A couple of notes before we start this post. First off some bad news. A few weeks ago, while training for a race on the Kaw River in Kansas, Dr. Ryan Moore drowned at a low-head dam near Topeka. Now, this was a guy who knew what he was doing out there, not a rookie of any sort. But he was needlessly killed by an outdated dam that could easily be fixed – if the city had the political will to do so. This is the third death in the last four years and the paddling community is trying to let the city fathers know they need to act. Please click on over to their facebook site, at http://www.facebook.com/FixtheTopekaDam and “like” their page. It will show your support and I’d appreciate it. Now that you’ve liked the facebook page, check out their website, at https://sites.google.com/site/fixthetopekadam/ and sign the petition.
On a brighter note, my friend Jim Herries will be paddling in the Race for the Rivers on August 27. It will be 41 miles from Washington, Mo. to St. Charles. This is his first paddling marathon and I know he’ll do great. If you’re up in that part of the world swing on over to the finish line for the fun.
We’re headed south in a few weeks. Six of us will be racing, and we’ll have five or six others coming along as ground crew. There’s still room for more, though, if you’d like to join us.
OK, now on to part 2. If you can’t relate to good food and good fun you should probably stop here and just forget the idea of coming to Louisiana. But if you’re still interested, read on Cher!
Let’s talk about transforming yourself a little. Personal improvement is a good thing, right? So, grab a cold beverage and let’s get started with a little test to see how close you are to fitting in.
Can you speak French? Neither can most people. Never fear, just pick up a few local phrases.
Have you have acquired the ability to peel at least 20 crawfish per minute? That’s CPM, by the way. You get extra points if you suck the heads.
Do you sprinkle your conversations with words like keeyaw and cher?
Are you able to cook a passable gumbo, etoufee, and jambalaya?
Do you own a pair of white rubber shrimp boots? These are Cajun Reebocks, the Louisiana equal to the Texas cowboy boot. Gotta get a pair while you’re down here.
These are the minimum requirements. Elsewhere on the web I found a few “you might be a Cajun if” quotes.. Study these carefully and have a good time.
You might be a Cajun if….
- Your high school band’s rendition of the National Anthem begins with, “Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, and File Gumbo”
- You consider Breaux Bridge the Capital of the State, & Lafayette the Capital of the Nation.
- You think way up North is Shreverport.
- You think “Wild Kingdom” belongs on the cooking channel.
- You think boudin, hogshead cheese, and a Bud is a bland diet.
- You take a bite of 5-alarm chili and reach for the Tabasco.
- You have an “envie” for something instead of a craving.
- You speak English but some words come out in Cajun.
- You pass up a trip to Europe to go to the Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge.
- Your children’s favorite bedtime story begins with “Clovis the Crawfish…”
- Your school teaches the four basic food groups as “Boiled seafood, broiled seafood, fried seafood, and beer”
- Asked to name the four seasons & your reply is, “onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic”
- You are asked to name the “Fab Four” and your respond, “Paul Prudhomme, John Folse, Justin Wilson, and Vernon Rogers.”
- You let your black coffee cool and find that it has jellied.
- You describe a yard of boudin and cracklins as “breakfast”
- Your mama announces each morning, “Well, I’ve got the rice cooking, what will we have for supper?”
- You refer to Louisiana winters as “Gumbo Weather.”
- You get a disappointed look from your wife & describe it as “She passed me them pair of eyes”
- You greet your long lost friend at the Lafayette International Airport with “AAAAAAAYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”
- You don’t know the real names of your friends, only their nicknames.
- You give up Tobasco & hot sauce up for Lent.
- Your son brings home his future wife and you ask “Who’s your mama, is she Catholic, & can she make a roux?”
- You can look at a rice field and tell how much gravy it will take to cover the rice.
- When eating in a Mexican Restaurant you think the hot taco dip is a soup & drink it.
- AND at least once a day in conversation you say “Mais cher, I like that, me.”
OK, now you’re ready ot get started down here. I can’t wait to head south – I hope some of you will join us because there’s still room!