We gorged on mudbugs Saturday at the annual LSU Alumni San Diego chapter crawfish boil. Our table included (from the left) former New Orleanian Tom, County Derry native Fergal, and Midwesterners Jim and Rex.
The boil was a sellout, as usual, with about 3,000 people filling the practice field next to Qualcomm Stadium (upper right and home of the San Diego Chargers).
Cheryl caught on quickly to the tail-biting, head-sucking routine. But Hieu, a vegetarian, stuck to the Zapp's chips and the vegetable platter.
More must be said about Tom. You'll notice in the top photo that he's wearing a surgical glove. When he encountered a live crawfish earlier in the day, he asked if the critter would sting him if he held it.
Now, mind you, Tom lived a number of years in New Orleans, and on more than a few occasions he ate crawfish with his ex-boyfriend's family in Chalmette. You have to wonder what kind of trama he went through during those trips to The Parish.
Our table at the crawfish boil
Ned and Jessica, both Louisiana natives, occupied the table next to us with a bunch of their friends.
Ned is a fellow journalist and the son of long-time Alexandria mayor Ned Randolph Jr. Jessica is a Tulane med school grad (we've forgiven her for that) who is doing her residency at the Navy Hospital here.
The crowd was tame by Louisiana standards, but a few costumed characters pushed the limits of local decorum.
Music and dancing
To make the event happen, the LSU chapter trucked in 6.5 tons of live crawfish from Lafayette, along with a cooking crew that started boiling the critters hours before the gates opened.
Here's the traveling kitchen.
The crawfish arrived in these bags.
Here they are awaiting their fate.
All cooked and ready for eating.
LSU Crawfish Boil