We in Sportsman’s Paradise do few things better than dispatching our pleasure boats and trawlers to the Gulf of Mexico and driving to near extinction any species popular in our skillets. Such is the case with red snapper, red fish and flounder. (The culinary legend, which may in fact be true, is that Chef Paul Prudhomme’s invention three decades ago of the “blackening” technique led to overfishing of red fish and its kindred.) But new estimates by federal officials suggest that at least Lutjanus campechanus, aka red snapper, is making a comeback, and the feds are hinting that catch limits could be raised this year. According to The Times-Picayune: “The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council, a regional advisory body that sets federal fishing regulations in the Gulf, could decide as soon as February to relax the current red snapper quota of 5 million pounds up to 6.9 million pounds, and possibly more in subsequent years.” That’s good news for our restaurants and our palates.
O, how our New Orleans Saints teased us, hinting at greatness — nay, immortality — before turning the holy days into hell days as they plunged back to earth, waxen wings a-melted. They blew out the Advent candle on Dec. 19 versus the Dallas Cowboys, left coal in our stockings on Dec. 27 against the Tampa Bay Bucs, and showed no New Year’s resolve Sunday in Charlotte. Maybe it was the team, which began dropping the D word (Destiny) and giving in to all the hype after that improbable overtime win in Washington — “eating the cheese,” as the head coach puts it. Perhaps it was us, The Independent Weekly, which trumpeted the triumphant (and undefeated) team in our Dec. 16 cover story, “Catching Fire.” (The team hasn’t won since. A “Madden”ing curse?) Likely it was all of us — the players, the fans, the media — who collectively tempted fate and, most important, forgot it’s the Saints we’re pulling for. Now looms the oft-abused aphorism of George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Here’s hoping the bye week isn’t a precursor to bye-bye.
Closing out 2009 the couillon way, 45-year-old Tim Williams of Lacombe scared the bejesus out of fellow motorists on Interstate 12 last week when he and his 12-year-old daughter staged a practical joke, according to the Associated Press. The pair thought it would be funny if the tween was bound and gagged in duct tape in a simulated Amber Alert. Their sense of humor, however, didn’t extend beyond the cab of their pick-up. Alarmed motorists boxed in Williams’ truck until the po-po caught up. Their bid at poking the funny bone landed the elder Williams in the pokey on charges of criminal mischief and contributing to the delinquency of a dummy, er, minor.
“Every day she wants to go look for grandpa. And anything shiny she sees, she’ll say,
‘I see him!’”
— Mary Simon of Opelousas, on her and her 8-year-old daughter’s quest to locate the urn containing the cremated remains of Simon’s father. The urn was stolen New Year’s Day from Dupuis Memorials Inc. Simon and her daughter have been driving around Opelousas scanning ditches for the purloined pawpaw, according to an article in The Advocate.