remaining members and invited them to march again. So they were making pillows as throws, the free gifts that are tossed from parade floats.

There are two big parades on Mardi Gras itself -- Rex and Zulu -- and they are mind-bending. But there are dozens of parades in the week beforehand, the time called Carnival, and they all have their charms. Of every parade I went to -- and I went to them all, including the only parade in the Quarter, done on foot, by the Krewe du Vieux -- the Muses were far and away my favorite. It is, if you didn't catch it from the stories, a parade almost entirely by women, who were historically excluded from Carnival krewes. Several Go Go's were the Queens of this parade, and the throws were all extraordinary and many were hand-crafted. Everybody had a great time, and when I saw my girlfriend marching in the parade, she was luminous -- it was one of the greatest night of her life.

And here's what's worth noting: Despite its reputation, Carnival is historically a family holiday. Horror movie host Morgus the Magnificent used to participate, throwing out coins with his face on them (I bought one from eBay a few years ago), which was definitely something meant for kids. But the parades in the city became so raucous a few years ago that a lot of people refused to take their kids in from the suburbs, and instead attended smaller parades in Metairie and the like, ceding the city parades to drunken idiots. And that's saying a lot -- New Orleans is one of the few places left on earth where it is understood that children inhabit and adult world, and its not a world that needs to be childproofed or simplified or dumbed down for children. And the last part of that is especially important. Dr. John recalls going to a parade when he was a little boy and meeting Professor Longhair, the great New Orleans stride pianist who most influenced him. Professor Longhair had a long conversation with Dr. John, who was struck by the fact the the older musician never once condescended to the boy, treating him as an equal. This is a good experience for children to have.

But when we make Carnival so hostile to children that they wind up leaving, that denies them the essential opportunity to be in a public arena, participate in a public event, and experience it as adults do. And I'm going to go ahead and say that public drunkenness and nudity is not what adults do -- a lot of the tourists who go down to the Quarter and get drunk and naked on Bourbon would never do that in their home town. Not that I mind -- there is a place for that, and I'm glad for Bourbon, as it acts like a sort of flytrap for these sort of people, who rarely stray from the street. Except on Mardi Gras, when they (and a certain breed of noxious bully) feel like they have been given permission to take their misbehavior anywhere.

Along with Rex and Zulu, the Muses parade is the one thing everybody must see in their lifetime. I can't recommend it highly enough. And the fact that this kid was denied the chance by a particularly unimpressive example of humanity is, in my mind, criminal. And the fact that the Muses made sure she had a version of the experience she missed is part of the reason they're such an extraordinary krewe, and have such an extraordinary parade. Their parade is defined by its inclusiveness, for chrissakes. They pull old people out of public housing to recreate the experiences of their childhood.

God, I miss all that. There's nothing like carnival time. I went on a little match around Amoeba Records in Hollywood this year for Mardi Gras, which was fun, and Cold Chef was kind enough to send me and Coco a king cake, which was a great pleasure and we're very glad. It was okay. But it wasn't the real thing, and once you've mainlined that, there's no going back. I can't describe it adequately, but the fact that this young woman was denied it because people don't get it just bothers me more than I really want to be bothered. I'm glad the Muses made her feel a little better. Next year, I wouldn't be surprised if they gave her a place of honor, to make sure she enjoys the parade properly. She should always feel like she has a place along the route, watching the parade. We all do.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:42 AM on February 29, 2012 [47 favorites]


usagizero, I'm sorry you haven't had a pleasant New Orleans experience. Trust me, even those of us who live here have moments when we hate the city. Then something wonderful happens and we remember why it's the greatest place in the world.

