Friday, September 22, 2017

Are Males Verbally Disposed Towards Anti-materialism?

In general, it's generally accepted that men use more profanity than do women. Especially the so-called F-word and some of the others.

Moreover, there is their curious use of the word shit in a context unrelated to fecal matter, as in these contexts:

"I need to get my shit together and move in the dorm tomorrow."

"Brenda kicked me out of the apartment and threw all my shit in the apartment pool." Describing the denouement of a domestic disagreement between roommates.

In other words, these guys verbally equate their possessions with fecal waste.

Now this is not an individual linguistic quirk; but one that many guys use. Contrariwise, I have never encountered a girl or women use the word shit in that context. Try this on:

"I need to move my shit into the sorority house this weekend." Huh?

Is this a sign that men are less comfortable with the fact that they have possessions, or are they positively burdened with the fact of their presence?

Let's face it: most guys are not into extensive care of clothing, ironing, and the like. And many of their things require maintenance. 

Is that why they refer to their 'stuff' as their 'shit"? Is it out of peevishness?

Well, I am out on a limb with this one. Obviously, in addition to the possible sex difference is this vocabulary term, are their regional or age-graded differences as well? My experience is largely based on Southerners of the same approximate age as myself. Do Yankee guys refer to their possessions as shit? 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

More About "Le Boudin"

Yesterday, I posted about a Boudin Festival in Cajun country.

Boudin is a blood sausage commonly found in France and in Cajun country.*

Le Boudin is also the official marching song of the Foreign Legion. Here is the lyrics:


Chorus:
Here you are, some blood sausage, some blood sausage, some blood sausage
For the Alsatians, the Swiss, and the Lorraines,
For the Belgians, there's none left,
For the Belgians, there's none left,
They're lazy shirkers.
For the Belgians, there's none left,
For the Belgians, there's none left,
They're shooters from the ass [lazy shirkers].
1st verse:
We are crafty.
We are rogues.
We are no ordinary guys.
We've often got our black moods,
For we are Legionnaires.
In Tonkin, the Immortal Legion
Honored our flag at Tuyen Quang.
Heroes of Cameroon and exemplary brothers
Sleep in peace in your tombs.
(Repeat Chorus)
2nd verse:
Our ancestors knew how to die
For the glory of the Legion.
We will know how to perish
According to the tradition.
During our far-off campaigns,
Facing fever and fire,
Let us forget, along with our hardships,
Death, which forgets us so little.
(For) we are the Legion.




*I recommend using andouille instead.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Everett, Washington Bans Bikini Baristas

Well, I just learned about another modern-day Land of the Uptight Prudes, I was surprised at where this place was located -- not Utah or Boston, but Washington State. Specifically, Everett, Washington's City Council recently passed an ordinance banning baristas from wearing bikinis. Or, as someone sniffed, "half-naked women."

As an occasional bikini-wearer at the shore and someone who thinks wearing one in public is not offensive to public morals, I find this dismaying. It clearly seems like an uncalled-for limitation on the freedom of expression. Hey, they have bikini baristas in Alabama!

But I wonder about this prudishness from this unexplained source. Have the Trumpies won? Are we in for a actualization of The Handmaiden's Tale? What other limitations can we anticipate with dread? How about a Pasty Patrol? 

The city actually came up with an example of what baristas could wear to be compliant with the dress code:



Sleveless shirts? Thought up by someone with tacky tastes, no doubt!

Seriously, this sort of blue law is excessively intrusive, and sucks out some enjoyment of life. I don't know what the total moral climate is there; but I feel that I might be the quintessential outsider.

Here's a bikini barista showing her dubious fandom:




Here's a little story about Angel (moi!)

Years ago, I worked for a while as a barista, a purveyor of licit addictive caffeinated substances. Several of us tried a few ways to prompt people to leave a gratuity in the tip jar. We found that the best way was to use one of our bras; with each of us in rotation offering one of ours as the tip receptacle! As I had body issues at the time, I was pleased that mine when it was the bra of the day got a gratifying amount of tips.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Voting Fraud in the Election for Boudin Queen

In the Bayou Teche area, it's said that the players will bet on anything; even high school sports and which duck will first take off from the water. And players of Louisiana politics is not above playing by Chicago rules either! Even to the extent of bringing in outsiders to sweeten the deal. Now that's called Plaquemines Parish Rule: as many as you can import gets to vote!

