Welcome to the Brave New World of texting:

A reader signed “Klueless” says, “In a text conversation with a daughter-in-law this week I ended with a ‘K’ (for ‘OK’) as I sometimes do.

“My daughter-in-law then asked if I was angry with her. I spoke with her to find that a response of ‘K’ indicates you are ending the conversation abruptly because you are unhappy with the person on the other end. K followed by a period is even worse, supposedly, and indicates a whole other level of discontent.

“I began to wonder how many people I have offended since I gave into the world of texting. I have taken a poll of other members of the ‘over 50’ generation, and found that they, too, were unaware of this rule.

“So please accept this as a Public Service Announcement for the Aging: apparently K is not OK. (Unless you are texting someone in your own age group, that is.)”

Famous Lees revisited

Concerned readers, as you might have noticed, are busy seeking ways to have New Orleans’ Lee Circle keep its name without honoring the Confederacy and Robert E. Lee.

So far they have suggested monuments to Harper Lee and Sara Lee. And now Jerry Stewart, of Denham Springs, offers a name well known to lovers of the blues — Stagger Lee.

This Lee, you might recall, is the subject of a song about a disputed dice game and an unfortunate incident involving a firearm.

Who needs GPS?

This will come as a surprise to many of you, but some readers actually find this column useful.

Carolyn says, “About two years ago, someone from McKinney, Texas, wrote of a different route to McKinney instead of taking I-20, and a way to avoid Dallas traffic.

“He suggested getting off I-20 at Lindale,Texas, onto Highway 69, then in Greenville taking Highway 380 to McKinney.

“Since my son and his family had recently moved north of Dallas, I was interested. My husband and I took that man’s advice, and now that is our route. The roads are excellent, the scenery so peaceful — we love it.

“So thank you, Smiley, for printing that man’s advice.”

Desk trap

In our Nostalgia Corner, Francis Celino, the Metairie Miscreant, says, “In the first grade at St. James the Major in the late ’40s, we had desks bolted to the floor, and they had folding seats. Just about every week some kid would kneel on them and they would fold up and his knee would get stuck. Then the poor nun would have to get him out without too much screaming.

“By the way, each nun had a different way of whacking with a ruler. Not that I ever got hit...”

Fair exchange

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, says our item about a lady giving away her Christmas pin reminded her of this:

“On a recent trip to Georgia I didn’t pack any jewelry. I left wearing a fleur-de-lis pin and a pair of pearl earrings that I wore during the entire trip.

“While shopping in an antiques store the clerk excitedly said, ‘Are you from New Orleans?’

“I wasn’t quite sure why she would ask that question, and she must been able to tell that by the expression on my face.

“She said, ‘I see you are wearing a fleur-de-lis pin. I love fleur-de-lis.’

“I took off my pin and gave it to her, telling her she needed a pin. She was floored and didn’t know what to say.

“Before I left she came up to me and said, ‘Well, you need my agate bracelet.’

“I left a little of Louisiana in Georgia and returned with a little of Georgia. Both of us were pleasantly surprised by the other’s generosity.”

Special People Dept.

B.L. (Bun) White Sr. celebrates his 96th birthday on Wednesday, Jan. 6. He is a veteran of World War II and a former Melville town councilman.

Ida Barocco, of Harahan, celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Nolan and Rosemary Graham, of Greensburg, celebrated their 61st anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 2.

Thought For the Day

From Marsha R.: “I have given up on trying to stay current enough to call my self high tech.

“I define myself now as middle tech.”

Dumb and dumber

Ralph Drouin, of Baton Rouge, adds to our insult collection:

“He’s not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.”

Val Garon, of Prairieville, says, “Before my escape from Donaldsonville, I had a close friend, ‘Coal Oil Bill’ Aucoin. When talking about a stupid person he would say, ‘He walks ’cause he sees others walk!’

“And ‘He is so stupid that he had to go to college four years just to be dumb!’”

Algie Petrere, of Baton Rouge, recalls her grandmother saying, “He could put his brains in a thimble and still have room for his thumb.”

And this one is about appearance rather than intelligence:

“She looks like her hair caught on fire and somebody put it out with a brick.”

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.

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