More Louisiana Blood-Lust

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More
Laurels for Louisiana! More proof of our raging and unquenchable
blood lust! You don’t get cuisine like ours without it.

Turns
out that JBL, the nation’s biggest speargun manufacturer, sells
more spearguns in Louisiana than in any state in the Union. We burst
with pride at the news! The Saints in the playoffs , LSU at the
Sugar bowl, a Huey Long Turnpike christened in Washington D.C.,
Edwin Edwards cleared of embezzlement and racketeering — none of
this could compare.

Yet
Louisiana has fewer scuba divers than Indiana or Colorado. We have
a tiny population. We’re not even in the top twenty states in number
of Scuba certifications. But we’re all predators. Yes sir, participants
in nature’s bloody game of fang and claw, not passive voyeurs. Let
the yuppies “go down” with their cameras. We’ll grab something more
lethal. Let them coo and sigh over their pictures. We’ll slobber
and belch over the Creole Red Snapper and Grilled Amberjack.

Granted,
the official certification figures may not give the number of actual
scuba divers here. Louisianians have always regarded certifications
(of any type) like Kaiser Wilhelm regarded treaties with Belgium — “a
scrap of paper.”

I
say JBL’s figures reflect our maniacal predatory instincts, our
Mediterranean culture, our obsession with marching clumpingly out
of step to the Beltway parade. Imagine Al Gore trying to shuffle
and pivot in rhythm with the Temptations. Imagine Bella Abzug following
the Rockettes. That’s Louisiana following the Beltway.

Nationally,
scuba diving has never been more popular; spearfishing, never more
dammed. The Enviro-yuppies who make up today’s Scuba divers regard
a speargun about like Diane Feinsten regards an Assault rifle (
Potemkim deer-rifle, I call them) , about like Dracula regards a
cross — Dracula?! What am I saying? — about like the Federal government
regards a cross. That’s better. They horrify them.

I’ve
had these yuppies shrieking and sputtering at me across a restaurant
table over spearfishing, pelting me with masticated grilled grouper.
We’re the clods right? We’re the simple-minded
yahoos, right? — the rustics, the unimaginative oafs, right? Yet
the process by which the little pet they fed on the reef that morning
turned into dinner seems to escape them. Unreal.

Even
better, JBL’s news comes atop Louisiana’s rating at the very pinnacle
of the Fund For Animals, “Cavalcade of Cruelty, ” on which I reported
last week. That was because Louisiana hunters assassinate the most
animals in any state. And that’s just hunting. PETA calls fishing
“the cruelest form of hunting.” Then by golly let’s see us rated
there also! We’d be at the top there too. I ga-ron-tee.

And
Geezuz, if fishing is cruel, how about spearfishing? What a tale
that would make! They’d need sedatives if they saw that
in action, especially down here around an oil platform. Here’s
a scene to boil the blood and foam the brain of any Greenpeacer,
a sleep-choking nightmare. Here’s a huge steel spider sucking greedily
at Mother Earth’s molten innards and converting them to lifeblood
of the very system bent on shackling, defiling and mutilating her.
Industrial capitalism’s very lifeblood courses through those pipes.
The black gold will be pumped to shore via pipeline and start the
evil process; refineries will belch their flatus towards the ozone
layer; they’ll poison streams and wetlands with their toxic excreta.
Cars will clog the freeways and foul the air with noxious exhaust.
Shell Oil will profit, stockholders will gloat and workers will
be exploited. Fossil fuels, pollution, “obscene” profits….and
— YE GODS!, a boatload of southern drunkards capitalizing on it
all, playing macho around the steel legs, killing defenseless fish
for the sheer thrill of it between slugs of beer and belts of whisky…..Boat
decks awash with beer foam, empty cans and the slimy blood of huge
fish with sad eyes and gaping holes in their flanks. That evening
at a Marina crammed with the yachts of the oilfield gentry ( rich
White Trash) a forklift will unload the carcasses amidst a drunken
din of whoops, high fives, rebel yells and sexist jokes.

Every
rule broken, every ox gored, every sacred cow yanked up on a hook
and slit open — then butchered, diced, marinated, skewered, grilled,
chewed, gulped and crapped out of rectums reddened and inflamed
by cayenne pepper and whiskey.

Here’s
the eco-weenies’ Earth Goddess Gaia, her gown in tatters, her blond
hair matted with blood and sweat, screaming in terror while belted
around a Biker bar by grimy thugs, then gang-assaulted on a pool
table. She’s red-eyed, tear-soaked and whimpering. The grimy, pot-bellied
mob jeers, guzzles, snarls and whoops around her…

(My
GOD!…What kind of a sick mind would come up with this
crap?!)

Point
is: Any Greenpeacer or Sierra Clubber who came upon us would need
electroshock and heavy sedation for a week. Here’s a methodical,
relentless, point by point savaging of every principle they hold
dear. Heresy is one thing. This is a 16th century Pope with Martin
Luther, Mohammed and Beezlebub mooning him.

The
culture clash became thumpingly evident on a recent Dive trip to
Cozumel by three Louisiana couples — two of the husbands with even
more ominous cultural baggage, they were Cuban-American.

The
people surrounding us on the dive boat in Cozumel were New-Age divers
from central casting. Cousteau Society and Sierra Club patches on
their bags were a dead giveaway. They looked like classic yuppies
from the northeast, jabbering excitedly about some purple-peckered
parrotfish that ate from their hand.

To
the little Mayan divemasters we probably looked like part of the
group. Just another bunch of gringo tourists unable to understand
the salacious comments they were making about the dripping gringas
they were helping aboard after the day’s first dive, three of whom
happened to be our wives. Little did they suspect that Pelayo (my
cousin) and I understood every word.