However, this mania for gambling reached epic proportions when Badeaux's Bar and Recreation Center started offering a morning line on which young miss would win the title of Boudin Queen at the annual Boudin Festival. To be sure, this was a highly coveted title in Grand Teche, even exceeding Homecoming Queen at Grand Teche High School!

Now some of the same strategies that might be employed in beauty pageants, special hair tints, well-fitting dresses, bra inserts, heels, and other ways of enhancing the appeal of the various contestants. But since betting on the outcome and money changing hands was part of the process, some nefarious bettors tried stuffing the ballot box. Hence my comment about Plaquemines Parish rules.

The problem one years was that the competition for Boudin Queen was especially keen one year Tee Tina, Clotilde, Tee Suzette, Tee Marie, Marguerite, and others promised more viable choices and there was unusual interest in the process. Some of this was due to some long-term rivalries among the contestants; and some was due to a lot of Texas money being bet on the contestants.

Now the esteemed position of Boudin Queen was done ostensibly democratically: one person, one vote. But the ballot boxes were stuffed! 

Or so the story went.

Part of it was also that Tee Tina's maman insisted that she wore her bra: "No, you are not to appear like that in front of the whole Parish including old Father Broussard!" And another part was that Tee Suzette kissed her way into getting some votes. These ploys split the local vote, so to speak.

Anyway, Barbara Jean, a fille recently moved in from Texas, won the title. The story came out about the voting irregularities and no one was especially fooled. No, Barbara Jean's campaign manager paid busloads of local bar patrons a beer apiece if they voted for Barbara Jean. Some greedy so-and-sos voted three or four times, getting a beer each time. 

The crowd was unusually rowdy that evening in Grand Teche's Fair around the time the Boudin Queen's vote was announced! How much was due to beer bribes; and how much was utter surprise, one can only guess.



Friday, September 15, 2017

An Outré Dinner Date

Angela liked Mark a lot; and when he asked her out to dinner, she was overjoyed. Mark was, to her, the beau ideal of her class, who seemingly had smarts, polish, and connections.

Until she found out where he was taking her: The Pussycat's Den, a new, locally-owned breastaurant in town!

She demurred half-heartedly; but decided that this was a new kind of camp experience. And something in her wondered what it was like.

Well, there were the well-bosomed waitresses. Deliberately selected on the basis of breast size and willingness to display them. And the atmosphere was slightly frat house modern.

And, to cap it all off, Mark and Angela joined five other guys for a drinking and bull session! In all, it was an odd sex ratio; and Angela wondered what the ramifications of that were.

Then she got the message: Mark thought of her as a friend who happened to be a girl, not a girlfriend! And he wanted her to meet his other buds. Maybe she could fit in with this high testosterone group. But Angela didn't think she had some of the subtle symptoms in women. (Women produce small quantities of testosterone in the adrenal glands and in the ovaries.) 

Needless to say, Angela was hurt and disappointed by her being relegated to the dreaded friend zone. However, the story did have a surprise twist: she eventually married one of the guys that she met that night at the Pussycat's Den, and Mark was in the bridal party as the Best Man (or Best Dude)!

Sometimes friends help out in unusual ways. And being in the Friend Zone ain't too bad.


A Pussycat Girl in Her Outfit.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Does the Senate Now Require a Religious Test for the Judiciary?

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
---The Constitution of the United States
Okay, this is serious; a departure from the usual levity I try to maintain in these pages.
Recently, the nominee for the 7th Court of Appeals, Amy Coney Barrett, was undergoing the usual screening by members of the Senate regarding her suitability for the Federal bench when Sens. Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein asked how her being Catholic might affect her serving as a Federal judge.
In my opinion, these sorts of questions are highly inappropriate:
"Do you consider yourself an 'orthodox Catholic?" - Durbin

[And do you consider yourself a warranted, genuine Dick, Senator?]
And Dianne Feinstein implied that actual belief in the doctrines of one's faith are grounds for disqualification from public service. Yeah, I know; she's concerned that the nominee might be anti-abortion. The horror! The horror! 
Holy cow, people! We need an attitude check!

Or we're going to see questions like, "Do you consider yourself an 'orthodox Muslim" someday, or even "Do you practice what you preach?" Or try this on for size: "Are you, are have you ever been, a member of the ________ Church?"

I think the two poor, misguided Senators should write the First Amendment 100 times; and think of other ways to disqualify nominees that are still within the guidelines of the Constitution since that was likely their intention.

