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Lake life

No bananas, crickets or TP!

Kenny Kavanaugh at K&M hands a customer a box of crickets. Say, would you trade those for a case of toilet paper?

There’s a fruit store on our street; It’s run by a Greek. And he keeps good things to eat.

But you should hear him speak! When you ask him anything, he never answers “no”. He just “yes”es you to death, and as he takes your dough
He tells you “Yes, we have no bananas. We have-a no bananas today.
We’ve string beans, and onions, cabbageses, and scallions…

And all sorts of fruit and he’ll say: We have an old fashioned to-mah-to
A Long Island po-tah-to, But yes, we have no bananas.
We have no bananas today.

Okay, in this craziest of Springs, I don’t know why this old song popped into my head, but it did. And it fits right in with the way things have been going in this pandemic. Everybody knows there was a shortage of toilet paper. “Yes, we have no toilet paper today.”

But you know what? There is something else important that we ran out of in Louisiana. Yes, we have no….

Crickets.

Seriously. From one end of the state to the other, there were so many people fishing that suppliers like K&M Coffee, Corks and Camo ran out of crickets around Easter. Down at the bustling Spillway Sportsman in Port Allen, the same thing happened. In fact, they actually had to RATION CRICKETS to try and keep everybody fishing.

“It was unbelievable,” said Kenny Kavanaugh of K&M. “We normally stock about 20,000 crickets for a weekend (that’s enough to supply 200 fishermen with 100 crickets apiece) and it’s usually plenty. But those sales doubled in April.”

Kenny said he had 25,000 on hand the weekend before Easter, but by Sunday, they had sold out. When the cricket man came in on Monday morning for his regular delivery, there was a line of people waiting with their cricket boxes in hand.

“Most of these folks were regular fishermen that we see a lot, but there were many people who haven’t fished in a while,” he said. “With the Covid situation, they were just looking for something safe to do. Many folks that normally maybe bass or crappie fish were taking their kids on trips. it was a good thing. But I never though we’d run out of crickets.”

Darren Hebert of the Spillway Sportsman — rationing crickets. Who would have thought?

It was statewide.

“I’ve never seen so many people fishing in my life,” said Darren Hebert, manager of the Spillway Sportsman in Port Allen. “So many people were stuck at home because of the pandemic that in early April, we ran short of crickets and we ran out of crickets. Our distributors were working like crazy to keep us supplied, but they just couldn’t do it. When we started getting them back in, we had to ration them to 100 per customer just so everybody could get some bait. We couldn’t let people hoard the crickets. Hoarding crickets. That doesn’t sound real, does it?

“I’m glad that people went fishing instead of just staying home,” he said. “We saw a tremendous number of people who were coming in that had never picked up a pole and gone fishing before.”

When supplies got behind, distributors worked frantically, but it takes three weeks to “raise” a cricket from a little chirper to an adult. Things are pretty much back to normal, except for people who have been hoarding crickets. They look sleepy. It’s all that chirping from the back room, I guess.

As for bananas, there were plenty of bananas apparently. But every fisherman knows you don’t even say banana when you are going fishing, much less carry one with you in your boat. At the very best you won’t catch anything and your boat will sink. At worst….I can’t say. This is a family website.

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