Perry Anderson Snyder, of Baton Rouge, says grandson Anderson, like most 7-year-olds, “prefers his summer to consist of ‘chilling out,’ sleeping in and playing with friends.

“His grandmother, however, has a different view of what the three-month vacation should be. Cindy rides herd on Anderson three days a week.

“Recently, she explained to our grandson that he would write a daily short story (two or three paragraphs) on any subject he liked.

“She stressed his holding the pencil properly, writing neatly, staying between the lines, using complete sentences and the like.

“He appeared to be listening intently to her ‘lecture.’

“At the end of it, Cindy asked if he had any questions before beginning the assignment.

“‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘Nini, do you know to make ketchup?’

“All indications are that the next great American novel will have to wait until next summer.”

Birth of a thespian

There’s been a great deal of discussion lately about the practice of beating children, stemming from a news story about a mother arrested for over-enthusiastically whipping her boys to discourage them from choosing burglary as a career path.

Because I was a perfect child, I don’t recall ever having even a mild spanking.

But I do recall this experience when I was a toddler back in Natchez, Mississippi.

I was jumping in the middle of my parents’ bed, and managed to knock a box of face powder off my mother’s night stand and into the middle of the bed, creating an ungodly mess.

My mom, distraught, yelled at my dad, “You’ve got to do something about that boy!”

So dad dutifully took me into our small bathroom and locked the door.

His father, before he died, had given my dad his pearl-handled straight razor and a thick leather razor strap to sharpen it on. Dad didn’t use either, but he kept them in the bathroom to remind him of his old man.

He took down the razor strap and told me, “Holler when I hit this on my leg.” He then slapped the strap on his leg, making a loud “Whap!”

As instructed, I yelled like crazy. When he hit himself again, I screamed even louder.

This went on until my mom was beating on the door and yelling at my dad to stop — “You’re killing that child!”

When he finally let her in, my dad and I collapsed with laughter, and she eventually joined in, after telling us, “You two are the biggest fools…”

I enjoyed the acting so much that I decided then and there on a life in show biz…

Poppa to the rescue

Bobbie Spencer of Crowley/Lafayette, says Richard M. Gibson’s reference to the 59th anniversary of Hurricane Audrey in the Monday column “brought back memories for me.

“On that fateful day, I went outside to wash clothes in the No. 3 washtub, but dark, ominous clouds and strange winds soon told me otherwise.

“My 2-year-old brother ran around in his cloth diaper without a care in the world.

“My other brothers, sister and Momma were quieter than usual, but I knew they were praying that Poppa Eddie would arrive from his Sulphur-based T.L. James construction job before the rain started!

“I thanked God when that familiar Ford car pulled up to the house and the smell of King Edward cigars filled the air — just in the nick of time!”

Special People Dept.

Myrtis Bourgeois, of Lake View Manor in New Roads, celebrates her 97th birthday on Wednesday, June 29.

Alvine Keesing, of Nottingham Regional Rehab Center in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Wednesday, June 29.

Helen Rome Hebert, of The Haven in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Wednesday, June 29. She is a native of Plaquemine.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer: “Husbands are the best people with whom to share secrets. They will never tell anyone — because they aren’t listening!”

Worst new word

Trish Neufeld offers this groaner about a recent column topic:

“After finding a possum in my courtyard and bravely carrying him away, my neighbor, Richard Robin, said that critter (he or she) would ‘possumbly’ return.”

That’s funny, Doc!

Linda Whitman, of Denham Springs, adds to our “Physicians as Comedians” file:

“For the uninformed, there are certain things you can count on as you get older. Some are perks, like senior citizen discounts. Others, not so much.

“When speaking to his young gastro doc the other day, husband Herb was joking about our doc’s experience with a certain procedure.

“The doc said he had another patient ask the same question, and he told the man ‘It’s OK. I watched the procedure done on YouTube this morning and I can do it now.’

“Nothing like a doc with a sense of humor. I think…”

(Well, Linda, at least he didn’t say he could do the procedure because he’d stayed at a Holiday Inn Express…)


Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.

Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.