Tommy Watts says there was once a rash of claims and lawsuits against soft drink bottlers about foreign material allegedly found in their bottles:

“A gentleman came into my office and asked if I handled ‘indecent’ cold drink cases.

“He removed a bottle of cream soda from a brown paper bag, whereupon I alertly noted that in spite of the small speck in the bottom, the bottle had not been opened.

“I explained the obvious to him, including the fact he had not consumed the offending product, had not been seen by a doctor and, in any event, had no evidence of having been rendered ill by his experience.

“Sometime thereafter, the man came back, presenting an open, partially consumed cold drink containing a contaminant that could best be described as a piece of shoe leather.

“When I asked for details, he stated that he had in fact been rendered ill by this drink and had received medical attention.

“My questioning revealed that he bought the drink from the machine just outside the Baton Rouge General emergency room, where he partially consumed the ‘indecent’ cold drink, became violently ill and was conveniently triaged.”

Déjà who?

Our readers’ playful variations on a popular French word continue:

From Shirley Fleniken: Déjà boo: The feeling that I’ve seen that same trick-or-treater before.

Déjà flu: The feeling that I’ve had this bug before.

From Susan Koehler, of Metairie: Déjà-choo: A symptom of déjà flu.

And from L.P. Ledet, of Lafayette: Déjà moo: The feeling you have heard that bull before.

Spicy suggestion

Rod Kron, of Kennesaw, Georgia, has this comment on the NFL’s advertising ban on Slap Ya Mama seasoning mix:

“I find the NFL’s reaction interesting, because there have been quite a few alcohol-related incidents, yet beer commercials seem to dominate the airwaves during games.

“Maybe the solution for the Ville Plate company is to add the disclaimer, ‘Please, slap responsibly.’ ”

Nostalgia Corner

Kathy Wells Antoon tells of a “lovely old home that stood on Jefferson Highway and Brentwood Street for many decades.

“I would have loved to have seen this jewel in her glory. But alas, when first I saw her, she had already begun her fall into decline.

“One day I passed by and the lovely lady was simply gone, without a trace!

“I wonder if your readers could tell me who owned this three-storied lovely and if there are photographs of her, in her glory and her decline.”

Man vs. food

Paul Major says, “The Advocate’s sports section recently had an article on LSU football linemen and their diets — some to lose weight, some to gain weight.

“One player mentioned in the article eats six to eight small meals a day instead of four big meals.

“One wonders what that fourth big meal is called, and when is it eaten? Midnight?”

Senior moments

Patricia Alba, of Metairie, says, “One morning, when my elderly grandmother was in the kitchen, she called urgently, ‘Pat, come here! I just fried an egg, and I can’t find it!’

“She had returned the plate, with the egg, to the china cabinet.

“Years later, my children remind me of that story when I ‘lose’ something.”

Special People Dept.

  • Ivory Boatner, a native of New Roads now living in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 100th birthday on Friday. She will be honored at a family reunion on Saturday and Sunday,.
  • Elmese Stevens, of Baker, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Friday.

    Joy LeBlanc Samson celebrates her 92nd birthday on Friday.

    Virginia Giroir, of Port Allen, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Sunday.

    Dorothy “Dot” Piazza celebrates her 91st birthday on Saturday.

    Pearl Callender, of Port Allen, celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday.

    Edward Carrio celebrates his 90th birthday on Sunday. He is a Marine veteran of World War II.

    Terry and Frank Janca celebrate their 61st anniversary on Friday.

    Joe and Billie Civello celebrate their 56th anniversary on Saturday.

    Linda and Barry Weinstein celebrate their 50th anniversary on Saturday.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer: “If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country!”

The computer generation

Karen Stelly Pilgreen, of LeBeau, says her daughter-in-law, Louise Pilgreen, “decided to allow her children Stella, Bo and Reid to take home three of my kittens.

“She examined the kittens briefly, trying to determine their gender, then told the kids to get in the car with them.

“Traveling home, Reid, 4, asked his mom, ‘Are the kittens Memere gave us emails?’ ”

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.