1

I'm translating a text from English but I didn't understand the meaning of this sentence:

One day, Fay came in and caught Laurel sitting up asleep herself, in her spectacles. “Putting your eyes out, too? I told him if he hadn’t spent so many years of his life poring over dusty old books, his eyes would have more strength saved up for now,” Fay told her. She sidled closer to the bed. “About ready to get up, hon?” she cried. “Listen, they’re holding parades out yonder right now. Look what they threw me off the float!
The Optimist's Daughter

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  • Can provide some context? Were they physically on a float previously?
    – Jim
    May 14 '17 at 16:28
  • It sounds like an expression we say in the US of "throwing someone under the bus", which is a type of a betrayal from someone who is trying to deflect suspicion from himself to someone else. But without more context, it's difficult to know the OP's expression.
    – iMerchant
    May 14 '17 at 16:37
  • thanks IMerchant its part of a novel i write more: One day, Fay came in and caught Laurel sitting up asleep herself, in her spectacles. “Putting your eyes out, too? I told him if he hadn’t spent so many years of his life poring over dusty old books, his eyes would have more strength saved up for now,” Fay told her. She sidled closer to the bed. “About ready to get up, hon?” she cried. “Listen, they’re holding parades out yonder right now. Look what they threw me off the float!”
    – shiva
    May 14 '17 at 17:22
  • @shiva - Thanks for clarifying and adding the context to your question. Obviously my earlier comment does not apply here.
    – iMerchant
    May 14 '17 at 20:00
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You’re misparsing the sentence. It’s not “they threw me off the float” (i.e., ‘I’ was previously on a float with some other people, but then they threw ‘me’ off), but rather that ‘they’ (people on the float) threw ‘me’ something.

She’s talking about a parade going through town—that’s the Carnival mentioned a few lines further down. Carnival parades usually have people on floats, and often these people throw little tidbits into the crowd of people watching the parade: flyers, sweets, stickers, things like that.

Fay had clearly been outside where a parade was passing by, and someone going by on one of the floats had thrown something down to her from their position on the float. A few pages later, after an interlude in which Laurel recalls how Fay had come into her father’s life, we are told (somewhat indirectly) that the thing someone threw down to her from the carnival float was a green stiletto shoe.

(I haven't read the story, but Sarriesfan mentions in a comment that the story takes place in New Orleans in Louisiana in the south of the US. New Orleans is famous for it’s huge celebration of Mardi Gras which includes hundreds of such parade floats. The Carnival talked about here is likely a Mardi Gras celebration.)

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  • Yep, if you've ever attended Mardis Gras celebrations along the US Gulf Coast you'd know that they often have parades where they throw off trinkets -- typically strings of beads.
    – Hot Licks
    May 14 '17 at 18:03
  • 2
    The book the Optimist's Daughter is set in New Orleans it is likely a Marde Gras parade. The British English tag is a bit misleading I think.
    – Sarriesfan
    May 14 '17 at 18:17
  • @Sarriesfan Thanks for that—I've amended my answer; in the Big Easy (which my phone just auto-‘corrected’ to Bog East!), a Mardi Gras parade seems much more likely. May 14 '17 at 20:37
  • @JanusBahsJacquet thanks, thanks ever so much for your help,i really appreciate it :-)
    – shiva
    May 27 '17 at 14:59

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