LaNell Hilborn tells this story of a hasty explanation:

“Many years ago we lived in Dallas, and Mother worked from 2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“One night when she came home my brother and I were still up, and she suggested we go to the all-night laundromat.

“We didn’t have a car, but Mother and my brother had the basket of clothes between them, and I pushed my baby in his stroller.

“We also took our dog on a leash.

“When we finished the wash, a couple we knew offered to take us home.

“There was only room in their car for Mother and me and my baby, plus our laundry basket. So we left my brother to walk home with the stroller and dog.

“After we got home, Mother was worried because my brother was not home yet.

“Just as she was going to look for him, he came in.

“When Mother started fussing at him for taking so long to walk five blocks, he said, ‘Don’t anyone say a word. How would YOU explain to a Dallas policeman what a 17-year-old guy is doing out at 3 in the morning walking the dog and pushing an empty baby stroller?’ ”

Sweet talk

From our “Why We Love Our Grandchildren” file comes this note from Paw Paw Bob, of Prairieville:

“While recently holding my almost 5-year-old granddaughter, Makenna Hayes, I asked her if she was sweet, and she said ‘Yes.’

“I touched her on the knee and asked if she was sweet there, and she said ‘No.’

“I touched her on the top of her head and asked if she was sweet there, and again she said ‘No.’

“I then touched her on her little cheek and asked if she was sweet there.

“She replied, ‘Noooo, Paw Paw, I’m sweet on the inside.’ “She truly is — and Paw Paw’s heart swelled.”

A treat by any name

Sam Irwin, author of the new book “Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean,” joins our “crawfish vs. crayfish” discussion:

“During my research, I learned that the word ‘crawfish’ may have been first used by naturalist Constantine Rafinesque in 1817.

“When the Cajun French of the Atchafalaya River and Creole French of New Orleans began building the crawfish industry in the 1920s, they would have used the French word ‘écrevisse’ (ay-cray-veese) for crawfish.

“Crayfish, when pronounced Cajun-style (cray-feesh) is much closer to the word ‘écrevisse’ than ‘crawfish.’

“Biologist T. H. Huxley used the term crayfish in ‘The Crayfish: An Introduction to the Study of Zoology’ (1880), and ‘crayfish’ became generally accepted in scientific writings. But due to the popularity of the Louisiana crawfish, ‘crawfish’ is also widely accepted as well.

“But let’s give credit where credit is due. The French speakers of Louisiana gave crawfish to the world. The French in Europe had a long tradition of enjoying crawfish as a delicacy and brought their love of crawfish to Louisiana.

“Ironically, an American word is used to describe French Louisiana’s most famous delicacy.

“Be that as it may, one thing is clear: the Cajun crustacean is conquering the world, one epicurean at a time.”

Armed for golf

Jerry Berggren says Roy Pitchford’s tale of his experiences with wildlife on an Odessa, Texas, golf course “reminded me of a similar experience my wife, Rose, and I had at a golf course in San Angelo, Texas.

“As we were approaching the first tee, one of the grounds crew came up to me and told me to be careful, as he had killed two rattlesnakes earlier while mowing greens.

“I went back to our vehicle and retrieved my .22 pistol loaded with “rat shot” just in case we needed it.

“It was the first time I ever played a round armed.

“I might have to consider doing so more often. It may cut down on my golfing buddies’ ridicule of my game.”

Special People Dept.

  • Margie Welsh celebrates her 96th birthday on Thursday.
  • Emma Welch, of Oakwood Village in Zachary, celebrates her 91st birthday on Thursday.

Hands-on training

Richard Harris says, “Having turned the Golden Age of 60, I’ve realized the best gift any husband and wife can give each other going forward.

“Learn chiropractic.”

Cheap eats

Here’s one from Algie Petrere, our unpaid fast-food critic:

“A friend and I were standing in line at a fast-food restaurant waiting to place our order.

“There was a big sign: ‘No bills larger than $20 will be accepted.’

“The woman in front of us, pointing to the sign, remarked, ‘Believe me, if I HAD a bill larger than $20, I wouldn’t be eating here.’ ”

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.