The difference between a Cajun and a Coonass - 2CoolFishing
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Old 03-12-2005, 10:16 AM   #1
cjlandry
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The difference between a Cajun and a Coonass

Yes, this is my own original work.

The difference between a Cajun and a Coonass
(The results of a lifelong study)

__________________________________________________

Many people who've never lived in South Louisiana often confuse the terms "Cajun" and "Coonass", as though they're synonymous. Well they're close, but somewhat mistaken.

A cajun is a Louisiana native with a French Heritage who is born knowing how to make food taste good. A coonass is also a Louisiana native with a french heritage. He is also born knowing how to make food taste good, but he has several additional distinguishing characteristics.

He probably owns at least two pair of "Air Pierre" boots (white shrimper's boots). He wears these boots just about everywhere he goes. He may even be seen wearing these boots to the fais-do-do (cajun dance party) and kicking up his heels with several pretty girls.

He also likes to wear a welder's cap, whether he can burn a rod or not (though most over the age of 13 are very adept at welding).

He makes it a point to kill something every day before he goes to work (unless, of course, he's fortunate enough to make his living hunting, fishing, and trapping).

If his job doesn't include the above mentioned taking of game animals, he will hunt, fish, and trap on his days off. Often to supplement his monetary income, as well as his freezer.

He has every season opener memorized, and will not miss the first day of any game season, even if it means he has to quit his job. But he seldom remembers birthdays (including his own), anniversaries, and any holiday other than Thanksgiving or Christmas (which are both excellent days to hunt, because everyone else leaves the outdoors for him to enjoy nearly alone).

He will put a 200 HP outboard motor on an aluminum flat (Jon Boat) that's rated for no higher than a 50 HP outboard. He will take his aluminum flat into waters that most of us are afraid of, whether it's because of shallows or high seas.

He buys a pickup truck because he needs it every day, not because it's trendy. He will work this truck very hard, but somehow he manages to keep it clean and shiny.

His speech is often difficult to understand, as it is a mix of cajun-french, english, and some cryptic "down-da-bayou" gibberish. (University scholars are often found listening to the marine VHF frequencies studying the language of the coonass-shrimpers in hopes of someday coming up with a translation. But it will never work because the language is constantly evolving.)

You can tell when a coonass is entering the marsh because all the alligators will retreat to hide in the water. Alligators know that when a coonass approaches, they've just been knocked down a link on the food chain.

A coonass will blindly stick his hand in an underwater stump and magically emerge with a 50-lb. catfish.

A coonass invariably makes an excellent roughneck. Just don't put him on a rig with rednecks and cowboys. They don't seem to get along very well with him (or vice-versa).

These are just notes from my personal experiences as a cajun who worked for many years with coonasses. I'm a Cajun, but I'll never be qualified as a coonass. That title only comes from being born and raised on the bayous, swamps, and marshes of South Louisiana, where life is hard for any normal human. But to a coonass it's loose, easy, and fun!

Chad Landry
Born & Raised in Baton Rouge, LA ("up da bayou")
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:27 AM   #2
whymel
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hey chad,

summed up pretty good.... when i was a kid, i don't know how many years we spent, with my dad supporting us by fishin and trapping... ate some stuff that if we told anyone now a days they wouldn't believe us, or probably be disgusted anyway.... and ya know what, stuck in this day and time as we are now, often times i wish that that was the way i lived my life, even spoke to my father about it not long ago... it is a hard, but simpler way to live, easily summed up as to "honest to ones self".... hell that was how i learned how to drive, couldn't even reach the pedals, and the ole man said, follow me and keep it on the levee, as he was running his trap.... heck of a way to learn, especially seeings as how it was a 3 speed on the column.... winter time, he was trapping, every other time of the year, it was catfishing (trot lines, boxes and cans) and crabbing... for vacation we used to head to grand isle, with the rest of the family (uncles and cousins), and they would trawl all day, that was their idea of "rest"... but we NEVER went hungry....anwya, thanks for the reminisce....

willie
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:28 AM   #3
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p.s.---

born and raised right down the river from ya, in St. Charles Parish...
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