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  • Bill Chastain

Suck the Heads, Northside Tavern, Traveling Badly

You’ve got to suck the heads. That’s all any non-cajun needs to know about crawfish boil etiquette.

Harp at Crawfish Michael getting after some crawfish

This past weekend’s boil hosted on a pristine day in Atlanta by my daughter, Carly, and her husband, Michael, who hails from Shreveport, Louisiana, brought forth many seasoned in the art of sucking the heads.

Sounds gross, right? Sucking the brains out of a crustacean’s head?

Once you bite the bullet — and do the deed — you’ll find that the actual act is nothing compared to the hype. What you get is a tasty morsel of fat with a lot of spices.

Simply peel the crawfish, eat the meat, suck the head, sip your cold Bud Light. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Northside Tavern

Speaking of my visit to Atlanta, Friday afternoon I made a nostalgic visit to the Northside Tavern, one of my favorite watering holes while at Georgia Tech.

Northside Northside Tavern

Upon walking in, I told the proprietor I had not been at the place since 1979. He smiled: “Not a whole lot has changed, has it?”

The place still needs a paint job, the bathroom walls are covered in graffiti, and the beer is still cold. Carly did tell me it’s become a haven for late-night jazz.

I thought it fitting that Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage” began to play upon my entrance. “The lunatic is on the grass…”

Traveling Badly

Been traveling a lot lately, which has allowed me to witness behavior that doesn’t exactly enhance the experience.

First, the blowhard on my Thursday morning flight from Newark to Atlanta who boomed at least five times: “I’m not worried about my sanity, I’m worried about my liver.” He followed each comment with a loud chuckle. Yeah, we got it the first time, buddy, you’re going to booze it up.

Next, after paying $25 to check my bag, I put my computer bag in the overhead compartment so I would not have anything blocking my feet on the over two hour flight. While others boarded, a woman came in with a large suitcase searching for empty space in the overhead area above my head. The hair on the back of my neck stood when she pointed at my bag and told the flight attendant: “That one can be moved.” Had the flight attendant agreed, I would have gone toe to toe with them. Remember, I paid $25 to CHECK my bag.

Finally, I’m constantly amazed why everyone feels compelled to crowd the luggage carousel. If everybody stood back while waiting they could still see their bag without trampling over others waiting for theirs.

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