The Fat Bankers’ Social Aid and Pleasure Club, L.L.C. (“Fat Bankers’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club”), has a long and auspicious history that began centuries ago in the (very, very) late Twentieth Century. It is the most prominent of all Mardi Gras organizations, save the Krewe of Tucks (of which it is a sub-group), due to its cultivation of the most sophisticated elements of American culture, and its unbreakable and loyal alliance with the Krewe of Tucks. And it is the sole organization sceptered to issue The Royal Writ of Supergroovalisticprositfunkstication, the glorious and inspired Royal Mandate bestowing upon those situate in the Crescent City during Vendredi de Banquier Gras perquisites heretofore unavailable to the common man and creating an Elysian Fields on Earth.
So, then, begins the Tale of the Fat Bankers’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club:
Such an illustrious present for the Fat Bankers’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club is difficult to deduce from the organization’s modest beginning. Many condemn the admissions officers of the Tulane University School of Law for that beginning because it was they who created the critical mass that would become the Fat Bankers. Those admissions officers are routinely upbraided for the remarkable lack of perspicacity that they demonstrated by admitting these well-known wags to the University when even an unreasonable man would have known that they would perpetrate the same buffoonery upon New Orleans that they had reigned across the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico. (The upbraiding is most frequent following Mardi Gras as the Crescent City’s dutiful sanitation engineers remove the Krewe of Tucks toilet paper from the majestic live oaks lining St. Charles Avenue.)
Having erred once, the University administrators stupefied New Orleans further by committing to the same class five notable wags. Two years of this besotted syndicate’s antics proved insufficient for University administrators to recognize the folly of which they were capable, and so the same admissions officers that had admitted Jesters Five previously added one more card to the deck. The new Jesters Six created the synergism necessary for the besotted syndicate to stretch the Crescent City’s already thin patience.
Drivers were designated to negotiate their automobiles about Lee Circle on two wheels; to establish new land speed records on Tchoupitoulas Street, often accompanied by sparks of pyrotechnic proportions; and to test the submersible qualities of new vehicles on which the first payment had yet to be made. Cheering spectacles encouraged the Green Wave and Gumby to seek ever-improving performance, and universally led to Quarter Crawls punctuated with Big-Ass Beers, Hand Grenades, Sky-Labs and Hurricanes, Jell-O Shots (they always had room for Jell-O) and (for the sake of science) test tubes of unknown rocket-fuelled concoctions. And random strangers—the most famous of whom was Random Guy—became enablers of totemic significance where a single sighting could dramatically enhance the ability to drive long, straight, and center from the pro tees as well as produce sonorous renderings of such well-loved classics as David Allan Coe’s, “You Never Even Called Me By My Name.”
The Jesters Six made their first Krewe of Tucks Mardi Gras outing in 1993 dressing first as pirates, and then in the eons that followed as eczematous ducks, plaid-shirted handymen, tiddly Hawaiians, friar Tucks with ‘fro wigs, (un)sobered devils, and, now, The Funkmen and Funky Foxes of Tucks. The important thing to keep in mind about all of this canivaling is that not one of the Fat Bankers is, in fact, a banker … but all of the Fat Bankers’ are suitably fat or phat, a condition originating from their lunches on Vendredi de Banquier Gras—Fat Bankers’ Friday. They began gathering for lunch in 1995, and have held these luncheons every year thereafter on the Friday before Tucks’s Saturday parade. The centerpiece of their table always includes purple, green, and gold flowers as well as the royal scepters—a toilet plunger and toilet brush.
The Fat Bankers’ appellation was born in 1999, when one of the group stated that they had “left work and ate all afternoon—like a bunch of Fat Bankers.” The name stuck, and this core group grew into the Fat Bankers’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club, L.L.C., the legal entity that manages the Funky Tucks and the Foxy Tucks. The name for the organization, of course, grew from the 1999 epiphany about the lunch group but also reflects the heritage of New Orleans’s social aid and pleasure clubs, which formed to benefit their members, bring Carnival joie de vive to the City, and to break down the unnecessary social barriers that constrained social interaction. And so “The Fat Bankers’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club, LLC,” was born over several beers consumed in Pas Christian, Mississippi, one hot afternoon.
The Fat Bankers were incorporated as a Louisiana Limited Liability Company on February 28, 2003, the very day of that year’s annual Fat Bankers’ lunch, and by March 1, 2003, all ten of the original shares to capitalize the organization and build the Funky Tucks were sold. All of this occurred, importantly, during a mystic period in American culture when the music, attire, hairstyles, and manners of speech of the Funk era re-blossomed. That rebirth of Funk held great significance for Mardi Gras in that New Orleans was the progenitor of Funk through Congo Square and the Nevilles and the Meters and on and on and remains today and every day its incubator—and, during less Funky times, its life support. And so …
The Funky Tucks Float
Having observed the resurgence of the ‘fro wig as a costume for Mardi Gras spectators in 1997, the Fat Bankers’ decided that it would be an excellent addition to the float’s costume, which for years had been haphazard at best. After some prodding, they concluded that the ‘fro wig would be an excellent identifying feature, regardless of the float or Krewe theme, and add some irreverent uniformity to the production. The ‘fro wig thus became a staple of the Fat Bankers’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club costume between 1997 and 2003. The float theme was, then, obvious—the Funky Tucks. The Fat Bankers’ Social Aid & Pleasure Club decided to celebrate their love of this high cultural form by building a float proclaiming its ascendancy—the Funky Tucks—which first paraded in 2004. The Fat Bankers’ costumes, in turn, obtain their inspiration from the stage costumes of Bootsy Collins. This float, importantly, is the widest and longest single float in all of Mardi Gras, and is built for rider comfort as well as the fun of the Krewe’s Carnival-going faithful.
The Funky Fox Float
Yet, as the Grateful Dead say, “too much is just enough” and so the Fat Bankers’ decided they needed—it was not a mere desire but an imperative—a second float. That float celebrates an aspect of the Fat Bankers’ mode of proclaiming Mardi Gras that has established a loyal and large fan base: the Funky Foxes. And what is the Funk without Foxes … after all God declared that Adam should have the companionship of Eve so why shouldn’t the Funky Tucks have the companionship of the Funky Fox? This new float is a tandem to the original Funky Tucks and makes the float combination among the largest in Mardi Gras.
The term “Supergroovalisticprositfunkstication” is the guiding principle of the Fat Bankers’. It requires, according to Grand Master of Funk, George Clinton, that the Fat Bankers “[g]ive the people what they want when they want and they wants it all the time.” It also forms the most basic element of the Fat Bankers’ mission, which is to issue The Royal Writ of Supergroovalisticprositfunkstication that decrees the beginning of and exalts in the final weekend of Mardi Gras festivities. The Royal Writ of
Supergroovalisticprositfunkstication is discussed in more detail below.
The Fat Bankers’, as any frivolous organization should, possess a multitude of traditions, and more are created as the years roll on. The two most important traditions are the Stately Procession of the Lords of the Abdominous Exchequer and le Fete de Banquiers Gras, both on Vendredi de Banquier Gras (Fat Banker Friday). Our other traditions include the types of Fat Bankers’ memberships, the orders and decorations available to members, Moronic Convergences & Tiffins, the Doctrine of Mystic Numerology, the Official Language and Greetings of the Realm, and the organization and management of the Fat Bankers’.