Crawdad

funny wisdom on words that begin with a CCrawdad: (idiom) crayfish

If you run across a situation which is odd, or a group of people who seem a bit bizarre, always remember the power of the word “colorful.”

In other words, “these circumstances are not dangerous or bewildering—they’re just colorful.”

It’s a word I learned when I lived four years in Louisiana. Being raised in the Midwest, I found the folks of the Bayou to have many traditions I thought were challenging.

Chief among them was the eating of crawdads.

I had seen these creatures as a little boy. My parents even referred to them as the “poor man’s lobster.”

But I had never observed them regarded with such relish as in Louisiana. (Actually, relish is one of the few things they don’t eat crawfish with.)

I was frustrated. There is so little meat on the crawdad that it is an exhausting chore to get two tablespoon’s worth of fishy flesh. The natives, of course, laughed at me. They explained that the great taste of the little varmints lay in “sucking their heads.”

Yes. I’m talking about taking that tiny crusty head which looks like it came off the monster in “Alien,” and putting it up to your mouth and sucking in. They explained that many folks who tried it for the first time compared it to eating raw oysters.

Excellent. May I point out that to me, eating raw oysters is like being forced to slurp up one’s own snot?

I’m usually not this picky. After all, my entire life I have eaten hotdogs with no fear of gristle and bone fragments. But there is something so ugly about the crawdad. The little booger just gives me the creeps.

I tried. But even after four years, whenever they walked over to a table covered with newspaper and dumped a big pan of them onto the table, my first instinct was to scream like a little girl and run down to McDonald’s and order a Happy Meal.


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Cajun

Cajun: (n) descendants of French Canadians dwelling mostly in Southern Louisiana

I try. I really do.

Being a congenial type, I always attempt to blend in and be open-minded, if not compliant.

Living in Louisiana for three years, it was assumed that I would eventually develop a taste for Cajun food. At the root of most Cajun food is
crawfish.

They love it.

A crawfish looks about the size of a newborn lobster. It’s bug-like. It doesn’t have much meat in its claws or its body, so much work has to be done to acquire nibbles.

The natives tell you that the best part of the crawfish is acquired by sucking out the insides of the head. As appealing as that may sound, it took me many months to garner the courage. When I did work up the nerve to suck the contents of the brainpower of the average crawfish, I was surprised at how much it tasted like salty snot.

I smiled, wanting to be a local advocate of cultural affairs. But after a while, I had to let my stomach and my conscience come clean. The food was too hot, it was too much work and it was filled with so much rice that I walked around for the next few hours like I was recovering from an LSD trip.

Cajun comes with food, accent, music … and attitude.

I never developed an appreciation for any of it.

 

 

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