And Congress needs to get up front and list which churches are established, and which are not. Do Quakers pass? How about Seventh Day Adventists? To be right with the good senators, do I have to become a Holy Roller? Or a snake handler? Or a high church Episcopalian? Prithee, let us have guidance!

Disclosure: I am a Catholic, and I was not amused with the Senators' line of questioning.

Comment: I plan to confine posting on serious, controversial topics to Wednesday, if that's okay with everybody. So if you want Angel Light, there's still the rest of the week. One day a week being serious is heavy lifting for a blonde. 



Monday, September 11, 2017

More Street Signs

If it's taxes, it's everybody else's too:


Some might feel inadequate:


Not a place in which to go swimming:


Sad state of affairs:



Oh my God!

Some advice should be followed:


Friendship has its limits:


Canadian native or very hirsute:


Unfortunately named street:


For God's sake, use a tissue:


The Mooch or Johnny Knoxville:


For drunken guys singing Karaoke:


Whatever:


Mixed message:


Fraternity Row: 


Named after the horse:


A chef named Richard with a prosthetic:


A heinous slander:

A road that leads somewhere:


In Fairplay, Colorado:


Better than a Dutch rub:

;
Fixation on street names:


A street with some kinks in it:



Friday, September 8, 2017

Alexis de Tocqueville on the Press in America

In America there is scarcely a hamlet which has not its own newspaper. It may readily be imagined that neither discipline nor unity of design can be communicated to so multifarious a host, and each one is consequently led to fight under his own standard. All the political journals of the United States are arrayed indeed on the side of the administration or against it; but they attack and defend in a thousand different ways. They can not succeed in forming those great currents of opinion which overwhelm the most solid obstacles. This division of the influence of the press produces a variety of other consequences which are scarcely less remarkable. The facility with which journals can be established induces a multitude of individuals to take part in them; but as the extent of competition precludes the possibility of considerable profit, the most distinguished classes of society are rarely led to engage in these undertakings. But such is the number of the public prints that, even if they were a source of wealth, writers of ability could not be found to direct them all. The journalists of the United States are usually placed in a very humble position with a scanty education and a vulgar turn of mind.

The spirit of the journalist is to appeal crudely, directly, and artlessly to the passions of the people he is addressing, forsaking principles in order to portray individuals, pursue them into their private lives, and lay bare their weaknesses and vices.  Such abuse of thought can only be deplored.

         -- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)


1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country

2.  The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3.  The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country.

4.  USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand the Washington Post. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie chart format.

5.  The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn't have to leave LA to do it.

6.  The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and they did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

7.  The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country, and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8.  The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9.  The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country or that anyone is running it; but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs, who also happen to be illegal aliens from ANY country or galaxy as long as they are Democrats.

10.  The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

11.  The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Replacement Statues

We live literally in an iconoclastic time, with the called-for or actual removal of Confederate monuments in various parts of the South and elsewhere. Flushed with success (like the legendary Dr. Crapper), some of the anti-statuary crowd is now calling for the removal of ones of Christopher Columbus in NYC and elsewhere. My, from Columbus Circle yet!

They'll just have to find another Columbus other than Chris to still be able to call that prominent New York locale by the same name so that New Yorkers will not have to assign new names to familiar landmarks. Oh, well, as problems go, I'm sure Mayor de Blasio is up for the job!

Actually, New York has a few more statuary candidates for replacement: Benjamin Franklin, Fiorello LaGuardia, Henry Ward Beecher, and others.

But doing this still leaves the affected locales with a problem: what to do with the now-empty pedestals. Do they rent them out so that people with extra cash and overly inflated egos can erect statues of themselves? Or maybe honor people who have achieved in the arts?  A while back, I wrote on the less well-known statues of New Orleans. It seems that the Crescent City has erected statues of musicians, Bourbon Street entertainers, civic benefactors, South American liberators, Women Marines, and even Winston Churchill!

Naturally, we should anticipate that any replacement statues might be in turn replaced someday when they people so honored fall out of fame. Or, they should just go with allegorical themes instead!

Seriously, some fans in New Orleans proposed a statue of Britney Spears to replace one of the Confederate statues.* Spears Circle, anyone? Not a bad idea; but I'd prefer Fats Domino. Years ago, someone actually created a pregnant, nude statue of Britney Spears giving birth. Not a nice pose, indeed.

