Dear tourists visiting for the Sugar Bowl, Bienvenue!  Welcome! I’d like to extend a big thanks for visiting and spending money and helping our economy and all.

However, you should take some precautions so as not to get jacked up and to ensure your visit here in the Crescent City is an enjoyable one.

1) Lose the Mardi Gras beads. It’s January. This screams tourist. And it attracts criminals. The smarter ones will probably be tipped off by your respective collegiate garb, too.

However, Mardi Gras is early this year and I’ve already seen King Cakes out in the local grocery stores. Please feel free to enjoy one. They are delicious. Yes, there is a plastic baby inside. Don’t swallow it. If no one sees you, take it and jam it into another piece of cake where no one will see it. You’ll thank me later when it’s not your turn to buy the next one.

2) You got your shoes on your feet. Just remember that.

3) A beignet is a French doughnut. It’s pronounced “ben-yay.” Just like that. Not “beg-net.”

A Hand Grenade from Tropical Isle on Bourbon St.

4) It’s called a Hand Grenade for a reason. It looks cute, but don’t trust it.

5) Public intoxication is an arrestable offense. I know it seems ludicrous considering. But it is.

6) Public nudity is also an arrestable offense. Please keep your parts concealed at all times.

If you simply must have those gigantic beads, there are about thirty shops on Bourbon St. or Decatur St. where you can purchase them for an exorbitant amount of money. At any rate, it’s cheaper than posting bond and spending the weekend at O.P.P. You will get arrested for urinating on the street, as well. I know it seems like the only option (believe me I’ve been there) but please hold it in or you could find your next pee is in a cold steel toilet.

If you do get arrested, make sure to call your lawyer and advise him or her that you are in the parish prison. It’s not the county jail.

7) This next one was brought to my attention by a friend of mine. A Fleur-de-lis is a French symbol based on a lily flower or iris. It is a symbol of royalty and regality. It appears on many European coats of arms. We love it and we adorn everything with it. It’s the symbol of our football team. I’m wearing a fleur-de-lis necklace right now.

Hopefully these tips will help to enrich your visit here. We have a wonderfully eclectic city full of rich history, music, food, and drink. But don’t forget it can also be a dangerous city. Be aware and take precautions. Have fun and be safe!