…one of my favorite jokes is the one about Rouge Hebert.
Who’s Rouge Hebert?
Well, several years ago Emile Trosclair woke up one morning, looked out the back window of his ranch-house in Acadia Parish – and saw one of his oil wells engulfed in flames. Panicked, Trosclair picked up the phone and called the Houston offices of famed oil well firefighter Red Adair.
Adair answered the phone, said he could have a crew to Trosclair’s burning well in under two hours with state-of-the-art equipment and the fire put out for the lowly sum of $100,000.
“Man, me. A hunret t’ousand? Whoo, dat’s more den I got,” said Trosclair. “What ahm gonna do?”
“Sorry I can’t help,” said Adair. “I’ll tell you what, though. Down your way is a guy new to the business. His name is Rouge Hebert. He’s close by where you are, and I understand he works cheap.”
So Adair gave Trosclair the number, and the call was made to Hebert at his offices outside the little town of Erath. Hebert said he could be on the scene in under an hour and the fire put out for $5,000.
“Five t’ousand? Whooo,” Trosclair hooted. “I doan know if you any good, Rouge, but dat price is right. Come on down!”
A mere 30 minutes later, before Trosclair could make it to the road to open his front gate, a fire truck loaded with stoutly-built Cajuns came thundering down the road, executed a sharp turn and, wheels skidding, battered through the gate, sped down the dirt road on Trosclair’s property and plowed into the blazing well – the Cajuns jumping off the truck just before impact. Whereupon the crew immediately set to beating out the fire with brooms.
Trosclair, running as fast as his old legs could carry him to the scene, finally reached the action just as Hebert’s crew was finishing the last of the fire. Out of breath, he reached a man he figured to be Hebert – as the man was circulating among the crew, shaking hands and slapping backs.
“Hoooo, Lawd!” said Trosclair as he approached Hebert. “You mus’ be Rouge. Man, I ain’t never seen nothin’ like dis heah. Dat was de mos’ courageous, braves’, heroic t’ing I even heard of. Here’s a check for $5,000.”
“T’ank ya, sir,” Rouge, singed from head to toe, responded.
“Whatchoo gonna do wit’ all dat money, hah Rouge?” queried Trosclair.
“Well, de firs’ t’ing is, I gotta fix de brakes on mah truck.”
If Les Miles isn’t Rouge Hebert, I don’t know who is.