Hey, y'all! Just one week until Mardi Gras.

Today's weather: Sunny with a high near 64.

🎧 Sounds like: "Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On)" by Allen Toussaint.

🍻 Situational awareness: Tonight's the night! Join us and King Cake Baby at Urban South Brewery at 5pm. First round's on us with RSVP.

Today's newsletter is 76 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🚽 When ya gotta go

Even teeny-tiny dolls attending 'tit Rex have to use porta-potties. Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Louisiana is No. 1 at a 1 and 2 problem.

Driving the news: Our state ties with Mississippi for having the fewest public restrooms in the entire country.

  • And there's no time when this is more obvious than during Mardi Gras, when everyone hits the streets, and beverage consumption is at an all-time high.

Why it matters: Oh, you know why it matters.

By the numbers: British bathroom supply company QS tallied up the number of public restrooms around the world in 2021, and it found that Louisiana and Mississippi have just 1 public toilet per 100,000 people.

  • One! Per 100,000!

Zoom in: The QS data indicates that the entire city of New Orleans has just 20 public toilets, which means we're doing a little better than the state average at 5 toilets per 100,000 residents.

  • But compare that to the nation-leading city of Madison, Wisconsin, which boasts a positively luxurious 89 toilets per 100,000 residents.

During Mardi Gras, that leaves legions of us to wait in long lines at bars, hotels and restaurants, which often require drink purchases for potty privileges.

  • The other option? Fork over cash to churches, schools and entre-pee-neurial homeowners who hire lines of porta-potties along parade routes.

Yes, but: New Orleans is deploying about 500 porta-potties along the route for Mardi Gras.

  • That might be part of why the New Orleans Police Department makes relatively few arrests during Mardi Gras for public urination.
  • It's hard to say how many citations NOPD issued for that particular transgression in 2023 because the data is tied up with all lewd conduct charges, which includes things like genital exposure and public sexual intercourse. Still, NOPD only used that broader category 18 times last Mardi Gras.

The bottom line: We can do a lot better.

Go deeper for public potty history

2. ♻️ Recycle dat

The Krewe of Iris threw bags of jambalaya mix in 2023. Photo: Chelsea Brasted/Axios

With each passing year, we're getting a little bit better at making Mardi Gras greener.

Why it matters: We've got enough problems on our hands without clogging more storm drains and increasing our plastic usage.

  • Plus, reusable and edible throws are just more fun, right?

What's happening: Various krewes are rolling out new alternatives to plastic beads this year, including Muses, which is bringing back its dish towels, beanie hats, lunchbox coolers and socks, plus adding in others, like a nightlight.

  • Rex will also be tossing reusable metal cups this year.

Yes, and: New Orleans will also have recycling centers along the parade route, so you can drop throws before even loading them into your car.

  • Spot the recycling centers on RouteWise or NOLAReady.
  • REALCYCLE also launches a pilot program to pick up aluminum cans along the Uptown route on Muses Thursday. Look for drop-off spots on the neutral ground.

You can also donate beads to The Arc of Greater New Orleans year-round.

  • The organization creates jobs for adults with developmental disabilities and sells resorted and repackaged beads for reuse.
  • See drop-off locations.

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3. Fully Dressed: Landry visits the border

Gov. Jeff Landry speaks with Texas Major General Thomas Suelzer during a visit to the Mexico-Texas border on Sunday, Feb. 4. Photo: Courtesy of Landry's office

Gov. Jeff Landry said during a Sunday visit to Eagle Pass, Texas, that he is exploring options to send Louisiana National Guard members to help secure the Texas-Mexico border. (Louisiana Illuminator)

πŸ₯’ Little Korea announced its closure, but said another Korean restaurant will fill the Magazine Street restaurant space. (Instagram)

🌧️ Saturday's rainfall was too much for New Orleans' pumps, even if the Sewerage and Water Board hadn't faced power issues, the utility says. (WWL)

A JPSO deputy who was directing parade traffic last night shot a driver in the shoulder while crowds left Marrero's Krewe of Music. JPSO says the driver hopped a curb and drove toward the deputy. (Fox8)

4. 🎯 Mardi Gras bingo!

Graphic: Axios Visuals
Graphic: Axios Visuals

We're getting into the thick of Mardi Gras, and one of the glorious parts of that is the shared experiences we'll all get to have.

  • We put together this bingo card to celebrate those moments, big and small.

πŸ—£οΈ What do you think our bingo card is missing? Hit reply and let us know.

A new career is waiting for you

πŸ’Ό Check out who's hiring now.

  1. Associate Director, Digital Media & Communications at Vir Biotechnology.
  2. Sr. Director Data Architecture and Business Analytics at Lovesac.
  3. Director of Communications & Intergovernmental Relations at Housing Authority of New Orleans.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. πŸ¦… 1 photo to go: 'Merica!

Photo: Courtesy of LSU

LSU football coach Brian Kelly released a bald eagle in Baton Rouge last Friday after it was rehabbed at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine's Wildlife Hospital.

What happened: The eagle, which Vet Med believed to be female based on its height and weight, was dehydrated and had a broken wing before it received care at LSU.

  • During her rehab, she snacked on fish, mice and quail.

Worth noting: LSU Vet Med's Wildlife Hospital receives more than 1,000 cases per year and relies on donations to manage the program.

β›” Carlie is away from her desk.

πŸ₯• Chelsea is eating vegetables while she can this week.

🚻 Tell a bathroom line friend to subscribe.

Thanks to our editor Fadel Allassan and copy editor Carlin Becker.