Friday, July 20, 2018

The Legend of the Grunches

New Orleans has scads of legends, many from the 18th and 19th centuries which you can pursue if you have an interest. 

One of very recent origin (probably) is the story of the Grunches.

According to local legends, there is a race of misshapen albino dwarves (or lizard-like creatures) who prey on goats and dogs and sometimes humans. Their supposed hangout is in East New Orleans in the Little Woods area. Reports of seeing them come from time to time; often from teens who elected to park off a shell road for necking or serious fooling around and seeing a goat tethered or being eaten by one of these. The story is, if you see a tied-up goat, then get outa there pronto!

Supposedly these were creatures that were frightening enough that people tended to shy from them; and they became increasingly reclusive and dangerous with time.

After Hurricane Katrina and people began to move back into Lakeview and Gentilly (two New Orleans neighborhoods close by Lake Ponchartrain), stories began to circulate that you should not leave pet dogs or cats outdoors at night lest they be carried off by one of the Grunches. Probably those pets merely took French leave. Pets tend to do that sometimes. And there's always possible malevolent neighbors. No Grunches need apply as those who carry away pets.

These stories are like the spooky stories told elsewhere about the homicidal maniac with a hook on one of his arms. Anyway, the warning stands: Don't park along Grunch Road.

Gannon Road in Little Woods is the locale often referred to as Grunch Road, in case you're interested. Personally, I'd stay away due anyway to the often dangerous members of homo sapiens that to be around in that section of the city.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grave Humor

A little beyond the grave humor. Some of these might be apocryphal. Others have been shown in Find a Grave*, for what it's worth.


Monday, July 16, 2018


I wish there was an excuse for wearing a kimono in public. They're so feminine and elegant!  However, wearing one in Tennessee or New Orleans (my two venues) is hardly practical.

Many people would misinterpret my wearing one as appearing in public in a bathrobe!  If I were to do that back home in New Orleans, I would qualify as a bona fide New Orleans eccentric, like Ignatius Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces or Blanche Du Bois, from A Streetcar Named Desire.

I don't make the age requirement to be a New Orleans eccentric for a while yet. But there is a reservation for one more in my family!  Anyway, there's always room for high-maintenance eccentrics in New Orleans. And we always depend on the kindness of strangers!

Another nagging thought: If I were to wear a kimono, would that be committing the grievous sin of cultural appropriation? Oh well, maybe I should just wear a beach jacket instead! Maybe the lesser sin is to appear the slob!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

BOTB: Angel of the Morning

I recently heard this song and found it to be surprisingly risqué considering the time it first came out back in the 1960's. Apparently, it was first offered for Connie Francis but she found it didn't fit in with her clean-cut image.  Chip Taylor wrote this song; and the version by Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts and the Turnabouts charted #7 when it first came out in 1968. Enjoy!

Years later (1981), Juice Newton recorded a country pop version, which really made it big time. 

ABBA also covered it around the same time:

But there were numerous ones. Apparently, the time was ripe for a song about a woman's feelings about a one night stand. So there we have it for this one. So which one pleased you best (if any): Merrilee Rush's, Juice Newton's, or ABBA's? I hope this BOTB session pleases . . . .

Friday, July 6, 2018

Doberge Cake

A New Orleans traditional cake that has spread to the outlying nearby area is the doberge cake. To find a nice recipe for this overindulgent confection just click on this link:

By the way, it's pronounced "dobash cake" in New Orleans. It's so good! It was supposed have descended from a type of torte made in Alsace.

Yes, it's caloric. But, enjoy. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Custom on the Redneck Riviera

The expression "Redneck Riviera" has been around as long as people can remember. This is what it's about: It's a two-state strip of coast from Mobile County (AL) to St. Marks (FL). It's favored with pristine sandy beaches, a laid-back attitude among the locals, and good times for visitors. This is where the Real South goes for R and R and misbehavior.

Well, it's only a day's drive from Tennessee or Northern Alabama or Georgia. The water is a little coolish at Spring Break time, but it's still good for sunning and hanging around.

This was the attraction that drew Billy Bob and Bubba with their lady friends Tammy and Cynthia to the Coast for a good time under the sun. Yep; to that coastal den of iniquity: Gulf Shores.

Now, after having checked in (one couple asked for twin beds), they changed into swimwear and headed for the beach. And that Mecca of Music and Good Times: the Flora-Bama Lounge!

They soon got in the spirit of the place!

In that setting, it is de rigeur to try the Bushwacker! And another! And . . . . shall we say that it was a good thing that nobody had to drive far! 

Now one local custom is for ladies, if they feel like it, to add a contribution to the decor of the place by hanging their bra over a rope stretched across the room. Yes, this involves a partial disrobing; but that's part of the routine. (It pays to plan ahead for this eventuality, and wear one that is near the end of its effective use anyway.)

Well, our ladies got the idea, "Why not?"

Tammy the Redheaded Schoolteacher simply pulled her t-shirt off, removed hers, and basked in the glory of being noticed by all.  Her class never paid that kind of close attention, you bet!

But Cynthia got some second thoughts. She lifted her tee, barely showed her belly button (an innie), and stopped. She looked imploringly at Bubba. 

Bubba, ever the Southern gentleman, pulled off his shirt and somewhat covered Cynthia. Cynthia, emboldened, completed the process and restored her t-shirt.

Later on, Cynthia decided that Bubba was all right; and thought that perhaps she and Bubba could rethink the notion of twin beds.

Whatever happens in Gulf Shores stays in Gulf Shores. That's the way it should be.

Even Cynthia's bra.

The Flora-Bama's Decor

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Expert on Wasps

A man who was a professional entomologist walked into a record shop specializing in old LP discs. He asked the assistant “Do you have European Vespidae Acoustics Volume 2? I believe it was released some thirty years ago.”
“Certainly,” replied the assistant. “Would you like to listen before you buy it?”
 "That would be wonderful," said the expert, and he put on a pair of headphones.
He listened for a few moments and said to the assistant, “I'm terribly sorry, but I am the world's leading expert on European wasps and this is not accurate at all. I don't recognize any of those sounds. Are you sure this is the correct recording?”
The assistant checked the turntable, and replied that it was indeed European Vespidae Acoustics Volume 2. The assistant apologized and lifted the needle onto the next track.
Again the expert listened for a few moments and then said to the assistant, "No, this just can't be right! I've been an expert in this field for 43 years and I still don't recognize any of these sounds."
 The assistant apologized again and lifted the needle to the next track.
The expert threw off the headphones as soon as it starts playing and was fuming with rage. 
"This is outrageous false advertising! I am the world's leading expert on European wasps and no European wasp has ever made a sound like the ones on this record!"

The manager of the shop overheard the commotion and walked over.
"What seems to be the problem, sir?"
"This is an outrage! I am the world's leading expert on European wasps. Nobody knows more about them than I do. There is no way in hell that the sounds on that record were made by European wasps!"
The manager glanced down and notices the problem instantly.
"I'm terribly sorry, sir. It appears we've been playing you the bee side."