I
noticed Pelayo’s jaw muscles harden and his eyes narrow after a
particularly lewd comment by the little Mexican with a shark tooth
earring on our left. Good Lord, I thought. Here we go.

I
could already see the news release: “Wild fracas on Cozumel dive
boat lands two Louisiana men in notorious Mexican jail. Local Police
Chief, Emiliano “El Guapo” Sanchez gave little hope to those working
for their early release, who appear to be very few.”

“These
cabrones insulted the honor of our nation!” he growled.
“They must pay! They are very fortunate to be in here, rather than
out there!” Chief Sanchez then pointed through his window where
a machete-wielding crowd was massing and shouting: “Give us the
Gringos!”

U.S.
ambassador Alphonse “Buzzy” McKee says prospects of having the Louisianians
released anytime soon appear bleak. “Mr Fontova and Pelaez, like
most Cuban-Americans are exceptionally crude, unreasonable and hot-headed
men. There’s no reasoning with these people. Pepper spray in the
face, rifle butts to the head and machine guns poking their chest
is all they understand,” he said in an interview in Chief Sanchez’
office. “We’re doing all we can but I’m not optimistic.”

When
contacted on ambassador McKee’s summer estate in the exclusive “Dinero”
district outside Cancun, The Louisiana men’s wives appeared remarkably
calm and cheerful. “We have full faith in Buzzy’s efforts.” The
wives chirped while sipping margaritas from a revolving Jacuzzi.
“Besides, we’re in no hurry.”

The
hideous vision rattled me deeply and I nudged Pelayo. “Come on man.”
I stammered. “Let it slide. It’s no big deal. We’re on vacation.
The girls don’t even understand.”

“But
I do!” he snarled. “Did you hear that last remark about Cindy?!”

I
didn’t think Pelayo had much justification. We’d been doing the
exact same thing all morning. It was hard enough to resist commenting
when the skimpy swimsuits were dry and strategically positioned
before the dive. When wet and haphazardly positioned after the dive….well.
I’d need 100 more pages to list all the advantages of speaking a
second language that your wife doesn’t.

But
Pelayo wouldn’t listen to reason. He shook me loose and started
walking over to the giggling divemasters. “Chris, Shirley, Toni,
Cindy!” I suddenly yelled. “Let’s walk around to the other side
of the boat for a minute. I think they sighted a Manta ray over
there.” An ugly scene was bound to unfold. I wanted them shielded.

“Be
ready for trouble.” I whispered to Chris.

He
made a fist and bashed it against the railing. “Don’t worry.” He
snarled. “We’ll stomp em.”

I
pretended to scan the emerald waters around us for the mythical
Manta Rays but nothing happened. No wild yells, moans, grunts, thumps
or splashes from the other side of the boat. Hummmmm. A few minutes
later Pelayo walked around with a big smile on his face. “He said
he’ll take us out tomorrow morning.” He beamed “Spearfishing, on
the northern side of the island.”

“I
thought that was illegal down here.” Chris said with a bewildered
look.

“Nothing’s
illegal down here.” Pelayo smirked. “For the right price.”

“What’s
he charging?” I asked.

“NOTHING!”
Pelayo said. “He keeps all the fish we shoot. We’d never be able
to bring it home anyway.” he shrugged.

We
were on. And we desperately needed it. These sightseeing Caribbean
dives have the same effect on diehard spearfishermen that a visit
to the Gold Club (on business, strictly business) has on
non-gelded males. All looking but no touching. “Oh allright, go
ahead,”say the more tolerant ( or wine-mellowed) wives. “Work up
your appetite there — but you better dine at home.”

We
worked it up on those sightseeing dives allright. The next morning
we got our release. A frenzy of marine murder. Fish blood and scales
clouding the water. But that’s another story.

On
the boat ride out the girls had befriended a New Jersey couple who
spent most of the first dive feeding and petting a huge black grouper
that hovered around us. Spencer and Meagan were on their fourth
trip to Cozumel in as many years. “Did you see the beautiful grouper?”
Meagan beamed at our wives.

“Sure
did.” Pelayo interrupted. “Looked just like the one I speared last
week at the oil platforms.”

Spencer
and Meagan both grimaced and shook their heads. The wives rolled
their eyes, curled their lips and jerked their heads in the unmistakable:
BUTT OUT!!

“Blam!”
Pelayo motioned with his fist. “Shot the big sucker right through
the gillplates! ” Pelayo’s eyes blazed with blood lust. He licked
drool from his lower lip. “But I still went to the mat with him.
Good thing Chris showed up and finished him off with the ice pick.”
Chris made muscular jabbing motions in the air to demonstrate.

“You’re….You’re
AWFUL!” Meagan cried with her voice cracking. She and Spencer walked
off. The girls followed, apparently unimpressed with our subtle
approach to explaining our sport.

We
mended fences that night at Carlos & Charlie’s. Tequilla does
it every time. The day’s events take on a special charm about that
time. You forget the sunburn. Sitting on that sea urchin now seems
amusing. The cure involving uric acid even more so. The Moray that
clamped it’s teeth around your wife’s hand until you diced it with
a dive knife now elicits guffaws from people into their third round
of half-gallon margaritas. In minutes your wife raises her bandaged
hand to beckon the waiter for the fourth. After the fifth you give
in and show everyone the urchin wound, about a foot below the fire
coral burns that cover your lower back……

*
A book crammed with this type of cruelty, infantilism, misogyny
and lechery, titled Helldiving, will be out this winter.

August
25, 2000

Humberto
Fontova’s book entitled Helldiving — about cajun-style
undersea lunacy — will be out this winter. This is from
Salesrep Survival Guide, in progress.

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