That's what this thread is about. Wonderful things in the face of ugliness.
posted by djeo at 10:42 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just wrote out a comment asking a lot of questions that, on preview, Bunny Ultramod just answered for me. I had never imagined that Carnival was for kids at all, but it's interesting to learn that it has gotten worse in recent years.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:47 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it really worsened in the 70s, and there were efforts to clean it up -- you can get cited for flashing the parade, for example. But once the family parades moved to the suburbs, it was hard to get the families to come back. It should be noted that there are a lot of families who live in the city, though, who aren't likely to go to Metarie, and they never stopped going to the parades. You see them lining the street near Rampart and Dumaine during Zulu, often with their own hibachis set up, making BBQ.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:51 AM on February 29, 2012


Pony request: Can the mods please make posts like this only viewable to my account on weekends or after 5pm on weekdays? I don't care how they do it but my reputation at work is going to take a hit eventually when someone finally figures out it's not allergies causing my eyes to water....
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:06 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks so much for sharing that, Bunny Ultramod. I'd likely never know all that otherwise.
posted by peagood at 11:06 AM on February 29, 2012


> But to do that, I would have had to let go of my son's hand. I looked at him, happy and completely oblivious to the situation. We walked away, hand-in-hand, and I bought him a Thomas the Tank Engine toy

I was sniffling as I read the first article, but this is what had tears actually hit the keyboard. I should be clear, that's tears of happiness. You rock, double block and bleed.

*does secret, really cool, parents-of-kids-with-autism handshake*
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:09 AM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


He probably knew that because I had thrown my mountain bike at his car and broken a window.

Epic move, would have loved to have seen it.

Along with the moisture content in everyone's eyes becoming a problem, we now have the most awesome, understated child-defense-in-the-moment post ever. Shut 'er down ladies and 'gents, this one can't get any better. Kudos.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:13 AM on February 29, 2012


Well thank goodness for this post, because I was really worried that I wasn't going to cry at work today.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:14 AM on February 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


Also, djeo, there's a difference in behavior depending on WHERE you watch a parade, and what kind of parade it is. The really raucous flashing-people stuff seems to be more "in the French Quarter on Mardi Gras proper," but the parades go all over the damn place, even the big ones in NOLA proper. I saw about 4 of the big Krewe parades in 2009, including the 100th-Anniversary Zulu parade, but the two most questionable things I saw were: a guy on one of the floats trying to get a girl in the crowd to flash him (somehow, the fact that he was gesturing lasciviously with a stuffed penguin doll made it feel more icky) and a very drunk guy who struck up a conversation with me in the crowd and invited me to have a sip of his bourbon. (The level of his inebriation was visible from SPACE.) But there were kids all through the crowd at each parade I was at, and a few times the big kids even gave the little kids some of the throws.

In the Quarter proper, though, later on Mardi Gras night, it was Babylonian mayhem and all kids were absent (and no power on this earth will compel me to continue that story).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:19 AM on February 29, 2012


Next year, I wouldn't be surprised if they gave her a place of honor, to make sure she enjoys the parade properly. She should always feel like she has a place along the route, watching the parade. We all do.

Muses posted on their facebook page a few days back that Jackie Clarkson has offered Emily and her parents seats in the reviewing stands at Gallier Hall for 2013. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Muses didn't offer her a place of honor in the parade, however. There is definitely a reason Muses is so well regarded as an organization.

P.S. I keep my very first Muses shoe in it's own place of honor in our china cabinet in the foyer, so you could say I was already a bit of a fan.
posted by manimimi at 11:26 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


That drunken man sure didn't come across well in all of this.
posted by mazola at 11:31 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now, I'm a fairly with kinda guy (oddly enough, I am the only person who thinks this) but I had never heard of this. Google shows some images but I can't be sure that I am looking at what Emily was wearing. So, unless the patch said the word 'autistic' or some varient, how did the guy know she was?

As parental members of the spectrum tribe, I know quite a few parents who have med-alert necklaces & custom made temporary tattoos. I write my cell number and my son's condition on his arm when we go to big events.

Kids with autism often get overwhelmed in a loud, visually stimulating enviorment and may not be able to communicate. They can wander off, looking for a quiet place. They can act in ways that are scary (flailing, screaming, throwing objects) to someone who doesn't know about their condition. There have been cases of autistic children and adults being tasered and peppersprayed by cops who don't know what they're dealing with. Putting a badge on a kid with autism who will being attending a parade is just plain old common sense for those of us in the tribe.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:34 AM on February 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thanks jerks, now I'm sitting in my office crying and getting curious glances from my deskmates. (This was lovely, thank you.)
posted by andromache at 12:07 PM on February 29, 2012


We walked away, hand-in-hand, and I bought him a Thomas the Tank Engine toy

So I see I am not the only parent of an autistic son who has learned to budget an extra $15-$20 for every trip to Target when my kid is along.
posted by The Gooch at 12:13 PM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


And it's the little things that get me in stories like this. In the photo gallery there is the photo of a woman, not a Muses member, handing her the prize shoe she caught. She came of her own accord to do so after hearing the story, we're going to make it ya'll.
posted by Ruby Stevens at 12:53 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The corpse in the library: ""I was sniffling as I read the first article, but this is what had tears actually hit the keyboard. I should be clear, that's tears of happiness. You rock, double block and bleed.

