Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Charivari on the Bayou

Ole Big Boudin was a bit of a pain; plus he was a cheap son of you know; and everybody nearby was surprised and chagrined that he got married; and to none other than Suzette Clairvieux, the prettiest girl from the high school.  Only she didn't graduate yet; and Big Boudin was In his forties. Un trés grand scandale! 

And the bayou people talked, despite sermons by the good father against gossiping. But gossiping, you know, is cheaper than beer. Good beer is trés cher, c'est vrai!  

And the young men were disappoint, you know! They were all hoping that they would marry Suzette; but Big Boudin spoiled that dream and it was a long way down to number two! They were talking in the bar; a place for idle hangers-on, and they got a good buzz on.  You wid me so far? Why would Suzette, a jeune fille with such promise, get tied to that much older guy? This was the subject of speculations, and dubious surmises: (1) Ole Boudin took Suzette's virtue, and got her in a family way. (2) She married Ole Big Boudin because he had lotsa dollahs! (3) Her family made her do it. (4) She admired Big Boudin's working parts; after all, why was he nicknamed Big Boudin? There are reasons for things. 

I will mention that Boudreaux and Thibodeau, young mans, were among the major drinkers and talkers; and when Meaux said, "Let's do a charivari, they were in!  A charivari was an old custom practiced by a community whenever a mismatched couple got married; they do it to express their collective disapproval.  And they did the numbers: 45 - 16.  Hmmm.

So they went to their houses, both boys and girls, told their Mamas who told their Pops to get off their lazy butts -- we're going to do a charivari! Most were strongly game, and they came with pots, pans, Granny's old washboards, horns, fireworks, and pistols.  Oui! Fils des biches have big time on the bayou! 

So about midnight they gathered at Big Boudin and Suzette's house, and started a hellacious din!  Now the newly married couple were about to, how should  put it? Test drive their marriage, so to speak. When Boudin gets jerked up by that incredible din! It was more noise heard on the bayou since the Yankees made their one-way trip up the bayou in 1864 or so. Anyway, all the animals began to howl, even the raccoons! Suzette snatched the covers up; and Big Boudin put on his robe and went to the door with his shotgun. Alas, he was outnumbered; the whole parish seemed to be there! Even the sheriff's deputies, all making noise. 

So Big Boudin, cheapstake so-and-so he was, decided to wait them out. After all, they would get tired! But no such luck. One A.M. came, followed by 2 A.M. Then 3 A.M. You get a pattern here?  The charivari noisemakers got reinforcements: some from Grand Mamou and Alligator Point. So the noise went on.

Finally, Suzette put her dainty foot down,  "Big Boudin, you stop being such a cheapskate and give those neighbors some beer and whiskey." Well, Big Boudin wouldn't do it, so she said, "Dammit, Boudin!  Either you treat them or we have separate bedrooms."

So Big Boudin caved in, and put out a spread. And the neighbors and the outsiders from Big Mamou congratulated the couple on tying the knot. And so having a charivari returned as a custom on the bayou!





12 comments:

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer said...

A nice story. Do bayou people get named Boudin?

Grand Crapaud said...

This is like a shivaree....

Juliette said...

A charivari is a delightful Canadian French custom. So they do it in Louisiana now?

Linda Kay said...

People in Illinois even used to have these celebrations for newlyweds back in the day. Interesting bunch of characters, Angel.

Insane Penguin said...

Those characters are great! They could make a reappearance. I know how Boudin got his name.

TexWisGirl said...

an interesting tradition. and i'm guessing that marriage didn't last too long.

allenwoodhaven said...

Excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed this. You can really turn a phrase.

John Hill said...

Seems like a reasonable price for the prettiest girl around...

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

A great story, with a double entendre.

Cherdo said...

My brother-in-law in Amite, LA, had one of Ugga's puppies (U of G mascot) and he named it Boudin.

Nice story!

Mike said...

Time to move, Mr. Sausage.

Bilbo said...

I wonder if this is distantly related to the old German tradition of the Polterabend (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polterabend).