Another story about accents, from Tommy Watts:

“Some years ago, I was standing on the sidelines of a preschoolers’ soccer game talking to the father of one of the athletes.

“I knew him to be a computer guy, and I asked what he knew about the then new voice-recognition software, as I was intrigued by it.

“He and his family lived in a parish nearby that was, shall we say, less cosmopolitan than East Baton Rouge.

“His experience with the product was less than satisfactory, as he found it had great difficulty recognizing his voice, possibly due to his accent.

“His stated solution to the problem was to wait on the Bubba Upgrade.”

Sound of silence

Randy Rayburn says, “Regarding the item in Thursday’s column about preachers cursing on the golf course:

“While on vacation in New Hampshire, I was paired with two men at the golf course.

“It turned out one was the parish priest and the other the bishop.

“At the end of the round, the bishop said, ‘I bet your wife will never believe you played golf with two priests.’

“I said, ‘She’ll never believe I didn’t curse for 18 holes.’ ”

Learn to swim

George Lane, this column’s unpaid environmental observer, has good news for us:

“Climate change in Baton Rouge has an upside:

“Baton Rouge Beach, formerly on the University Lakes, will become an actual beach!

“However, climate change for New Orleans and Mardi Gras will be a challenge, because then parade floats will have to actually float!”

Rascally rodents!

Algie Petrere says, “Like Rudy MacDonald (in the Wednesday column), I bought a ‘squirrel-proof’ bird feeder.

“It didn’t take long until the squirrels learned to lay across the top of it and reach around to get the seeds out or knock the seeds to the ground.

“I fought it for a long time but gave up when I looked out one day and found a squirrel sitting INSIDE the feeder having a feast.

“I have no idea how he got inside, but the feeder came down that day.

“We came up with a solution — Andy put a baffle on the pole, and the squirrels can’t get past it to the feeder.”

Mystery aunt

E.R. Guidry says, “My youngest son said, ‘Mama, write to Smiley; he can find out anything.’ So here goes:

“During the ‘Big War’ I attended SLI (now UL-Lafayette) and lived in the dorm.

“As freshmen, we were allowed to stay out until 10 on Friday and Saturday, but could not ride in a car with a young man after dark (not so bad, because they didn’t have a car anyway).

“When they borrowed a car we’d go to Hill Top or Toby’s.

“The band always played a song called ‘Ole Aunt Jane,’ and we all chimed in on the chorus.

“As I recall, it was rather risqué (not by today’s standards).

“I am desperate to find someone else who knows it, to prove I’m not a candidate for you-know-what.”

Worthy causes

The March of Dimes benefits from a March for Babies Saturday.

The 3-mile walk starts at 9:15 a.m. from A.Z. Young Park downtown. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m.

Go to

Special People Dept.

  • Hazel Eccles Gilmore, of Walker, formerly of Baker, celebrates her 95th birthday on Friday.
  • Lila Villneuve, of Central, celebrates her 94th birthday on Saturday.

    Maurine Parker celebrates her 92nd birthday on Friday.

    Gertie Hernandez Cutrer, of Osyka, Miss., celebrates her 90th birthday Saturday at the Hernandez family reunion, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Lela Mae Bourgeois celebrated her 90th birthday on Monday.

    Nell and Calvin Golden celebrate their 62nd anniversary on Saturday. He is a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War and member of the Chosin Few.

Early chicken

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, says, “Between Abbeville and Intracoastal City there is a country store.

“I stopped for a root beer, and as I was checking out I saw a sign: ‘Boneless Chicken Dinner, 25 cents.’

“Right below the sign was a basket of hard-boiled eggs.

“Gave me a new regard for eggs …”

Dead reckoning

Mig and Roy say our seminar on epitaphs reminded them of the old story of the epitaph reputed to be on an atheist’s headstone: “All dressed up with no place to go.”

Seeing double

I’ve heard this epitaph story credited to other people, but the version by Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, involves Ronald Reagan:

President Reagan and his wife were visiting a cemetery.

He said, “Look here, Nancy, the gravestone says, ‘Here lies a politician and an honest man.’

“They buried two men in this grave!”

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.