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How's Bayou? A paucity of pickups

The sight of mothers-of-the-bride driving pickup trucks to a wedding is so 2012 -- at least along Bayou Lafourche. Instead of filling their truck beds with what's left of the reception buffet and roaring off into the distance, 2013 moms are remaining discreetly in the background. Or not showing up at all.

This year's par for the course, judging from Madewood nuptials, is for couples to wait till the last minute to schedule the wedding, either because of indecision, or the sudden appearance of a baby bump. Attendance varies by who is happy or unhappy about the event; and, in place of pick- ups, we've noticed a preponderance of small vehicles -- Mini Coopers or tiny Fiats -- sporting bumper stickers the way Sylvester Stallone displays his tattoos to local artists.

Some folks are still fighting the fluoride battle with stickers that cry out in bold letters: "Don't Drink the Water: It's Poison!" -- and questioning climate change: "Super Storms Are Like PMS, Destructive but Shortlived."

There were unmentionable political jibes, along with one timely and eminently sensible sticker: "Secession -- How Did That Turn Out the Last Time?" And an odd throwback: "Really Bored Baby on Board: Help!"

There have been some odd phone calls.

One groom kept calling from different countries, promising to commit to a date as soon as he returned and surprised his fiancée with the idea. I was wrong to question whether this event would materialize. It did, with a charming small reception.

One bride wanted to skip the formal buffet and dig a pit big enough to cook a goat and a pig in the ground. This seemed to me to be a particularly inauspicious way to begin a marriage (she was going to dig the pit, build the fire and roast the livestock herself), so I nixed the idea. I later worried that I might have killed the true American pioneer spirit this bride planned to display.

St. Philomena Catholic Church in nearby Labadieville, the site of many wedding ceremonies that precede receptions at Madewood, had its own bout of excitement recently. A transient decided to break into the church and play the piano. Once in, he was swept away by a thirst more powerful than Marco Rubio's and consumed the entire stock of communion wine. Emboldened, he decided to also try his hand at ringing the church's signature bells, which brought the local constabulary running.

Like secession, this didn't turn out so well. But the denizens of Labadieville are a gentle and forgiving lot.

In a recent sermon, Father Michael warned the flock of the dangers of "helicopter parenting," when people are too protective of their children.

"But we really don't need to worry about that too much around here," he confessed. "When I visited a parishioner last week," he continued, "the kids were rambunctious, and their momma told them, 'Just go on out in the fields and eat some dirt'."

A delicacy more suitable than wedding leftovers for sweeping up into the back of a pickup truck.

How's Bayou? the secrets of remaining sane while running an upscale B&B on Bayou Lafourche, is written weekly for NolaVie by Keith Marshall, a former Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Yale and Oxford universities who now runs Madewood Plantation House in Napoleonville.

How’s Bayou? the secrets of remaining sane while running an upscale B&B on Bayou Lafourche, is written weekly for NolaVie by Keith Marshall, a former Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Yale and Oxford universities who now runs Madewood Plantation House in Napoleonville.