Society used to have such an efficient way of settling its differences. Men who thought they’d been wronged simply arranged to meet, counted off 10 paces and took a shot at each other. The one who emerged had his honor restored, and the one who didn’t was considered repaid for his insult.

Called an affaire d’honneur, President Andrew Jackson participated as did once-Illinois legislator Abraham Lincoln. Supposedly Lincoln poked fun in print at state auditor James Shields, who demanded satisfaction. Accountants have never had a sense of humor, but, fortunately, the seconds talked the two out of it and history was saved.

Sadly, we now have Twitter mobs and Facebook vigilantes whose demands aren’t nearly so mannerly or easily met. Take for instance, the young Mississippi journalist who recently insulted Lafayette with his scurrilous name-calling.

To the journalist: As far as the profession goes, the general idea is to write headlines, not make them. Sportswriting is a particularly inflammatory field. You can’t even say ULL here much less call the local fan base “missing links.” However, the beat-down should’ve only come from your editor. Beating down writers is part of his job, and if he wasn’t good at it, he wouldn’t be an editor.

They also don’t call them Ragin’ Cajuns for nothing. Local males are famous for their fiery tempers and do not suffer fools gladly. This is the reason they made Belizaire the Cajun, so people can see what it’s like before they come. However, residents do speak English, albeit with an accent, so gardez bien.

To the city of Lafayette: You know better than to believe a sportswriter.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at or at

Xanadu announcement luncheon

The Petroleum Club filled with fascinators as Xanadu Queen Lori Landry prepared to pass the crown and draw royalty names for next season. “I didn’t know the former court was dressing in white, too,” said Tammy Sonnier, who had her name in the hopeful hat. Many were dressed to impress, including all-in-blue President Brenda Dudley, political wife Debbie Mills, former queen Kim Minyard, mother-daughter duo Kacey Patrick and Kathy Sawyer, and adoring in-laws Leslie Geer and Misty Geer. One of Lafayette’s premiere women’s krewes, Xanadu caps its membership at 235, of which next year’s favored few are Queen Donna Olivier and courtiers Sarah Black, Shelly Bond, Natalie Brasseaux, Rebecca Donohue, Beth Hebert, Danielle Keysser, Susan Doucet, Heidi McDonald and, yes, Tammy Sonnier. The ladies will impersonate princesses and their 25th anniversary ball theme is “Xanadu Ever After.

Acting benevolently

Stagebackers bestowed their largesse on two lucky recipients at a King’s Road reception. Held at the home of President Don Johnson, Walter Brown of Acting Unlimited and Cité des Arts’ Christy Leichty got checks for those all-important theater projects. “There are a million places to put it,” said Leichty. “We’re going to use it to stage the musical, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ on Halloween weekend.’ ” Brown will use his money for new LED lights. Both accepted the funds on behalf of the many acting troupes seeking to remain viable and grow in Lafayette’s community theater. Acting accordingly were board members Mike Castille, screenwriter Mike Myers, Mitu Dasgupta and Suzan Allen, longtime theater mover and shaker Maureen Brennan, Marie Diaz, and writer, director and choreographer Travis Guillory.