Well, here's an idea for one suitable for Nashville: Taylor Swift as a Valkyrie. (Wagner, anyone?) Kanye West should seriously beware:



Of course, statues of demigods like football coaches are sometimes erected**:



And sometimes taken down, like the one of Joe Paterno.

Lviv, Ukraine has an interesting one of Leopold Ritter Sacher-Masoch which allows for some hands-on experience by reaching in a pocket:



. . . . and is likely to embarrass the easily embarrassed! 

At least no U.S. city has this type of honoree!

Actually, other regions of the U.S. might experience some monumental embarrassment that could also be physically expunged by further iconoclasm: Ulysses S. Grant, for his expulsion of Jews in his military district, Philip Sheridan, for his advocacy and practice of population control among Native Americans, and James K. Polk, for his monumental land-grabbing in the West. Or, for the underachievers, there's always Warren Harding.

And for communities that really need an excuse for a statue, they can always honor man's best friend:




* As a Britney Spears fan from my pre-teen days, I like this idea!

**The University of Alabama, in a classic case of overkill, erected five statues of coaches. Definitely, this signals where their priorities lie. In all fairness, no statues of Governors were erected.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Coffee Girls Try Out Boudoir Photography

The biweekly get-together over coffee and beignets recently got a new twist for animated discussion; something not involving questions of New Orleans politics or faith or morals. No, give our ladies credit for being more broad in their interests. Now sashaying into the realm of fine arts.

Specifically, Suzanne Picou mentioned that a photographer friend of hers was introducing a new line: boudoir photography. No, this is not a flashback from the 1990s when mall photographers included period costumes for teen girls to pose in for boyfriend- or husband-intended pictures. This was cheesecake for the masses, without the high caloric overload from the edible product.

It's typical of New Orleans, in a way, to be totally retro in tastes. Thus Mme. Pluchard and M. Antoine opened a line of boudoir photography as a stylistic venture. It caught on among the latent vain and curious.

These boudoir pictures were pictures that the photographer had made of ladies in slightly erotic poses and costumes: revealing swimsuits, nightgowns, guêpières, teddies, and so forth. Suffice it to say, the girls were interested!

But how far to take it? Surprisingly, to an unexpected degree. Even the ordinarily discreet Madeline and the prudish Hilda Walspurgis were game for glamor this time. Madeline thought that a mild nightgown pose might please Officer Pete; and Hilda apparently rose to an unexpected degree in raciness. Oh well, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, as some overquoted Transcendentalist supposedly said.

Even better. They would sign up for photography sessions, and at their next meeting share their creations with each other while consuming café au lait and beignets.

So it happened. 

And the next coffee session was looked forward with great anticipation. Mme. Pluchard managed to please even the more timid models, and they all came with their envelopes containing proofs.

Clotilde Badeau posed with a come hither look in her lingerie. Tell-tale stretch marks were discreetly airbrushed out. The ladies oohed and ahhed.  Clotilde, at first shy, smiled and then beamed with happiness.

Suzette Picou's featured her as naked as a jaybird. [Question for linguistic purists: Are there any avian species besides penguins that wear clothes?] The fact that Suzette was the Existential Stripper made her used to appearing in that way. As a matter of fact, she considered using a print of her pose on a poster. 

Madeline Dupré posed demurely in a becoming black nightgown, merely hinting at curves. Still, it was effective.

Clara Thibodaux wore the red guêpière, a garment never worn by her before. As a matter of fact, she liked the look enough that she purchased one that was similar to the photographer's prop garment.

Missy Chauvin thought she looked smashing in a pink teddy. Maybe a little too daring, but maybe not . . . . Well, it might be too much for Action News!

Marie d'Aquin favored a demure white nightgown for her shoot. She was pleased with the outcome, as was her husband later on!

Hilda Walspurgis wore a black transparent robe, black stockings, and extremely tiny red knickers. She definitely showed another side to herself! A side that she did not encounter before this but was glad for having made the acquaintance.

Just then Father Devereaux and Brother Bob came in for their daily dose of New Orleans stimulant with beignets. The ladies were in the process of passing around the photographer's proofs of them in their finery, and this created a bit of a stir.

The two clerics figured that there was something going on, and it might be better if they didn't inquire too closely. Some things are just not covered in seminaries! Thus, all sides were spared embarrassment.  

So was this a departure into bad taste? Maybe not. As Clotilde put it, "I never would have dared this by myself. You all were nice in supporting me in doing this!" And it was thus that the members of the group got past certain hangups regarding their bodies. After all, critical eyes can find fault anywhere but real friends help you to get over this sense that we don't look like supermodels!

