I was honored, and surprised, to see three items from past columns reprinted in the September-October issue of “The Joyful Noiseletter,” a lively little publication of religious jokes whose “modest aim is to recapture the spirit of joy, humor, unity and healing power of the early Christians.”

It’s published in Portage, Michigan, and you can check it out at www.joyful noiseletter.com.

Here’s one of the items they used:

One night, a man was involved in a serious car accident at an intersection where there was a Shell service station. He was thrown from the car and knocked cold.

When the EMT personnel finally helped him regain consciousness, the man began to thrash around wildly and scream at the top of his lungs.

The EMT team gave him a shot to calm him down, and on the way to the hospital in an ambulance, they asked him why he went berserk when he came to.

“Well,” the man replied, “when I came to, I knew I was in an accident. It was dark, and these guys were standing over me and behind them was a Shell sign — but someone was standing in front of the S.”

Happy memories

A couple of items in the Wednesday column jogged readers’ memories:

Lettye Harris says, “Reading Val Garon’s story about magician Willard the Wizard brought back a childhood memory of going to see Willard perform in Cheneyville in 1948 or 1949.

“I was completely mesmerized when he caused his very glamorous assistant (or at least she was to a 2- or 3-year-old!) to levitate nearly to the ceiling.

“He then ran a hoop over her as she hung suspended to ‘prove’ that there were no strings or trickery involved.

“I loved every minute of the show. Thanks to Val for sharing his story and reminding me of my trip to see Willard!”

Algie Petrere says, “The stories about apartments above businesses brought back many happy memories for me.

“For many years, my grandmother lived in an apartment above the general store on the main street of Anderson, Texas.

“You could look out the window and watch the world go by, although there wasn’t much happening in Anderson.

“When I sat on the balcony and listened to the radio or played records on my little record player, Grandma thought I was going to ‘hell in a handbasket’ because I was listening to Elvis, Little Richard and all the rock ’n’ roll artists.

“My sisters and I went back to see the apartment a few years ago. They had gutted it and were going to open a shop there.

“I found a small piece of wood near the window where my grandmother always sat. I have it on my dresser and still hold it and think of all the happy times with my grandmother in that apartment.”

Bad folks out there

  • Bettye Jo Wolfkiel says, “Please remind your readers to turn on their alarm systems and lock their deadbolts when they leave, even for a few minutes.

“I lost all my best jewelry recently when I was gone for 20 minutes.”

Cathy alerts readers about “a couple of scammers who have been working Baton Rouge-area grocery stores.

“These two ladies will approach shoppers in the parking lot or inside the store and ask for help buying food for grandchildren.

“I bought one of them groceries once, and then a few weeks later, she approached me at a different store with the same story.”

Special People Dept.

  • Annette Thomas Bowman, of Berwick, celebrates her 103rd birthday on Monday.
  • Noalie McLin Stevens, of Ponchatoula, celebrates her 95th birthday on Monday.

    John and Nita Himel, of Plaquemine, celebrate 61 years of marriage on Monday.

Thought for the Day

From Richard Guidry, of Zachary: “A married man should forget his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing.”

Sign language

Bob Downing says he and friend Charles Mayeux, on a trip through Arkansas, came across a couple of signs they thought I might like.

One, a printed sign, says “Breeding age bulls need work now. Call K&B.”

The other, a hand-lettered sign on a piece of plywood, contains a warning:

“Attenion theve or theves. Resitution will come if I don’t get you first.”

Clandestine crabs

Dick Davis says, “Your note on crabs in the Nawth reminded me of what I saw in about 1965.

“On a Delta stop in Baltimore before going on to Philadelphia, I saw them unloading box after box from the plane.

“They looked like seafood boxes, so I asked a dude servicing the galley what was being unloaded.

“He said, ‘Louisiana crabs — but as soon as they got in the truck, they’ll be Chesapeake Bay crabs.’

“They did this late at night for secrecy, but I caught them!”

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.