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They Said It In Gambit Weekly 

"These are Louisiana fish, they're tough." -- Sen. John Breaux, who had to leave his office -- and his goldfish -- during the Capitol Hill anthrax scare. ("Letter From Washington," Jan. 1)

"He ministered a lot to wealthy white folks, but he did that to get them to connect to poor black people. If nothing else, he got them to connect financially." -- Rep. Mitch Landrieu, about his friend and one-time teacher, the late Father Harry Tompson. ("The Good Shepherd," Jan. 1)

"Sometimes you just learn things without getting a degree. I once met a fellow who knew quite a lot of engineering but he never quite took the time to be an engineer." -- Bill Graham about charges that he dupes women seeking information about abortion by posing as a counselor. ("No Choice," Jan. 8)

"Maybe it doesn't pass the smell test, [but] my definition of patronage is when you have someone do work that's not necessary." --State Sen. Paulette Irons. ("The Perils of Paulette," Jan. 15)

"I've had people tell me flat out, 'Your show was really boring,'" -- Joshua Eustis of New Orleans-born computer-music duo Telefon Tel Aviv. ("Live Wires," Jan. 22)

"It's not something to brag about, but maybe it's good that I'll have a driver." -- Sal Palmisano, candidate for City Council District A, admitting to a long list of traffic violations, including two arrests for driving while intoxicated. Jay Batt won the seat. ("Campaign Comic Relief," Jan. 29)

"I remember we were on this float. This guy comes up to us and he said, 'Do you know what a Wet Willie is?' I said, 'I don't know.' He stuck his finger in his mouth and poked my belly button!" -- Penny Marshall about joining the Endymion Parade during the 1977 Saturday Night Live Mardi Gras broadcast. ("Comedy of Errors," Jan. 29)

"It was a real hippie beatnik kind of place. The guys in the shop used to sit around all the time and guzzle bottles of cough syrup to get high, but I had no idea what they were doing. I told my parents one day, 'These people are always drinking cough syrup, but none of them ever seem sick.' I think that's what made my parents make me quit that job." -- Bunny Matthews about his first job. ("The Bunny Pages," March 12)

"The first time Clay demonstrated it in front of people, he put the connector on wrong and said, 'Hey everybody, look! I'm peeing!' And he peed all over himself." -- Sneaky Leaker co-inventor Jason Miller. ("A Better Mousetrap," April 16)

"What I really want to say when I go into schools is, 'Listen, if you don't learn to read, you are dead meat. You are gonna die." --Children's book author and storyteller Coleen Salley. ("Following the Captain," April 23)

"The archdiocese is now going to protect victims from the police who they were either unable or unwilling to protect from their own priests? I don't think victims need a witness protection program under the cover of the Catholic Church." -- Lawyer Ray Mouton, who represented the first priest charged with pedophilia in the United States in 1984 and co-authored the (unheeded) 1985 report for the Catholic hierarchy on the problem and solutions of clergy abuse. ("Questions for the Archdiocese," April 30)

"I'm hopeful that everyone who has smoked pot, or currently smokes pot, or does not smoke pot but believes that people should not be arrested for smoking pot -- I hope they have the personal integrity to vote for me." --Lawyer, marijuana crusader and 2002 district attorney candidate Gary Wainwright, who ultimately received 3 percent or 2,609 votes; Eddie Jordan won the seat. ("Fired Up," June 11)

"I don't need to go to Las Vegas to experience another world. Drive across the river. Now that's foreign." -- Drag queen Bianca Del Rio. ("Double Trouble," July 9)

"It's just a place where people can come to relax and get away from their kids." -- Mistress Natasha, house dominatrix at a new CBD swingers' club. ("The Swing Set," July 23)

"This is New Orleans. When you watch advertisements to come to New Orleans, who do you see? You don't see Jackie Clarkson or the city council. You see jazz musicians." -- Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen. ("Big Man on the Square," July 30)

"My point about the lesser intimacy of heterosexual intercourse had nothing to do with the fact that during that act one's mind might wander. As anyone experienced in sex knows, one's mind can wander ... during any type of sexual act." -- UNO Professor Alan Soble. (Letters to the Editor, Aug. 6)

"Your publication is turning into smut! First the 976 ads in the back, then the drag queen on the cover, and now "sex ... threesome, orgy" and other trash-talk?! Don't you people think above the crotch?" -- Name withheld by request. (Letters to the Editor, Aug. 6)