After all, what we see with the professional models also may include some soft focusing, airbrushing, and other tricks to artificially improve on nature anyway. True friends should help make us feel good about ourselves. And that would include each of us feeling beautiful and glamorous in our own right!

And each participant got an interesting set of pictures to save on display or in a scrapbook.








Friday, September 1, 2017

Jim-Bob Tries to Attract Girls with Music

 Jim-Bob, while he was hanging out in a great tavern in Nashville, was given some pertinent advice about women by an old musician. Specifically, he told that he would literally have to beat off women with a stick if they saw he was a musician. And Jim-Bob took this communication to heart!

Now the problem is that Jim-Bob was not musically adept; he tried with the guitar, the tuba, and even the kazoo with no success whatsoever.  But that didn't stop Jim-Bob, no way! He happened upon an accordion in a used musical instrument store, and rented it on a monthly basis despite the fact that country musicians rarely preformed on an accordion.

Who does?  Polka music players; and sometimes an accordion is used in Cajun music too. (Among its sins.)

Anyway, Jim-Bob, more or less, learned how to play the accordion. He learned a few standards: "The Beer Barrel Polka," "Pennsylvania Polka," "Moonlight Polka," "Sweet Adeline," "Amazing Grace," and so on. 

And he was successful! It is true: Nashville women are attracted to men who are musicians! Even those who play strange ones. (I think they may make an exception for vuvuzela players, podner!)

Now one evening, he was paying court to this little ole gal named Chloe, who was utterly charmed by his polka music: its sweetness, its melancholy, its liveliness, and so on. However, he was running toward the end of his list of tunes he knew how to play.

Still, Chloe asked for just one more. It was obvious that Chloe was charmed by Jim-Bob. Maybe so far as for Jim-Bob to get her into bed. (Jim-Bob was as crass as some guys we've met.) 

Jim-Bob, in desperation, started playing "Amazing Grace."

Alas for poor ole Jim-Bob, the spell was broken. 



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bottle Trees

In the South primarily; but especially in southern Mississippi there is a frequently-encountered yard decorative scheme: the bottle tree. It was the custom to put old bottles on trees or bushes for decorative purposes.  Some are quite beautiful, particularly when sun-lit.

A legend with respect to the origin of bottle trees is that originally this originated from the Congo centuries ago and were brought to the New World by slaves.


The idea behind them is that imps or mischievous spirits would be trapped in the bottles and thus the bottles served as a means to discourage these malevolent spirits. They would become trapped in the bottles. Blue cobalt glass was especially preferred; but some bottle tree decorators use different colored bottles.


Nowadays, you can buy bottles specifically made to be put on bottle trees. This regional custom has become mainstream. Somehow, this is less sporting, I guess.



Some bottle trees have the user employing whiskey or beer bottles. This can be convenient in dry counties where the Drys are plentiful, Also, law enforcement occasionally gets earnest in enforcing prohibition laws. Then, the yard artiste is well-advised to put up her or his store-bought, unlabeled ornamental bottles!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Garbage Can Gal

Mindy had one of those jobs where she was often overlooked. She was a teller at a bank. And to make it worse, she was assigned to handle the drive-through window. The work was tedious; mainly checking accounts, filing checks, and doubly counting the amounts of money to give to each customer.

Frankly, it bothered her that no one really noticed her. She decided to change her game through a walk on the wild side by going clubbing alone. (Not a prudent thing to do.)

But, she thought: "Suppose I get lucky, and hook up with somebody special and nice." It would be more convenient if I were to go alone. So she wore her alluring green-and-white microskirt, a halter top with a push-up bra for support, a red thong, and f-m boots.

As she was leaving her apartment, she remembered that it was time to put her garbage can by the curb and didn't want to miss getting it taken away. So, she diligently lugged the can to the curb while dressed in her daring finery.

Mindy noticed that guys from neighboring apartments were staring at her; and some even pulled out folding chairs in front of their apartments to watch her progression.

Well, discretion keeps me from the details of Mindy's night later on, but Mindy enjoyed the attention her sanitation duty provided before the evening started.

And the following week Mindy staged an encore performance with her garbage can prop. And this was for the audience already sitting in their folding chairs!

Mindy found her niche.




