John Currier, of Port Allen, tells of a typical brother-in-law reaction:

“We have a two-story house, and sometimes I have to get up on the roof. As I age my wife has become more concerned about this. So I purchased one of those roof safety kits with an anchor you screw into the roof and a rope and harness to attach to it.

“She still insisted she be home when I got up on the roof in case I fell and was dangling. Turns out she wanted to be there to take a picture.

“It could be worse, I suppose. When I told this story to her brother, he had a one-word response: ‘Piñata!’”

Unlike Superman…

Armando Corripio says, “After we visited our son and his girls Ally, 10, and Riley, 9, in Houston, the girls were flying to Memphis to spend the rest of their holiday with their other grandparents.

“I asked them if they liked flying, and Riley said, ‘We’ve never done it.’

“Ally said, ‘Yes, we have,’ and Riley responded, ‘Oh, in an airplane…’”

Cloakroom ghost

Ernie Gremillion says about our mention of school cloakrooms:

“At the old Catholic High downtown, we had coat racks in the back of the classrooms.

“One of our teachers was especially vulnerable to practical jokes. One rainy day when there were many raincoats hanging, one of the students brought thread the same color as the coat rack wall and rigged it to the sleeves of one of the raincoats.

“When the teacher was slightly turned away, the student would yank the thread and the sleeve would go up where the teacher would just get a glimpse of it out of the corner of his eye. Obviously this only worked once.”

Words of welcome

Pat Alba, of Metairie, says one of her favorite old expressions happens “when someone mentions having a crawfish boil or some other specialty, and then says, ‘I’ll put your name in the pot.’

“It’s especially welcome during the holidays when you’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off and no time to cook.”

Before GPS

Speaking of old expressions, Connie Adams Cardinal, of White Castle, has found this phrase no longer in use:

“When one would travel a distance or was looking for a hard to find place, one would say, ‘I went hell, west and crooked’ to find it. I would like to know the origin of that one.”

The munchies queen

You people are getting downright silly about what can replace the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle in New Orleans.

Both Bill Timken, of Metairie, and Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, suggested that the name Lee Circle could be kept if the general was replaced by a statue of Sara Lee.

They both offered this justification for honoring the famed baker:

“After all, ‘Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee!’”

Christmas pudding

Jane Bailey thanks “the kind gentleman who offered and paid for my groceries on Christmas Eve at the Matherne’s Supermarket on Highland Road.”

Jane adds that the groceries including the fixings for “some delicious white chocolate bread pudding for my family.”

Special People Dept.

— P.V. Blanchard, of Bayou Blue, celebrated his 102nd birthday Dec. 23. He is a World War II veteran.

— Albert Mitchell, of the Veterans’ Home in Reserve, celebrated his 96th birthday Dec. 21. He is a World War II veteran.

— Ellis V. Rogillio Sr. celebrated his 94th birthday Dec. 23. He is a World War II veteran.

— Jim Elbourne celebrated his 91st birthday Dec. 22.

— Therese Theriot, of Pierre Part, celebrated her 91st birthday Dec. 22.

— Marion Roques, of Darrow, celebrated her 91st birthday Dec. 23.

— George L. Livers Jr. celebrated his 90th birthday Dec. 21. A veteran of World War II, he was a tail gunner in a B-17 with the 487th Bomber Group.

— Clyde and Jean Meyers, of Denham Springs, celebrated their 69th anniversary Dec. 20.

— The Rev. Jesse Bilberry Jr. and Verta Lee Hamilton Bilberry celebrated their 62nd anniversary Dec. 23.

Short story

Joel d’Aquin Thibodeaux, of Baton Rouge, tells this story of insults and revenge:

“In the 1970s my mother, Cleo James, and her husband, Earl, went to get some sandwiches to go at the local grill with their neighbors Betty and Carl Young.

“Well, Earl and Carl were quite a pair, and took pride in insult humor. The waitress was a short young woman, and the two of them started in on her.

“Earl: ‘Why don’t you climb out of that foxhole and take our order?’

“Carl: ‘You’re so short you are knee high to a duck!’

“They had a great time teasing this poor little waitress.

“But guess who had the last laugh? When the four of them returned home to eat their sandwiches, Earl and Carl’s sandwiches had no meat in them!”

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.