Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Livingston Parish, I presume?

Looks like they got two new cast members on Swamp People this season.

Dat's jus' great . . . new reasons for my Damn Yankee wife to make fun of my Louisiana culture -- especially since the new alligator hunters are from Livingston Parish. I practically grew up in Livingston Parish. In the swamp, no less.

The Livingston Parish jokes are going to be coming fast and furious. And then Mrs. Favog will get started.

I hate it when that happens. If I didn't live with the woman, I'd have to burn her out over that.

I told you I practically grew up in rural Livingston Parish.

ANYWAY, here's the news item from the Channel 9 website in Baton Rouge:

Blake McDonald and Austyn Yoches who are from Livingston Parish are the newest alligator hunters to join the cast of Swamp People, and they represent yet another way 21st century Louisianans have figured out how to get back to their bayou roots.

A "Debut Party" will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9. The new season premieres at 9 p.m. The young men invite everyone to come out to Big Mike's Sports Bar and Grill in Denham Springs.

McDonald and Yoches currently reside on their houseboat in Bayou Pigeon full time. They truly make a living off the swamp. They hunt every season and sell the animals to make money from frogging, crawfishing, alligator hunting and raccoon hunting just to name a few. Their grandfather started this with them when they were little bitty boys. He would take them to the swamp, put them on his shoulders and take them coon hunting. Then he taught them to be commercial fisherman from the swamp.

Instead of putting their boat on a trailer hitched to a pickup that tows it back to a comfortable house built on solid ground, McDonald and Yoches roll right out of bed and into their swampy workplace. These cousins live on a houseboat in the middle of the swamp . . . off the grid. They don’t just work in the swamp, they live there. The young men don’t have another job. If they want to eat, they have to hunt.

WHY DO I have the feeling that if I want to eat tonight, I'm going to have to hunt?

NOW . . . did I ever tell you about my Uncle George's dog, Tootsie?

Uncle George had a Boston terrier just like Swamp People's new alligator hunters. And ol' Tootsie could be mean sometimes, but I ga-ron-damn-tee you that she wasn't as mean as that snapping turtle she got just a little too curious about once when I was a kid.

Of course, this happened in Livingston Parish.

Anyway, I remember Uncle George and Daddy were out at camp on the Petite Amite River, sitting on the bank and drinking beer. I was there not drinking beer -- and so was Tootsie the Dog.

Oh . . . there was a snapper there, too, sunning himself on the bank.

Of course, this was too much for a normal dog to stand -- at least not without giving the turtle a good sniffsploration as part of the whole Danger? Or maybe FOOD?!?! decision-making process. And the turtle was having none of it.

Next thing we knew, ol' Tootsie was running around in circles, screaming like a woman -- I'll bet you didn't know a Boston terrier could scream like a woman. The snapping turtle was hanging from her bottom lip, which was securely in its jaws.

I know you animal-rights people will find this sick and disturbing . . . but it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life. It was a grand spectacle. I may have been rolling on the ground, I was laughing so hard.

Daddy and Uncle George may have been, too. In fact, everybody was laughing so hard at this poor, hapless, overly inquisitive dog running in circles and screaming like a woman with a damned snapping turtle hanging on her lip that it took a while for Uncle George to compose himself enough to go grab a shovel. With which he knocked the turtle off Tootsie's lip.

I COULD be wrong, but I think Tootsie may have lived the rest of her days rather chastened after getting her ass -- or at least her lip -- whipped by a turtle.

But that's my story . . . and my culture . . . and I'm sticking to it. Just don't make fun of it.

Hey, I'm not married to you, and I don't live with you, either. I will burn your ass out if you mess with me.

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