Dear Smiley: A column item Wednesday from my good friend Jo Ann Paulin (about boiled crabs) brought back another seafood memory.
Years ago, while I was residing in Tucson, Arizona, my company decided to give a party for over 100 employees.
Since about five of us were from New Orleans, we decided to have three sacks of crawfish overnighted to Tucson and have a "Cajun Crawfish Boil" in the desert.
Big Sal's Seafood in Metairie accommodated us.
But at the airport we found they had left the crawfish sacks on the tarmac for hours at 115 degrees. ALL DEAD!
Sal shipped out another order immediately, so the party was a go that night.
We were ready to show how to eat crawfish, but a bag broke and half of crawfish went everywhere, with people running around screaming like crazy. You would have thought an alligator had gotten in the bag.
After boiling, we threw them on the table. Everyone stared with their mouth open and wouldn't even try one.
When the Cajuns cooking them starting sucking the heads, two ladies threw up.
And neighbors complained for a year about crawfish everywhere in their yards, ponds and gardens.
The party became known as 'THE BIG CAJUN CRAWFISH FIASCO!'"
He was barefootin'
Dear Smiley: Just when I thought I had run out of crazy memories, I read your Thursday story about shoes:
I was stationed at Stallings Air Base in Kinston, North Carolina, for the first part of pilot training. Three of my classmates and I decided to go to Atlantic City for the weekend.
After we arrived there, we went down to the beach for a swim.
One of my friends, Bill, decided to wear his shoes to the beach instead of locking them in the car. When we returned from a swim, his shoes had been stolen.
After that, whenever we went to a place that might require shoes, we formed sort of a triangle around Bill, and he walked in the middle of it.
We ate at a nice restaurant on Saturday night, and all wore coats and slacks. Not a word was uttered, and we all enjoyed a good meal.
Dear Smiley: Mention of indoor hat rules at John Barton's deer camp reminds me:
Once I was, along with a good friend, a guest at Mr. Barton's camp. We were in the dining area for buffet breakfast before the hunt.
All the food was out, but no one made a move. I finally asked someone, and was told that since we were Mr. Barton's guests, no one was to get in line before we did.
As soon as we started the line, everyone else fell in behind us.
Just like Lash
Dear Smiley: About old western movies:
I, too, was a fan of Lash LaRue, and would emulate his whip action at every opportunity.
To swing across from building to building using my whip required me to climb a tree, tie my rope to a limb, scamper down, swing across, climb back up to un-tie the rope, and finally back down.
Also, I noticed what a great shot bad guys were at the start of the movie. However, at the end of the movie they couldn't hit anything.
Cowboys and cops
Dear Smiley: Comments on old cowboy movies stirred a lot of memories:
With a quarter in the '40s, I caught a bus into downtown Baton Rouge on Saturday, went to the Louisiana Theater, watched two shoot-'em-ups, a serial and a cartoon, enjoyed a bag of popcorn, and got another bus home.
Differences between now and then:
— Cop car wheels don't go backwards during a chase while the car is going forward, like stagecoach wheels did.
— Cop semiautomatic handguns get reloaded at least once; cowboy "six-shooters" NEVER needed reloading:
— Bullets fired on NCIS and other cop shows no longer go "ka-ching!" when hitting a building.
And the first thing a cowboy did after winning a fistfight was find his hat, dust it off and put it back on his head!