*does secret, really cool, parents-of-kids-with-autism handshake*
"

Thanks, but my son is the one who rocks. If he hadn't caught my eye in time to see his face and how he was unhurt by that idiocy, I would have gone to jail for manslaughter.

*returns secret handshake. Adds Spongebob victory screech.

The Gooch: "So I see I am not the only parent of an autistic son who has learned to budget an extra $15-$20 for every trip to Target when my kid is along."

No, you're not. There are many of us. It is impossible to own too many copies of the same Thomas or Percy. Devious Diesel is unwelcome in our home.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:02 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod, that was beautiful. Having lived here all my life it's hard to always see what this stuff we sometimes take for granted can mean to someone who doesn't take it for granted.

After years of just staying home to avoid the hassle, I returned with an old friend who had also been avoiding it forever for Mardi Gras day 2006, the year after Katrina, when so many people were wondering if there would be a Mardi Gras at all ... and even though it was as I heard one passerby shout into his cellphone "kind of half a Mardi Gras," it was the good half. It was a very dark time for all of us but on Fat Tuesday it was like our spirit awoke and said "damn it, we are gonna CELEBRATE," and so we did. I actually saw Zulu and Rex in person for the first time in my life that year. (Some of the Zulu floats were peppered with very barbed political commentary about the disaster and aftermath.) I've since been back, not every year but a few times. I don't stay for the evening's debauchery but I do like to see the wild costumers in the Quarter.

You cannot gather a few hundred thousand people half of whom are drinking heavily in a small place without the occasional lout causing a problem. It always amazes me that we manage to pull it off with so little of that, and Emily's story is a more public example than most of how that comes to happen.
posted by localroger at 4:47 PM on February 29, 2012


I hope this asshole gets whatever we decide he deserves.

Makes me do the happy dance to think that what he didn't get is the chance to spend an evening with the Muses like Emily did. I hope they give her a place on one of the floats next year. That will remind all his friends to point and laugh at him. One can only hope that his miserable behavior will result in mortification for a long, long time.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:58 PM on February 29, 2012


This kind of behavior - verbally assaulting and belittling the differently abled, of any kind - is bad enough in children and adolescents, but at least they have the excuse of actual immaturity. It's beyond dismal to see adults who do it.
posted by thelonius at 6:04 PM on February 29, 2012


I'm going to show my ignorance here, but I never imagined Mardi Gras was a place you *could* bring your children... like a Girls Gone Wild party with the assholest drunk frat boys harassing everyone on a street of bars, strip clubs, and sex toy shops... Is it really family friendly?
posted by Gable Oak at 8:57 PM on February 29, 2012


Gah, I missed Bunny Ultramod's comment upthread.
posted by Gable Oak at 9:01 PM on February 29, 2012


One thing I was surprised about after becoming a parent was the "Child Protection Rage Fantasy." This is where you, for whatever reason, imagine someone being cruel to your child right before you completely demolish them. The fantasy is vivid - you picture yourself destroying this fictitious jerk, whether with your raw, bloody fists or scathing, stinging words. Even though it's imaginary, your body starts to get that fight or flight reaction, adrenaline making you quake and your vision cloud just a bit as you revel as to what you would do to someone who made. your. child. cry.

I was really relieved upon talking to other parents that this is actually pretty common. Adam Scott even mentions it on an episode of WTF.



Your Child Protection Rage Fantasy" is my "Crushed to death by parent in SUV delivering their child to school".

There is evidence that this is a function of Oxytocin, the wonder hormone everyone is so stoked about lately. It strengthens the in group bond while utterly destroying the ability to identify with the out group. So basically it turns people into "Blood is thicker than water" haters.
posted by srboisvert at 10:04 AM on March 1, 2012


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