Egg Smacking Paqueing
The Internet might think Taylor Swift invented a new Easter "egg tapping" tradition, but whatever. I was paqueing Easter eggs before I even knew what paqueing ("pocking") was.
And I cheated.
Well, cheating is a pretty strong word. Basically, I just refused to be bound by the arbitrary rules imposed upon me by an uncaring universe. Or by a gaggle of Cajun cousins I’d never met before. Whichever.
It was many years ago, way back in the forgotten times of the 1980s. Growing up, we didn’t do many family reunions, probably on account of how they were usually held in places that took too much gas to drive to. We didn’t have a lot of money.
But we did manage to make exactly two family reunions on my Dad’s side. They were both at Easter, somewhere not in Lake Charles, but close enough to drive to from Beaumont without breaking our 1980-something gas budget. It was called The Ole Place, near Sugar Town (which used to have the smallest post office in the country, by the way).
The first one we went to was fun, if a little awkward. I didn’t know anyone there, and any cousins my age had about as much use for the scrawny, nerdy comic book kid as the scrawny, nerdy comic book kid had for a bunch of cousins who could probably punch him into the next parish using only their pinkie fingers and a determined glare.
We had a big Easter egg hunt, followed by a round of smacking our eggs together to see whose cracked first. This, I would come to find out about five minutes ago, was called paqueing. It was probably the only game they actually played with me as an equal, so I had fun. But I lost a lot.
The next year, I went prepared.
For some weird reason known only to herself, my mother had a collection of alabaster eggs she’d put out as a decoration every Easter. I snatched a few off the shelf, then boiled some of those goofy shrink-wrap bands onto them that were probably new and revolutionary in the ‘80s, but just seem cheap and kind of stupid now. Still, once wrapped, the alabaster eggs looked pretty much like regular Easter eggs.
I was ready.
When it came time for the annual smacking of the eggs, I strode onto the field of battle with a level of confidence my scrawny nerd body had never known before. Then, I found my first victim.
I mowed through rows of cousins, each one falling to the might of my mysterious, impervious eggs. I did have the good sense to bring a few spares, though. I’d switch them out every now and again to avoid too much suspicion, just so the other kids might think I’d lost once or twice.
I never did.
The field of battle was littered that day with the shells of those crushed beneath my righteous fury. My egg was fortified with years of oppressed nerd rage, and I was unstoppable!
Until one of the cousins stopped me. He snatched my egg from my gloating fist when I wasn’t paying attention…
“HEY! HE’S GOTS ROCK EGGS!”
The other cousins ran up and gathered around, sensing my fear like a hundred hungry vultures circling a tiny woodland creature with a promising limp.
They caught me.
As punishment for my crimes, I was held down and basically waterboarded with off-brand Kool-Aid. You know, that weird red punch that comes in plastic milk jugs and tastes faintly of vomit? Yeah. That’s the one.
Looking back, I probably bit off more than I could chew. Or maybe I just got too cocky with each new win. If I’d just quit while I was ahead, then I might have walked away un-punched. Then again, I also wouldn’t have this awesome Louisiana Easter story to tell.
Happy Paqueing, Louisiana!