Patricia Gannon: Triton welcomes Mardi Gras

Party talk is vanishing like the Great Auk.

Thanks to social media, people are losing the ability to communicate with strangers face-to-face instead of checking their email. Small talk is important because it’s the basis for bigger talk, and if you go to a party unable to do it, you deserve never to be invited again. We used to have society hostesses to weed out the witless, but they’ve gone the way of the Great Auk also.

With that in mind, here are some tips for making the cut:

Ladies, ask a man what he does for work or where he’s from. Do not ask “how ’bout them Saints?” Women who feign interest in football are really just interested in men who are interested in football and men know this. They also know you play on the opposing team.

Compliment a man on his appearance for openers. Sadly, most men go through life never hearing they look nice from anyone but their mothers. Do not use the “Hello, sailor” voice. After that, draw him out. He hasn’t had a woman listen to him since he got married.

If you’re talking to another female, “Where did you get your dress?” will work. Then go talk to a man.

As for gentlemen, it’s your masculine duty to talk to the women — particularly those who couldn’t get their husbands to come or are there unescorted. If you’re from New Orleans, you were born knowing how to do this. If not, ask the lady what she’s drinking and then get it for her. No one waits on her at home. If this doesn’t get you the desired response, move on to the next one.

You were born knowing how to do this also.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at or at

Triton welcomes Mardi Gras

The gentlemen of Triton ushered in the Mardi Gras season with a Twelfth Night party at the Cajundome Convention Center.

Not even the icy grip of the polar vortex could keep revelers away as the fur coats filed in ahead of King Triton Dr. Fernando Alemany, while past kings, dukes and maids were all present and accounted for, including Bill Doucet, Dr. Kirk Crane, Chuck Peddy, Steve Lyon, Peter Piccione, Mike and Joyce Casey, and Blake Ritchey.

We have it on good authority that the dukes were roasted by Powerpoint presentation — courtesy of their mentors — as after-dinner entertainment.

“I have a second career as a comedian,” said Scott Coco.

What we loved: Piccione’s hat, Melissa Sonnier’s gunmetal gray dress and Triton’s patriotic theme “Let Freedom Ring.” Triton will hold its ball on March 1 at the Cajundome.