Smiley: Eat the bait

It’s no secret that folks in other parts of the country don’t always get the dining habits of south Louisiana residents.

Gene Capeheart offers an example of this aversion to one of our staple dishes:

“When I was growing up in East Texas, I enjoyed overnight fishing trips with my dad and his cronies.

“In the afternoon, we would seine a batch of crawfish from the creeks and use them as bait on our trot lines for catfish.

“I distinctly remember baiting the hooks at night and the oldtimers saying, ‘You know, them people over in Loo-easy-anna actually eat these things!’

“Funny, now I am one — and I also prefer the bait!”

The Cajun way

Charlotte Prouty comments on Rhetta Sellers’ offer to accept the invasive Asian tiger prawn and cook them:

“You said a friend had the prawn in California and told you they’re not nearly as tasty as our Gulf shrimp.

“What do you expect? Do you really think they cook them like we do down here? If they ever find out how they’re supposed to be cooked, we’ll never get any.”

No sale

Doug Johnson, of Watson, has a tale about telemarketers selling home alarm systems:

“I kept getting these calls even though I’m on the ‘Do Not Call’ list and repeatedly asked them not to call again.

“Finally I learned how to stop the calls. I asked one caller if he would give me just 30 seconds to tell him something.

“He agreed, and politely listened as I explained that for any subsequent calls I would make an appointment for a home demonstration, then refuse to buy.

“The calls ended.

“Don’t screw around with an old retired person unless you have a lot of extra time to kill.”

Block that call

Fred had this response to our landline vs. cellphone discussion, and the problem of avoiding telemarketers and campaigning politicians:

“We kept our landline — 911 response can zero in quicker on a landline.

“AT&T allows call blocking of specific numbers through our computer account. Other phone companies do this also.

“The new iPhone operating system allows blocking of messages from specific numbers.

“It’s quiet here in retirement land!”

Justin’s gumbo

Joe L. Herring says tales of Justin Wilson, the Cajun comedian and cook, remind him of the time he told Justin he hadn’t eaten guinea fowl in years and liked the dark, sweet meat:

“Justin told me to get some and he would cook them.

“All farms in past years had guineas as watchdogs, so I thought, ‘No problem.’

“I looked in the Louisiana Department of Agriculture market bulletin, and guineas were selling for $16 to $18 each.

“Fortunately, I had a friend in Marksville who brought me six dressed guineas.

“These were sent to Justin, and a few days later he brought the gumbo to my office at Wildlife & Fisheries.

“He couldn’t stay to eat with the office crew, but he promised a wild game dinner for the office later.

“Unfortunately, he passed on before the next cooking.”

Which reminds me

When I was a kid, Grandma Anders in Gloster, Miss., had guinea fowl on her farm. They stayed close to her house, sleeping in trees.

She had chickens too, and while we ate her fried chicken when we visited, I never recall her cooking guinea.

Once I was in the house when the guineas started a tremendous racket, and my dad told me they had spotted a hawk.

We went outside and sure enough, a chicken hawk was circling overhead.

When it flew away, the guineas calmed down and went back to pecking around the yard.

Worthy causes

A “Breast Cancer Awareness Walk” will be held at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 12, at the old Northeast High track, 12828 Jackson Road in Zachary. Call Juanita Sanford at (225) 654-8040.

Special People Dept.

Mildred Primm, of Central, celebrates her 93rd birthday Thursday, Oct. 10.

Helen Hargis-Wiltz is 90 on Thursday, Oct. 10, an event to be celebrated Oct. 19.

F.J. and Jenny Petitfils, of Baldwin, celebrate their 65th anniversary Thursday, Oct. 10.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, Bob and Lynne Chatelain celebrate 60 years of marriage. Bob owned Baton Rouge’s first Baskin-Robbins ice cream store at the corner of Sherwood Forest and Florida boulevards.

Earl and Gladys Ravencraft, of Wilson, celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday, Oct. 10.

Death wish

Howell Andrews adds to our discussion of the noble mule:

“My father, Arthur Andrews, used to say that if there really was such a thing as reincarnation, he wanted to come back as a white-faced mule, because white-faced mules never die.

“As proof of that he recalled his days growing up in Alabama and the countless hours he plowed behind a white-faced mule, praying with every step that the mule would die.

“But that white-faced mule just would not die.”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.