2016 Trinidad Carnival – Mental : De-Constructed

2016 Mental 201

Greetings peeps, Kermit here coming to you from Mental, one the most fun and hype fetes for the carnival season. Hosted by Trini Jungle Juice, Mental is a themed pool party held on the Wednesday before carnival and after attending last year’s event I knew I would be in for a wild time.  This year’s theme was De-Constructed and as its name implies, construction attire/accessories were the order of the day and after seeing how enthusiastically Mental’s patrons embrace these themes over the years I knew that I would need extra memory in my camera for all the sights I was sure to see.  Once again Mental was held poolside at the Ambassador Hotel from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am and as I entered the fete around 6:30 pm I knew that I was arriving rather early as Mental doesn’t really get going until the sun goes down.  Once the sun disappears though, this fete goes INSANE as you will see from the 1,000 pictures I uploaded.  Now this is the part of my commentary where, having finished my introduction, I would close with a transitional sentence and use it to segue into the next paragraph but after last year, I discovered that my traditional review format does not really work for Mental because as a fete, Mental is very unique and it has a character that is extremely different from the rest of the carnival events.  To attempt to describe and quantify it using a typical set of universal fete characteristics would not do it justice since Mental is a fete that defies such mundane categorizations.  Since effective writing does require some structure, I will try to adhere as much as possible to the format that you my regular readers have become used to over the years but be warned, this formatting will not last long as much of what happened in this fete defies description.

Ordinarily I would now describe the venue and give you a sense of the layout so here goes: After passing through security you walk up the stairs and you arrive at the lower end of the fete looking straight at the pool and at its far end, the stage on which the DJs resided for the night. To your right is the main bar and circling around the pool from the right are two smaller bars and several specialty drink pavilions.  Normally at this point I would head to the food area so here is my review of that: Facing the stage at the bottom end of the pool, on your right would be stairs leading up to a patio which overlooks the pool and essentially the entire fete.  At the back of this patio is a large covered area where the food selections for the 2016 Mental 252night were to be found.  The area contained many beautifully arranged tables and chairs and was nicely decorated and with brightly colored cloth sheets.  As to the food, I cannot really comment about it because after initially checking out the food area, the action down below was so engrossing I never managed to return.  It is at this point that would begin describing the party itself in terms of the patrons and the vibe and everything else but because Mental is MENTAL, I….JUST….CAN’T so here ends the regular commentary.

I mean, I could have tried to talk about the abundance of construction themed beach wear and bikinis that was everywhere in the fete; I would have tried to talk about the giant TJJ Jackhammer that was 2016 Mental 722on the stage as a prop which Patrick from Nuphoric promptly snatched up and took for a lap of the party all the while exhorting the ladies to come and take drill; I might even have attempted to chronicle the adventures of J’Ouvert Mike who adeptly demonstrated why J’Ouvert was his first name to all of the lovely ladies who joined him on stage; I probably should have tried to mention the yards and yards of “caution” tape wrapped around people’s backside, legs, back, and all other body parts where one could get hurt in this fete; The costumes and construction attire should definitely have gotten at least a line or 2 especially the mischievous cutie who came wearing a foam drill and proceeded to “pelt drill” on everybody who passed close to her! I really 2016 Mental 29would have loved to explain all about the Free Wine Zone and the Bubbling Zone and definitely the Drunken Zone but this alas, this is simply not possible.  Why you ask?  Surely I with all of my froggy journalistic ability and experience must be able to conjure up some sequence of intricate wordplay which precisely conveys the scene that I beheld that Wednesday night but peeps, I am at a loss.  In truth, while I can clearly remember the first few hours at Mental, the later the night went on the fuzzier my recollections become so I cannot in good conscience attempt to relate what I saw when simply put, I cannot accurately remember what I saw.  Thankfully though, I had my trusty Nikon with me, lots of batteries for the flash, and several Gigabytes of memory available.  It took me a while to edit the more than 1,200 pictures I captured that night and I will let the thousand or so that I ended up posting do my talking because according my vague memories (which were eventually backed up by Mr. Nikon) the party was OFF THE CHAIN and I apparently had a fantastic time once again.

Some fetes people go to primarily because of the bar, some primarily because of the food, some primarily because of the entertainment but mostly people go for some combination of all the above but Mental is not that easily quantified. Of course the bar at Mental 2016 Mental 195was very good, of course the DJs were excellent, and while I never tried the food the preparation area looked on point but that is not why you would go to Mental.  You would go to Mental to see ladies wine on a drill while other ladies dressed in construction themed bikinis bring you shots and then wine on YOU.  You would go to Mental to see men breathe fire in the pool and blow flames 10 feet up in the air.  You would go to Mental to go MENTAL yourself and to hell with the resulting neck/back/leg/waist pains the next day!  You would go to Mental because you know that once there you will be amongst fellow Mentalists and can safely let go of all your inhibitions and let your inner Mental run wild.  There is nothing else I can say about Mental except that I will DEFINITELY be here again next year and if you feel like going MENTAL with us, then ROPE EEEEEEEEN!  There is always room for one more in the asylum!

Enjoy the pics peeps, Kermit out!


One day, this will all seem like a long time ago so savor the moment and remember that life is not a race but rather a stroll from the beach to the rumshop and back.


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