Well, it’s Carnival Time! Maybe not where you live, but Mardi Gras Parades started down here last weekend and will roll from now through Tuesday. The Parish Council is even considering allowing the rained-out parades to roll AFTER Fat Tuesday, can you imagine? It’s because so much planning goes into the floats and costumes, and so much money is spent on “throws”, that they just can’t imagine not rolling. And all this fuss is because there is a big rain forecast for Fat Tuesday.
This post was originally planned to be about Mardi Gras, but things changed when I received a call last night from Bayou Fabio™ saying, “I’m on the Internet now! With my picture and all.”
Poor Bayou Fabio™. He just has no clue how many photos I’ve posted of him over the past few years on the Internet. Even though I’ve told him, he doesn’t have ready access to a computer with Internet connections. And if you’re new here, you can do a search for his nickname and read prior stories about him here on this blog.
About fifteen years ago, my first introduction to Bayou Fabio™ came while my youngest son (Termite) and I were standing out on our little dock on the bayou. We had seen him several times before, but this time, he slowed down in his boat and engaged us in conversation. And this is what he said to me,
“HEY! Do you know where I can find a blond with brains?”
And that was the beginning of the friendship between Bayou Fabio™ and Bayou Woman. Mind you, he didn’t know I had secretly nicknamed him Bayou Fabio™ until much later. It was an inside joke for several years before he finally heard me refer to him by that name, and then he asked, “Why you call me dat? Who’s Fabio?” And that made it even more fun to call him by the well-suited moniker.
For years I’ve been telling him that I was going to make him famous. Do you recall that I posted about a casting call last year in Houma for Swamp People? Bayou Fabio™ wouldn’t go, so instead, I got the casting company to come down here and take a look at him. During the interview, the casting guy, Ethan, kept turning to me and smiling. One time he mouthed the words, “Is this guy for real?”
Yes, Rickey Verrett is for real, and there is not another one like him in the country. Soon after, I received a call that the people at History Channel were very interested in casting Rickey for the show Swamp People. Acting as his agent, I was able to negotiate his contract and get him signed on as one of the new stars for the upcoming Fourth Season of the show.
So, the new season starts February 14th, but Rickey tells me he’s not appearing in the first few episodes. Since History Channel hasn’t told me when he’s appearing, all we can do is watch from the beginning and wait. I’m really looking forward to seeing what angle they are taking on Rickey. And I told them about his nickname, although I have no clue if the producers decided to use it or not. Also, his young son went fishing with him several times, and one cameraman was impressed enough with their energy to say, “This is TV gold!”
Well, fans, you heard it here first. And now all of you can say, “Oh my gosh! I knew Bayou Fabio™ when he was on Bayou Woman’s blog BEFORE he became famous!”
And even now, I can’t make him realize just how big this could be. Before he signed the contract, I asked him several times if he realized how much this could change his life. All he could say was, “Not me, no. Ain’t gonna change me, no.” We shall see. As his manager, I’m preparing him for the upcoming public appearances he will surely be asked to make, but he’s still playing it down, proving to me the whole thing has not become real to him yet.
But the night he sees himself on that screen, and the phones start ringing, I wonder if even then it will have any impact on this man who lives a lifestyle most of us can’t even imagine.
Possibly, as the show goes along, I will blog about it and post photos that I was taking behind the scenes. Until then, mark you calendar, set your DVR, or set an alarm in your cell phone for February 14, at 8 p.m. Central Time.
Now, shout it to the world: “Bayou Fabio™ is going to be on Swamp People!” (And don’t forget to tell them they can read older posts about him right here at yours truly!)
I can now scratch one more thing off my Bucket List. I’ve made him famous!
Stay tuned for updates!
NOTE: All photos Copyrighted property of W.W. Billiot and Bayou Woman. Photos MAY NOT be copied and pasted on the Internet, printed, or transferred without MY written permission. And in case your mamma didn’t tell ya, it’s not nice to take without asking.
UPDATE NO. 1: Our contact at History Channel says that Rickey will appear in Episode #6, which should be March 21st!
UPDATE No.2: The producers are having trouble understanding what Rickey is saying. Furthermore, his appearance has been postponed, and now they say they are saving him until the end of the season.