by Mike McHugh
It was a wild and crazy 2013 here in Louisiana—so wild, in fact, that the 10 PM Local News outranked “The Big Bang Theory” as the state’s most popular TV comedy. So as the year draws to a close, it’s as good a time as any to air a rerun of the top stories.
Louisiana took center stage early in the year when New Orleans hosted Super Bowl XLVII. The limelight dimmed, however, when the Superdome lights went out during third quarter play. The cause was attributed to an Entergy worker who clicked the wrong icon while playing the popular Facebook game, “Candy Crush Saga”, on a company computer.
Our great state moved on and got down to business as the annual legislative session opened in April. Proceedings were disrupted when custodians trapped several live water snakes in State Capitol the building. It was eventually determined that the snakes had actually been elected to the House of Delegates on the strength of an endorsement from “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson.
In May, millionaire businessman John Georges made news when he purchased The Advocate, Louisiana’s largest daily newspaper. His wife was heard to comment, “Honey, I meant a copy, not the whole company!”
The civil suit against British Petroleum over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill dominated the headlines for most of the year. Company executives continued to deny charges of gross negligence. This was despite incontrovertible evidence that, during a software update of the oil platform’s central control computers, they had mistakenly uploaded a beta version of the popular Facebook game, “Candy Crush Saga”.
Afraid of being upstaged by “Duck Dynasty’s” Robertson family, former governor Edwin Edwards and his wife, Trini, debuted in their own reality show, “The Governor’s Wife”. The series was cancelled after three episodes, its viewership having dwindled to one woman in Dubuque, Iowa, who thought she had tuned in to Maury Povich.
As if the Edwards’ antics weren’t enough to make Louisiana seem like the National Whoopee Cushion, the state suffered more unfavorable publicity when a computer glitch mistakenly granted thousands of Louisiana food stamp recipients unlimited free lives in the popular Facebook game, “Candy Crush Saga”. People jammed the site for several hours, overloading the servers and shutting out other users, only to abandon their games in mid-play once the problem was fixed. Outraged, Senator David Vitter demanded that beneficiaries who abused their privileges be “prosecuted to the full extent of the law, or at least de-friended.”
In other political news, Senator Mary Landrieu faced controversy over her support for Obamacare as the program’s rollout suffered through website problems and insurance policy cancellations. Things failed to improve for Landrieu even as the website was improved and people began signing up, only to discover that the only Louisiana practitioner available in the new insurance network was a voodoo doctor located in the French Quarter.
But the news was not all bad for Louisiana in 2013, as one bright spot emerged at year’s end. When it was reported that the plaguing mystery of the massive sinkhole in Assumption Parish had been solved. A clerk in the parish records office uncovered documents that millionaire businessman John Georges had secretly purchased the property and moved it to his estate. His wife, viewing the mountain in her backyard, was heard to remark, “Honey, I said I wanted some land ‘in’ Assumption Parish, not ‘from’ Assumption Parish!”
Is it no wonder that our state gives birth to so many reality TV shows?