Cars vs. Mardi Gras Floats: Which Is the Better Ride?

What if we stopped driving cars … and drove Mardi Gras floats instead? One writer weighs the pros and cons of his dream.

Mardi Gras Floats vs. Cars

Every winter, throngs of people head to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras (which, coincidentally, is today). And if you’re one of the lucky Mardi Gras parade attendees, you’ll probably leave the festivities shouting, “Sweet Knights of Babylon, can you believe those parade floats?! I wish there were more of those things!”

Little did you know this is a serious issue among native Louisianans — an issue that’s now morphed into a single, daring, and undeniably critical question: Should we stop driving cars and, instead, replace them with parade floats?

It’s not a question to be taken lightly. So let’s start tallying scores and settle this bayou-born dispute once and for all.

Licensing

Getting a drivers license can cost you hours of classroom time and behind-the-wheel training, plus months of agonized waiting. On the flip side, however, you can earn your float-driving license in just one day! (Who wants to spend all that time inside a tragically fluorescent DMV classroom when you could be cruising the town in a 4-mph blur?)

Floats: 1, Cars: 0

Insurance costs

Assessing the insurability of a car isn’t always easy. The miles on the odometer, the safety features, and the accident history are just a few things to consider.

Then there are the after-factory parts and equipment. Floats are predominantly covered in flowers, and, seeing as Valentine’s Day is just 2 days away, replacing a petunia-covered bumper (not to mention that rose petal hubcap) would be astronomical.

Floats: 1, Cars: 1

Ease of use

Tell us if this sounds familiar: You pull up to a busy intersection. You crane and contort your neck most uncomfortably to check for traffic. After a few glances in each direction, you inevitably exhaust yourself. Slumped in your seat, panting for breath, unsure if you’ll ever drive again, you ask yourself, “Isn’t there an easier way?”

Well, buck up — there is.

Parade floats come with a designated spotter, someone who walks backward in front of the float and tells the driver when to stop. In other words, watching for traffic becomes someone else’s job, and your neck can go back to doing the things it loves.

Floats: 2, Cars: 1

Parallel parking

While driving floats may be exciting, parking them is another story. We can just hear it now: “Swing it in … you’re almost there … just 27 feet from the curb … you almost have it … STOP… OK, too far, you just uprooted a palm tree … try again.”

Point goes to cars.

Floats: 2, Cars: 2

Movie star potential

Safety and insurability are clearly important. However, the ultimate test of a vehicle (for some people, ahem) is how well it can transition to the silver screen. And, sadly, that’s where floats falter. Look what happens to some of Hollywood’s most beloved productions when you swap cars for floats:

  • Driving Miss Daisy (On what, a bed of daisies?)
  • Back to the Future (No way a float withstands 1.21 gigawatts!)
  • Gone in 60 Seconds (60 minutes, maybe.)
  • Risky Business (Without the Porsche, it suddenly seems … less so.)

Floats: 2, Cars, 3

Fine. We’ll give cars one more chance. But the next time yours acts sassy, just whisper this simple reminder of how truly close we are to becoming a world full of floats.

Read on to find out more about driving in Louisiana, including key car insurance info for motorists in the Pelican State.

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