"Bozo doesn't have calluses like these." -- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus clown Bello Nock, displaying the hands he uses for his sliding sway-pole trick. ("The Clown Prince," Aug. 20)

"I told Jake this preseason that he has as much pull in the locker room as any backup I've seen since Rich Gannon, who was my backup quarterback in Kansas City. I think that says a lot about the type of person Jake is and the way he goes about his business, to have that respect. The locker room's the most critical and most important room in this whole building, and in every NFL facility." -- Saints offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy about backup quarterback Jake Delhomme. ("The Waiting Game," Sept. 3)

"We do a lot of singalongs, but some of the material I said, 'I'm just not going to play this, because it's too happy.' People really wanted to hear patriotic songs. It started this patriotic thing in there, that just built and built and built and continued the weeks and months that came after. People wanted to hear 'Proud to Be an American,' 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' 'America the Beautiful,' 'God Bless America,' 'Amazing Grace,' 'New York, New York.' People cling to these things, the songs." -- Angelle Trosclair, piano player at Pat O'Brien's, about life in the piano bar following Sept. 11, 2001. ("11 Stories," Sept. 10)

"When I was coming up, every Catholic school had its own gym, its own team. Any night in the '40s and '50s, you'd have 400 to 500 youngsters fighting every night, somewhere. It was a neighborhood thing, you'd go up against each other from your home gym, whether it was the 9th Ward, Irish Channel, whatever. Men today can't set up a club like they used to back then, when you could just throw up a ring in the back of bar rooms and let people have at it. You can't afford to do that now, people would sue." -- Former boxer and current Louisiana Boxing Commission member Jimmy LaCava.("Fight Club," Sept. 17)

"A second line is really a rock 'n' roll situation walking down the street. It's music for the people, by the people, and there's nothing aloof about it." -- Dave Pirner. ("Pirner's Paradise," Sept. 17)

"The history and tradition of literature in this city is important. It provides a context in which we work. But some of the stuff ... the whole Faulkner thing. I mean, how long did Faulkner live here?" -- Independent publisher G.K. Darby. ("G.K. Darby Takes on the World," Oct. 22)

"He criticizes 'the whole Faulkner thing,' which is ridiculous because [Faulkner Festival founders] Rosemary James and Joe DeSalvo do more than anyone in New Orleans for struggling and established local writers of every genre." -- Robert Florence on G.K Darby. (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 29)

"The line is drawn when you start selling the man's artificial leg and foot. If I bought the leg, what would I do with it? It's degrading to Clifton's great memory. You need to draw the line somewhere. You don't sell a prosthetic leg. Give me a break. It ain't that damn bad." -- State Sen. Don Cravins, on the auction of late zydeco musician Clifton Chenier's most personal items. ("Zydeco Markdown," Oct. 29)

"I never get nervous on stage. But I have to be careful not to freak myself out by thinking how I am this image of Jesus Christ." -- Mount Carmel drama club president Jennifer Collins on portraying the lead in an all-girl Jesus Christ Superstar. ("We Called You a Man," Nov. 19)

"You have to face your enemy." -- Outgoing District Attorney Harry Connick on the lesson he learned from bullfighting. ("Going Out Fighting," Nov. 19)

"I'm not so much interested in landmarks or the expected icons of a particular place. I'm not so interested in seeing a big riverboat chug by. But at the same time there are details of New Orleans that seep into every frame of Down by Law that are just there: the quality of decay on the wooden railings of balconies, or certain views down streets or the empty sidewalks in certain neighborhoods." -- Director Jim Jarmusch. ("Sad and Beautiful World," Nov. 26)

"The real power behind this was the anti-Wal-Mart crowd. Because the poor, at the end of the day, don't have the lobbying strength to make a difference." -- Pres Kabacoff on his opponents in the controversy over the St. Thomas/Wal-Mart development. ("The Challenger," Dec. 3)

"He simply cannot let the legacy of the book ride on his shoulder. He has to find that moment -- and it's not an easy moment to find -- to take it over and say, 'Get the hell out of the way.'" -- Writer/adapter Horton Foote on what advice he'd give to Steven Soderbergh and Scott Kramer in adapting A Confederacy of Dunces to the screen. ("Best Foote Forward," Dec. 3)

click to enlarge Mistress Natasha - TRACIE MORRIS/YOUNG STUDIO
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