Pooyie! 11.04.2009

Reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated. We felt a lump in our throat when news spread, quickly, that former UL Ragin’ Cajun and Minnesota Viking safety Orlando Thomas had succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s disease. We breathed a sigh of relief when we found out it wasn’t true. The Vikings posted word of the Crowley native’s death on its Web site. The Vikes say they got the information from UL. A spokesman for UL’s sports information department admitted that “some misinformation got out somehow.” The former Cajun great shares exclusive company on the wall of fame at Cajun Field and enjoyed half a dozen solid seasons in the NFL. Thomas does indeed suffer from ALS and he is not well, but we’re not ready to say goodbye. Keep fighting, Orlando.

Higher education in Louisiana is steaming headlong into more dire straits — that’s the projection of the Board of Regents, which last week predicted that the state’s system of higher ed can expect additional cuts of up to $150 million next year. It gets worse. The board estimates that by the 2011-12 school year, state universities will be operating on a roughly $820 million budget — that’s 44 percent lower than the tall-cotton year of 2008, before the bottom fell out on the state budget thanks to plummeting oil prices and state lawmakers’ failure to anticipate them. The course correction promises to be painful: more curricula eliminated, student fees raised, even professors getting pink slips.

Every armed robber is a couillon — that’s a given. But when the victim is in on the heist? That’s a two-fer. A Duson he-couillon and she-couillon are brushing their teeth in the Lafayette Parish Jail after being arrested for allegedly staging an armed robbery in an appropriately named Hit ’n’ Run convenience store on Ambassador Caffery last week. Police say the girlfriend was a clerk in the store; the boyfriend was the bad guy. It took cops mere minutes to piece together the ruse, in part because couillons don’t construct very good ruses. The two were booked on armed robbery charges, but we suspect that will need to be amended since, technically, a robbery didn’t occur.