Fish or Cut Bait
Bev Vines-Haines
Hayward Fault Line Winner
I never go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.   See, Mardi Gras is a show, it's a play acting thing put on for tourists and celebrities and TV shows.  It is not the heart of the city.  Guess you could rightly say it fuels the financial underbelly 'cause all those tourists spend so freely.   But the soul of New Orleans?  That's a completely different matter.  

I live down in Chalmette, Louisiana.  On the water.  House is not much to look at but it feeds my being like bread and honey.  Lest you think I live on the big water, I don't.  My place is hidden in some moss-bound trees and that's just the way I like it.  Got a boat that makes me think of Forrest Gump and his shrimping business.  But mine is for fishing.   

Grouper, Red Snapper and the occasional Skipjack Tuna.  I sell them in town to a man named Punk Peters.  Punk runs one of those fish plants where tourists can take a catch and exchange it for tins of fish, dry ice packed fillets or even arrange to have something mounted.  I don't intend to be a wet blanket but if you want your actual fish, the one you caught on your own pole, don't take that fish to Punk cause he is definitely going to change it out.  He keeps numerous fish all mounted on mahogany boards in the back of his shop and if your fish even comes close to the size of one of his…that's your fish.  Without consent.  Without a by-your-leave.  He just switches them out and swears on his mama's grave your fish shrunk (or bloated up) during his process.  That's all I got to say about Chalmette and fishing.   

I love to go to New Orleans on a Friday night.  Or a Saturday morning.  I rarely make it back home the same day I go.  I have a party inside me that flat comes to life once I hit the city.  I like those little dark bars in the French Quarter, the ones where females lift their shirts for no good reason during Mardi Gras.  

I like to pick out a table in the corner and watch the ladies.  I don't need shirt lifting.  I swear to that.  My imagination always beats the real thing.  I smile real sweet and pat the chair beside me.  Every now and then one of those ladies comes to join me.  

I take her to Chalmette and we have a good time.  At least I do.  They always want to go but I make them stay.  I will tell you this.  Most women make fine bait.  


First published: August, 2012
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