---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Down in NO for a wedding. Worrying about weather and the pumps.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Much Ado About Participation Trophies

I'm convinced that, when it comes to rearing children, everyone is ready to offer absolutist opinions. Even people who have none of their own and cannot speak from direct experience. This is an example of the dark side of the African "It takes a village to rear a child" proverb. Yes, whether the advice is wanted or needed, or not.

I guess it starts with the birthing process. People have firm opinions about what form of prepared childbirth, and where the mother-to-be should have the baby. Even people who might have had different experiences themselves.

And breast versus bottle feeding. Now here's an occasion for unbridled shaming whatever the choice. (Is it too extreme to speak of Breastfeeding Nazis? I don't know what the real deal ones or the Alt Right ones advocate regarding breastfeeding; but they have definite opinions, I'm sure.) After all, mother's milk does not come in detachable containers and a little bit of breast exposure might accidentally happen. Oh how shameful!*

Naturally, there is also arguments over when weaning is to take place; with attachment parents advocating doing it later to foster closer bonds between child and mother. Remember that Time cover?

And styles of parenting are openly discussed. Is it best to be an authoritarian, permissive, or authoritative parent and what are the consequences of each of the possible strategies? (For the record, authoritative parenting yields better outcomes, over all.)

To heavily schedule and arrange the child's life or not? Some are described as "helicopter parents." Others, usually in safer places, allow their children to be free-ranging. And there's a lot of argument over this too.

However, the latest thing that people are now getting their knickers in a twist over are  participation trophies. See also this from the sainted NYT.  Yes, those little trophies or medals or certificates that team coaches and/or parents bestow on participants at the end of the sport in question's season are the cause of worries and even conniption fits! Yes, even losing teams get trophies, not just the over all champions! This is plumb un-American! How dare they!

Good Lord! Imagine the scandal from giving trophies to a soccer team of seven- or eight-year-old boys and girls who won only four of ten games! Is this rewarding mediocrity?

Lighten up, people!

Remember that it was these same kids who showed up for practice, in most cases learned new skills, and may not have been 100% eager for the entire process while it was going on. (Adults have a penchant for thinking that children necessarily think the same way they do.) 

In short, why not take the time to make them feel good about themselves? Do we have to resolve everything in terms of being the best or world champions?** Jeesh! Is our goal to make children feel like losers? Some of the critics seem to think so, if they thought it through. 



Also remember that grown-ups are inclined to award themselves participation certificates, trophies, or decals certifying that they did something. Like this one***:




*A little note - I remember when a bitchy neighbor criticized us preschool girls for playing at breastfeeding our dollies! 

**Last year both the Cubs and the Indians were champions, though only the Cubs won the World Series.

***No criticism here. Anyone who can get it through a 26.2 Marathon deserves a pat on the back!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Fifolet

The fifolet (fee-foh-lay) is rarely encountered in Louisiana. It refers to what people elsewhere call swamp gas or will-o'-the-wisp. Typically, it is seen as a eerie light blue or white light. There are a number of local legends about fifolets. One common legend is that Jean Lafitte, the notorious pirate, had buried chests in the swamp here and there. With each deposited chest, the pirates shot one of the diggers and buried him along with it. The superstitious purpose for doing that was so the slain pirate would guard the booty from intrusion in the future.

Seeing a fifolet is something to wonder about. Some react by fear; not wanting to run afoul of the alleged pirate spirit that lingers around the supposed burial site. But there are the daring, greedy others. And there are some who just like to see what it's all about.

Marie and Etienne were a pair of teens out having a private moment with each other in a car on a back road in a swamp when they saw a fifolet in the distance. Marie, having gotten curious, said, "Let's go and take a closer look." She left the car and started walking toward the swamp gas blue-and-white light.

Etienne followed, looking for an adventure and wondering about the pirates' gold. Etienne and Marie followed the moving light until it stopped above a slight rise in the swamp. They brazenly approached the spot, and started to dig with their hands. The marshy soil was quite easy to dig in at first.

They had dug only a foot or so when they hit what was apparently the top of a wooden chest. However, the earth began to take on a quicksand mushiness. And Etienne was sucked into the sand and had a hard time with it.

Marie got out and screamed! Etienne had further difficulty and through his struggles seemed to get deeper in the quicksand. Marie said, "Etienne, pray with me. It's our only hope!" So they did. Whoo-eee! A real scare!

Finally, Etienne was able to struggle out of the sand.

A week after their scare, they returned to the same place. They saw no quicksand nor a hole. 

Years later Marie and Etienne married others. And neither told family or friends about their scary misadventure together. They might ask too many questions.