Sunday, July 6, 2008

Local color and the Lacombe Crab Fest

Last Sunday I went with my daughter to the Lacombe Crab Cook-Off Festival in Louisiana. We were both broke, so we couldn't afford to taste all the goodies. Also, I can be picky about what I put in my mouth because I don't like stomach sickness and I react immediately to weird tastes with strange smells.

My daughter wanted me to try alligator on a stick. Uh, no, not this year. I went for some gumbo from the cook-off tent. I don't know which cook made it, but my grandmother's gumbo was better. Still, it wasn't bad.

I wanted a sno-ball, but couldn't bring myself to pay $4.00 for something that usually cost me $1.50. I bought a scoop of Blue Bell chocolate ice cream instead. Not very exotic, I know.

The fun didn't really start until the band The Topcats came on stage. They really are a hard-working band with a great sense of humor, and they work to get the crowd rocking. The Topcats began the set with "Live and Let Die" from the James Bond movie and progressed to "Angel is a Centerfold," but I knew things were going to start getting really crazy when they announced "The Cupid Shuffle."

I heard that song for the first time when I moved back to New Orleans last summer, and immediately recognized that it had to be from a Louisiana boy. The music video was shot in Lafayette, La., because the performer, Cupid, is from that town. The Cupid Shuffle is a line dance that makes people crazy, almost as nutty as they get doing the Macarena.

At the Lacombe Crab Fest, a combination of Cupid Shuffle insanity and large quantities of liquor moved folks to the floor, all ages, all sizes, all colors.

Next, the band surprised me and played the rap number "Shake Ya Tailfeather." As an educated woman, I'm sure I should talk about how sexist the song is, but I won't. The song's silly, almost as amusing as the tipsy people who got up to dance to it.

The woman in orange stayed on the dance floor most of the time I was there. She was so inebriated that sometimes she reminded me of Drusilla from "Angel" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" because she seemed to be in her own world, gazing up at the sky, spacey with love for herself. The man behind her in the picture is waving a handkerchief at her feet. In the New Orleans metropolitan area, people wave handkerchiefs, an African-American tradition, to symbolize blessing, praising, joy, victory over death, or generally giving someone the thumbs up and say you're really getting into whatever they're doing.

I couldn't stop myself from laughing like a buffoon all through their dance routine. I wish I had shot video. Later I was a little concerned because the woman was gyrating her hips more with each new dance song, and pulling her dress up her thighs too. It was, after all, a family event.

My daughter and I left the dance area and went to the art and crafts exhibit before we left. The hall also had a rep from the state wildlife office. I asked him about local snakes because last month we saw a black snake in the backyard and because I've been told that "ground rattlers" are poisonous snakes that are plentiful down here.

He confirmed that ground rattlers are actually pygmy rattlers and that they are highly venomous and common in Louisiana. Then he told me about cottonmouths and water moccasins. Afraid of snakes, I said, "Oh, but you only see those by water, right?"

Eeew! Why did I ask? The answer is "no." You can see water moccasins anywhere.

He also told me that venomous snakes tend to be shorter and fatter with triangular heads. You can tell a venomous snake by its eyes. The pupils are elliptical like a cat's eyes. I told him that I wouldn't want to get that close and find out.

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Peanut Road said...

Sometimes, you can recognize a moccasin by its smell -- all pit vipers have a sort of rank rotten cucumber odor about them, but it seems especially noticeable with an out-of-the-water cottonmouth.

And they do come out of the place I lived, I killed three of them on my lawn one morning. Yeah, I know we shouldn't kill them, etc, etc, but, heck, I had pets around and didn't want them bitten.

It seems we've both moved since I last read one of your blogs. Life goes on and all that stuff.


Hey there...

I haven't tried alligator on a stick...



Vérité Parlant said...

Hi, Stephen. Yes, I moved last year. Thanks for the tip on snakes. LOL. Hope to never find out if it's true.


Vérité Parlant said...

I don't know what it is, but I can't bring myself to try alligator on a stick, Lisa.