Tag Archives: fishing

Cajun French: Pirogue

I promised to talk about this word last week. The dreaded Pirogue. Oh, it isn’t that bad unless you’re me. The word pirogue is pronounced many ways. I’ve heard it pronounced “pee-row”, but I say “pee-rog” (rhymes with hog).

The pirogue has been around for what seems like forever. If you watch Swamp People, you may have heard Troy Landry (probably my favorite swamp person) say that Christopher Columbus probably had a pirogue on the Mayflower…yes, I know he didn’t come to the Americas on the Mayflower, but that’s what Troy said. yes, I almost died laughing, but hey, he made his point! Pirogues have been around for a hell of a long time. They’re especially useful in south Louisiana because they can go into 2″ of water with no problem. They can be rowed or pushed with a pole, depending on how deep the water is.

Pirogues are narrow, shallow boats. They’re kind of like our version of an all-terrain vehicle. They aren’t terribly heavy, so they can be carried if needed, used in deep water, or shallow water. In the old days, they were made of cypress, but modern pirogues are generally made of fiberglass.

That’s a typical pirogue. It looks pretty harmless, doesn’t it? I suppose if you grew up riding in them, there’s nothing to it. These boats are used mostly for hunting so imagine sitting in it with a gun and a dog while you’re out duck hunting. *shudders*

A few years ago, at the height of my fishing fetish, my godson decided we needed to try to  fish further away from the bank. We packed up the pirogue and headed to the spot. I got in…this thing is shallow, remember? It’s also very wobbly.

I was fine climbing in and even paddling out. I was enjoying myself until my nephew found the spot he wanted to fish. He dropped the anchor and we started to get settled and that’s when the boat wobbled to the left. I grabbed the side and leaned to the right. It nearly flipped. I put a hand on either side and clutched tightly. I wasn’t going down. Oh sure, the water was only about 6″ deep, but it’s the lack of control I hated.

The conversation I had with my nephew kind of went like this:

Me: Bring me back.
Him: But we’re already here.
Me: I don’t care. I want to go back. Now.
Him: The water’s only 6″ deep, Nanny!
Me: I. Don’t. Care!

Meanwhile, my brother, who’d stayed on the bank, was laughing his fool head off because my nephew had to paddle by himself. I was too busy clutching the boat in the hopes it wouldn’t flip over. By the time we got to the bank, I was semi-hysterical and babbling that I was going to kill my brother.

It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Logically, I knew the pirogue was fine and we weren’t going to flip, but my instinct was to get to land. Yeah…pirogues are murder for your self-esteem.

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Winner & Weekend Wrap-up

Well, it’s Monday. Again. Meh. Why don’t weekends last longer?

Enough complaining. It’s time for the great news! I’ve drawn the two winners of Daisy Harris’ Mere Temptation. After a very scientific means of pulling winners which involved a pair of scissors, a post-it, and paper flying everywhere, the winners are…Fedora and Kelly! If you’ll both e-mail me at danica.avet@gmail.com I can have Daisy contact you to collect your winnings. Thanks to everyone who commented and a special thank you to Daisy Harris who is one of the best critique partners evah.

Now for the weekend wrap-up. On Friday morning, I had no plans for the weekend other than sleep and painting the bathroom. That all changed around noon. My nephew (fellow concert goer and the one person who has me completely wrapped around their finger) sent me a text message asking me if I wanted to see Nonpoint Friday night at a local club. Now, some of you may not have heard of this band, but I really like them. I was torn. Do I go to the concert in spite of my exhaustion, or do I stay home and get some much needed sleep? I waffled. A lot.

Then I had a phone call from my brother-in-law (nephew’s dad) asking if I wanted to go fishing this weekend. When had I become so popular? I can go weeks, even months, without people asking me if I want to go somewhere, or do something, yet my sister’s family wanted to make plans for me all in one weekend.

Like the sucker I am, I caved. I went to that concert and I’m so glad I did. Nonpoint was off the chain, Atom Smash (opening band) was good and the singer had beautiful hair. The two other opening bands were local groups. One was…meh and the other was really good. I walked away with a free demo cd from one of the local bands and my nephew and his girlfriend left with two tickets to another show later in the month.

Then came the fishing trip. OMG. Okay, Sayde Grace joked that she wanted to hear a good story. Well, I have one for her (and the rest of you if you’re interested). It was cold yesterday. Not as cold as it could have been, but it was cold enough that I didn’t warm up again until I’d had a huge bowl of my sister’s gumbo. Anyway, the trip started out with me nearly falling ass first into the bayou.

Here’s what happened: my brother-in-law was in the boat. I was on the dock. The water was really low and I’m not graceful at all. So I sat on the dock to get into the boat. I had my spot picked out. I was going to just sort of…land in the boat. Except when I put my feet in that spot, I kicked the boat away from me. Picture it…my feet are in the boat, my hands are desperately clinging to the dock. The boat went further out, my arms are shaking from holding me up, my fingers are scrambling for a good hold on the dock and my ass is sinking closer and closer to the water.

It was one of those moments when your brain just shuts off as your survival instincts kick in. I knew if I landed in that water, I was going to miss out on my fishing trip in humiliated disgrace, covered in…canal water *shudders* and I’d probably go home with a cold or pneumonia. I put all the strength I had in holding myself up and pulling the boat to me with my legs. I landed in the boat in a graceless heap.

Once everything calmed down, I looked at my brother-in-law and said, “That’s enough excitement for one day”. I could see the twinkle in his eyes. Then of course, he had to say, “I wish I’d have had a camera.” Meh. So now the family has yet another story about me and my fishing exploits. Sayde, I can hear you laughing and it’s okay because it was funny.

So that was my weekend. I have a sunburn/windburn, we didn’t get any fish, I couldn’t hear properly again until Saturday night, and my shoulders and arms are sore. I think this weekend I’m going to stay home and lick my wounds. And try to find a way to keep my family from reminding me of this every time we have a get together. *Snorts* That is so not going to happen.

I’ll leave you with just a taste of what I got to listen to Friday night. I think the song’s appropriate. Here’s to another work week!

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Filed under Family, humor