Darrylin Melton presents evidence that you’re never too young to be influenced by science-fiction:

“My 5-year-old granddaughter Grace wanted to sing ‘America the Beautiful’ for me; of course, proud grandmama was delighted to listen.

“She sang it perfectly from start to finish, except for one small error in the first line: ‘O beautiful for spaceship skies.’

“It took all I had to keep a straight face for the remainder of the song.”

Bottom line

This is evidently “two for the price of one” day in this column.

The above-mentioned Darrylin Melton offers the long-awaited final word on our discussion of school “basements:”

“At LaSalle Elementary in the ’50s, we all went to the ‘basement’ instead of the restroom.

“At the New Orleans airport, my little sister and I went in search of the facilities. When asked where we could find the basement, a puzzled-looking airport worker pointed at the escalator.

“Down we went, and found the door to the ... broom closet. I never called it the basement again.”

Dancing army

“I love Christmas,” says Terri Karam Willett. “I love kids at Christmas. I love New York at Christmas time. I love the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes. So what happens when you put them all together?

“While attending the Rockettes show, the dancers marched out on stage dressed in their ‘Toy Soldier’ costumes for that traditional number.

“A child seated behind me jumped up and shouted, ‘Look! They’re AMERICANS!’”

Small World Dept.

And, since this is “two for the price of one” day, Terri Karam Willett offers this comment:

“During a tour of Radio City Music Hall, the guide asked a few of us where we were from.

“Another lady in the crowd said, ‘Baton Rouge.’

“I found her at the end of the tour to find out what part of town she was from.

“Guess what? She lives around the corner from us. I pass her house every time I go out to Perkins Road!

“We promised to have coffee after the holidays.”

Great Insults Dept.

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says this one is “allegedly from an actual officer fitness report: ‘This officer is depriving some village of an idiot by serving on my ship.’”

Charles Breard credits this one to “my mentor and long-time friend Jim Simpson: ‘Not only does he not KNOW anything, he doesn’t even SUSPECT anything!’”

Happy returns

Ella M. thanks “the honest person who found my purse in a shopping cart at Walmart in Donaldsonville and returned it to the store. I said a prayer for you that day.”

Rob Hawkins thanks Buddy Troxclair “for searching for my phone number and calling me when a Christmas present was erroneously mailed to his home. It is nice to know the Christmas spirit is alive and well.”

Special People Dept.

Owen J. LaCour, of Kenner, a New Orleans resident before Hurricane Katrina, celebrated his 98th birthday on Friday, Jan. 1.

B. “Woody” Templet Ferguson celebrated her 97th birthday on Dec. 25.

Carroll Christine Gromer, of Village Woods Retirement Community, celebrated her 95th birthday on Dec. 25.

Ralph H. Wilder celebrates his 95th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at the BREC Tea Dance. He is a World War II Navy veteran, having served on the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier.

David Bennett, of Zachary, celebrated his 95th birthday on Dec. 27. He was a paratrooper in World War II.

Rita Bujol, of Port Allen, celebrated her 94th birthday on Sunday, Jan. 3.

George and Doris Livers celebrated their 65th anniversary on Dec. 28.

Donald and Catherine Cambre Modicut celebrated their 60th anniversary on Thursday, Dec. 31.

Sybil and Jimmy LeSage, of Greenwell Springs, celebrated 57 years of marriage on Dec. 27.

Lawrence and Lois Gonzales celebrated their 53rd anniversary on Dec. 26.

Goodbye, romance

Linda Dalferes says, “I actually found myself uttering these words to my sweet hubby last night: ‘Don’t you kiss me with those sauerkraut lips.’”

The picky diner

Al Kidd adds to our seminar on great waitress stories:

“Three men went into a small, greasy-spoon cafe, and when the waitress came each ordered a glass of milk.

“The waitress was halfway across the dining area when one of the men called out in a loud voice, ‘Waitress, wait a minute. I want mine in a clean glass.’ She nodded and went back to the kitchen.

“A few minutes later, she approached the table with their milk, and politely asked, ‘Which one of you ordered the clean glass?’”

Contacting Smiley

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