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."

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Close Call on LA 69

In the Spring, adolescents' thoughts occasionally turn to the mischievous, and sometimes to the downright illegal. It happened that one year at Bayou Teche High School it became a fad to swipe numbered highway signs.

Now there were more or less implicit rules: like don't swipe stop or caution signs. It was thought to be especially cool to swipe a numbered state highway sign from another part of the state, either to display in one's room, or to nail it publicly in a prominent place.

Needless to say, the state highway maintenance people cast a jaundiced eye on these doings, as did doting parents. Parental decorative schemes did not include such items.

Anyway, Tee Thibodaux and Marie Claire did this nefarious deed and boastfully displayed their ill-gotten gain by nailing it to the main door of the high school so that students coming to class on Monday got to see their handiwork. Word got around quickly enough who the culprits were; even though no adults were privy to that information.

Tee Boudreaux and his girlfriend Big Tina* decided to top Tee Thib and Marie Claire's exploit. Tina figured out how.

Why not shoot for a sign with some meaningful number? -- Now that would be clever. Like LA 1, maybe?

Big Tina, further thought, is there a state Highway 69? If so, why not swipe a Highway 69 sign and switch it with one of a local highway? Okay, okay . . . . but this required a good old-fashioned road trip to get the proper sign.

All the way to Assumption Parish, at that.

Now that particular numeral had somewhat of a cabalistic significance to the younger brethren as signifying true sincerity and affection.  For that reason Big Tina thought it would be an exploit topper.

So early one Friday night, instead of the usual movie and parking afterwards, they took a little ole road trip across the Atchafalaya into the river parishes. Now LA 69 is a short one, as highways go: only 15 miles long. So it was a trick to find a sign in a relatively isolated place. But they did; and parked next to it, and Tina and Boo went at it with a wrench.

They just barely managed to get the nuts off when they noticed a Assumption Parish Deputy car approaching. Oh, double damn!**

Anyway, before removing the sign from the bolts Tina thought immediately,"Boo, kiss me! And hug me like you mean it."

Tee Boudreaux got the general idea; and together they performed a reasonable facsimile of a couple in the throes of passion. It wasn't hard. They had practice.

So the Assumption Parish Deputy pulls up behind Boo's car and asked if they had a problem. Boo and Tina break the clinch, and turn to the officer.

"Nossir . . . . we're just having a moment's discussion."

"Well, you young lovers might park in that Dollar store parking lot some 100 yards up the road. It's safer and more private for your discussion."

"Yessir, Officer. We'll do it right away."

Tee Boo and Big Tina complied; and enjoyed a few moments together courtesy of the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office and their understanding deputy.

After the deputy went away, they went back and placed the sign in Tee Boo's trunk.

The following night they hung the filched LA 69 sign on a local road near Bayou Teche High School, replacing the highway sign already there. A few of their classmates noticed the number change eventually; but Tee Boo and Big Tina kept mum. The adults in the Grand Teche area merely noted the route number was now different. Everyone assumed it was an official change. In that way they didn't have the impact as expected.

*Known possibly because of her endowment.

**Boo and Tina were nice kids, and didn't cuss much.