With crawfish season in full swing, this cautionary tale from Jim Mestayer, of Baton Rouge, seems most appropriate:

"Many years ago, I served as chairman of the New Iberia Rotary Club's crawfish boil.

"Through a friend, I was able to secure mash from the area's Tabasco plant for the seasoning.

"I did not know, nor was I told, that the mash needed to be bagged before being added to the boiling water.

"The result was a mess. The crawfish were impossible to eat for some. I don't know what causes the most pain — the burning stomach, the burning hands, or both."   

The music man

Rob Payer says if you're seeking music for your Saturday morning Mardi Gras party (and if you're not having a party, why not?), you don't need to call on Alexa or Siri, or whatever lady grants your wishes.

You can just say, "Rob, play Mardi Gras and Louisiana party music," and instantly, provided you're tuned to WBRH (90.3 FM) or KBRH (1260 AM), you'll have music.

Rob says the broadcast from the Baton Rouge High radio stations starts at 8 a.m. and lasts until noon, when the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade rolls.

Folks in other areas can pick up the sounds of Mardi Gras at wbrh.org.

Dining on critters

Our mention of raccoons as a food source yielded a surprising number of stories about raccoons, and also some about possums, another alternative dinner option:

  • Mike Buchart, of Baton Rouge, says, "Since December I’ve been on the hunt for coon to try any number of delicious recipes.

"But, I swear, ever since I've had an appetite for them, there has been absolutely no coon sightings where I’d normally see dozens.

"What the heck? Maybe I’d better find some possum recipes." 

  • Alton Duke, also of Baton Rouge, says, "At a work discussion about how to cook possum, the expert concluded his advice with, 'There is nothing that beats possum and Irish potatoes.'

"After the listeners quickly noted that he must mean sweet potatoes, he told them, "No, I said Irish potatoes on purpose, just to find out how many of you had really eaten possum." 

Special People Dept.

  • Jessie Collins Gray, of St. James Place in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 100th birthday Friday, March 1. A native of Kansas, she is a 73-year Baton Rouge resident and a 70-plus-year member of Baton Rouge's First Presbyterian Church.  
  • John and Lynne Gelpi, of Madisonville, celebrate their 62d anniversary Saturday, March 2.

Status symbols

Vince Caruso says, regarding our mention of the early days of TV:

"Back in the '50s, we got our first TV. The antenna was rabbit ears.

"Whenever I saw a house with an outdoor antenna, I thought these people were 'in the dough.' In fact, we never ever had an outdoor antenna!"

Back then I used to hear of people who installed an outdoor antenna as evidence of their prosperity, when they didn't even had a TV.

That Mexican player

"With LSU baseball season here," says Linda King, of St. Francisville, "I’m reminded of a game several years ago.

"My son had taken his 9-year-old son, Ethan, to an LSU baseball game. Ethan was really getting into the game. As each player came up to bat, the screen on the scoreboard showed his name and stats.

"The crowd would cheer for the batter, and Ethan would join in.

"At some point a batter came up, and as everyone cheered Ethan was enthusiastically yelling, 'Olé!'

"My son asked him what the olé was about. Ethan said the player was from Mexico; didn’t people cheer olé at Mexican games?

"Why, my son asked, did he think the player was from Mexico? Ethan pointed to the screen and said, 'See, it says 'Senor.'

"My son said, 'Senior, Ethan, senior. The player is a senior.'"

Honeymoon's over

Here's one from Algie Petrere, of Central:

"If you'll make the toast and pour the juice, sweetheart," said the newlywed bride, "breakfast will be ready."

"Good, what are we having for breakfast?" asked the new husband.

"Toast and juice," she replied.


Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.