The other day I was lunching at Rocco’s with some accomplices, and was just about to tackle my breaded veal cutlet po-boy and Diet Barq’s root beer when a lady announced that she was tired of reading about possums in my column. A short time later a gentleman accosted me with the same complaint.

They did not appear to be threatening, but these days you never know...

So, just to be on the safe side, here is the final story about the LSU baseball team’s favorite marsupial:

Clyde T. Thompson, of Amite, says, “Back in 1948, my brother Jack and I, and a buddy of his, Sonny, went possum hunting on our place east of Clinton with Sonny’s possum dog, who was missing a hind leg due to a run-in with a mowing machine.

“We’d been hunting until the small hours of the morning with no luck, and were almost back to the house when we heard the dog bark.

“Sure enough, he’d run a possum up a fence post.

“We soon saw that the half-grown possum was missing two toes on his front foot, indicating it had been caught in a steel trap when he was much smaller. Instead of putting him in the feed sack to take him home, we released him on the spot.

“Considering what that poor possum had been through, it was the only humane thing to do.”

It’s a living

Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, offers another “embarrassing things kids say” story:

“When my eldest granddaughter was in kindergarten, her teacher spent some time with a question-and-answer period, getting the children involved in conversation.

“On a particular day she decided to see if the children knew their fathers’ occupations.

“When Alyssa was asked what type of work her dad did, she responded, ‘He sell drugs.’

“Her father Danny is a pharmaceutical representative. Needless to say, he had to live that one down.”

Which reminds me

As a kindergarten student in Natchez, Mississippi, I was guilty of blurting out this gem:

The teacher was doing an exercise similar to the one described above by Joan Barre, and asked us about our parents.

When my turn came around, I recalled that my birth had been three days after my mom and dad celebrated their first anniversary.

But when I tried to tell the class about it, it came out, “My mama and daddy were married three days before I was born.”

The teacher, who knew my mom, called her and told her about it, and they had a good laugh over it — I suppose...

Wild idea

Bruce Toth has this final suggestion for a new name for the New Orleans Zephyrs:

“Another possibility for the baseball team — ‘The Wild Tchoupitoulas.’

“The name would look great on team and fan sportswear — in purple, green and gold — make some licensing revenue for the venerable New Orleans Indian tribe, and would be uniquely ours.

“The lyrics from a Wild Tchop chant could rally the team: ‘The Wild Tchoupitoulas gonna stomp some rump.’”

(And as one reader suggested earlier, hearing visiting team’s announcers trying to deal with “Tchoupitoulas” would be most entertaining.)

Damp good picking

Former Louisiana resident Chapman Morgan, of Santa Maria, California, says, “Mention of Hoo Shoo Too Road in your Wednesday column brought back many memories of going into the swamp off the road to gather mayhaws.

“Once we arrived following a long, hard rain, and about six or eight inches of water stood under the trees.

“All we had to do was shake the trees and then scoop up the mayhaws, as they floated! It saved us a lot of hard work.

“They make the best jelly in the world, and I stock up on it every time I am in Louisiana.”

Special People Dept.

— On Friday, June 10, Emile E. Sander III and Rita Cripps Sander, of Slidell, celebrate their 60th anniversary. They are former New Orleans residents.

— Conrad and Beverly Joffrion, of Plaquemine, celebrate 55 years of marriage on Saturday, June 11.

— Bernie and Rose Sandoz, of Loreauville, celebrate 50 years of marriage on Sunday, June 12. Rose is a 5-year lung cancer survivor.

Thought for the Day

From Patrick R. Hughes: “Losing the remote control doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the realization that I don’t have the first flipping idea of how to operate the TV without it.”

Hell yes!

Keith Horcasitas says, “The other day, while driving for home care visits, I was listening to a neat CD by Matthew Leonard, executive director of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology in Steubenville, Ohio.

“He was talking about heaven, and I heard his practical definition of hell: hearing Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’ over and over again!”

Contacting Smiley

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.