Making a first foray into a new language can be heavy going. And beginners always start with formal phrases, so even speaking the lingo, you still sound like an Anglophone. But if you’d like to head out for parts unknown with a little slang in your head and a lot more stashed in your backpack, snag a copy of Talk Dirty French or Talk Dirty Spanish, depending on which Romance language you’d like to trash. A couple of favorites (that we could print) are “Quelle huître!” Literally this means “What an oyster!” — French slang for “What an idiot!” Saunter up to a bar in Vera Cruz and ask for “Un caballito de tequila.” What you’ve ordered is “a little horse.” What you’ll get is a shot. Lima y sal on the side. Talk Dirty French and Talk Dirty Spanish, in lightweight paperback, retail for $7.95 a piece. — Mary Tutwiler
TWO DATES WITH DEATH
Willie Francis made two trips to the electric chair in the late ’40s. The first one didn’t kill him, and the second one caused a rift in the U.S. Supreme Court. Gilbert King takes on Francis’ strange tale, set in St. Martinville, in the new book The Execution of Willie Francis: Race, Murder and the Search for Justice in the American South. King recently was featured on CSPAN’s BookTV, discussing The Execution of Willie Francis at the Barnes & Noble in Lafayette. To view it online, visit www.c-spanarchives.org and search for “gilbert king.” The Execution of Willie Francis retails for $26 is available locally at Barnes & Noble. For more information, visit www.williefrancis.com. — R. Reese Fuller
TURN OF THE SCREW
Turn a chore into an act of grace and beauty. That’s the Zen method of living, and woodworker Ron D’Aunoy is the man to hand you the tool that will change your attitude. D’Aunoy makes screwdrivers with handles turned from hardwoods like cherry, walnut, maple, oak, bubinga, and vermilion (padauk). Each screwdriver has four interchangeable tips, two regular and two Phillips in different sizes. Nicely balanced, with an organic shape that snugs into the palm, these screwdrivers are destined to become heirloom tools. They sell for $32 at Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery, call 266-7999 for more information. — Mary Tutwiler
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.