Friday, February 16, 2007

Spring comes to the Deep South

I made an impromptu visit to Louisiana this week and found these blooming in my mother's yard. The narcissi have been known to bloom as early as January, but the tulip tree and the daffodils usually bloom around Easter. We haven't even celebrated Mardi Gras yet. The daffodils are blooming three weeks earlier than last year and a full month before they bloomed in 1999. Meanwhile, southeast Missouri is going to see several inches of snow and wind gusts of 30 mph tomorrow. My hyacinths aren't even above the ground yet.

I learned three important facts while in Louisiana:
1. Stroke victims at West Monroe's St. Francis Hospital are fed fried catfish, chicken fried steak and bread pudding with rum sauce, the exact foods that put them there in the first place.
2. Shreveport's "best restaurant," Olive Street Bistro (est. 1990), is nothing short of terrible. And the service is worse. Don's Seafood (est. 1934), the place where people used to wear double windsor knots and order rye highballs, remains great.
3. The Louisiana legislature passed a rather progressive law prohibiting smoking in any establishment that serves food. I wonder how many bars in New Orleans are going to stop serving cheese fries.

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