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1)Exercise and DIET is fundamental. You don’t have to workout to be the fella with the best abs on the road, just enough to get your fitness level up to help build your stamina for the two days of ‘palancing’.

2)If you weren’t satisfied with your physical appearance on the road the previous year, don’t wait one month before carnival and wish for a magical body transformation. Hard work pays off, hit the gym early and get into BEAST MODE!

3)Wear proper sneakers, I’ve seen people play mas in slippers already. Make sure your feet are well cushioned and protected at all times.  Remember there may be broken bottles and other debris on the street.

4)Image is everything, be BOLD! Go all out and have a Monday wear with matching sneakers, board shorts and everything in between. Same applies for the full ‘foo-rah’ on Tuesday. Some men go all out by ensuring their board shorts are altered, sneakers/boots colour scheme is coherent with the costume, wear designer sunglasses, airbrush body designs, hair dye and custom haircuts in addition to ad-ons or subtractions in some cases to their costume. Whatever you choose, please don’t overdo it, seek advice from a friend.

Photo Credit - Carnival Scene
Photo Credit – Carnival Scene

5)Spray on abs is a NO NO! Unless you are enhancing what you already have, otherwise try another form of airbrush design.

6)Don’t be offended if you see divos on the road. Let them be! If they don’t bother you, don’t bother them.

7)Hygiene is very important! Please ensure you wear deodorant before leaving home and at least pack it in your backpack or pocket. You don’t want to attract an audience for your body odor. If you don’t carry it on your person, some bands provide deodorant and axe body spray at their lunch parks, so freshen up!! With all the rush and excitement to meet the band, don’t forget to brush your teeth. I trust you would shower before you leave home.

8)This brings me to this point. There is nothing wrong with waxing, trimming or shaving the excess hair from under your armpits, chest, back or genitals. If women can take care of themselves why can’t we? Remember the same way we look at women on the road they are also returning the favor. So let’s give them a little eye candy to munch on. Who knows, maybe you might discovery your future girlfriend or wife on the road.

Photo Credit - Carnival Scene
Photo Credit – Carnival Scene

9)Have a hearty breakfast, you would need that energy for the first half of the morning. Prepare a quick meal at home, especially if you are a heavy eater because there may be a possibility the breakfast served by your band doesn’t satisfy your needs, their catering wasn’t sufficient or you met the band too late.

10)Drink responsibly! There is no need to rush and drink everything from the bars early in the morning, especially on Carnival Monday. There is enough drinks to go around for everyone. Be moderate in your actions on Monday so you can come out in FULL swing on Tuesday. In addition save your friends/family from having to babysit a sloppy drunk on the road.

11)Furthermore drunk behavior leads to unnecessary altercations with family/friends/masqueraders and onlookers. You don’t want to spend your Carnival in a police station or at the hospital.

12)It wouldn’t be carnival unless someone steps on your feet. So don’t overreact if someone mistakenly ‘bad up’ your shoes.

Photo Credit - Zigwa Photography
Photo Credit – Zigwa Photography

13)Beware of your surroundings, especially at night. Look out for those creeps who are up to no good. Make sure and be in groups or let your friends know where you are going instead of wandering off in the band or in dark areas.

14)If playing mas with a girlfriend/fiancé/wife try not to tote if somebody randomly takes a wine on her. It’s carnival, this is expected. However, if the wine takes form in an inappropriate manner you have all rights to intervene. Have a little prep talk with your significant other and reach a common resolution to avoid arguments on the subject at hand. You don’t want to be single come Carnival Tuesday evening. Over possessiveness can be overbearing at times. The last thing you want to feel like is a police or prisoner on the road, its carnival, free up!

15)Always have a third eye!

16)Be cautious of what you eat on these days; Carnival Sunday, Monday and Tuesday during lunch. Diarrhea and mas is not a good combination, otherwise reserve a port-a-potty on the wee wee truck.

17)Apply and re-apply sunblock on your skin before you hit the road and at the lunch stop.

Photo Credit - Zigwa Photography
Photo Credit – Zigwa Photography

18)Drink plenty water! Dehydration is a b*tch!

19)Be the life of the party on the road!

20)Make sure and have your vex money, you never know what can happen.

21)Do not drive under the influence under any circumstances.

22)Secure transportation to get home on both days.

23)Have an alternative contact number just in case your phone battery dies.

24)Walk with a camera to capture the EPIC moments on the road. Especially for the IG-holics!

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25)If you are going to hook up with someone make sure and use protection. Condoms are given with your costume goodie bag and at lunch parks, so cover your head! PS – no oral, that’s just nasty!

26)In the heat of the moment in #25, please be guided that having sex in public is illegal. Find a room!

27)Ensure you get sufficient R&R on Ash Wednesday before you head back out to work.

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Have a safe Carnival!