Dear Smiley: Years ago, our family of six moved to Tucson, Arizona, and it was a culture shock — when we arrived it was 118 degrees, no trees or greenery anywhere, no water flowing in any river, no LSU, no seafood; but the worst was NO SAINTS!

Every Sunday, we searched all the sports bars for a place to see our Saints play. Everywhere we went, they would laugh and tell us no one watched the Saints.

After a while, we found a place that put us in the back of the bar with a 19-inch TV. We didn’t care; we had a place to dance with our umbrellas and cheer our team every week.

After a few weeks, it seems that word got around that there were some crazy Cajuns from New Orleans watching the Saints at this bar.

Yes, you guessed it — they started to come from everywhere. Our six became 20 to 25 each week. We danced, we yelled and we spent a lot of money.

The owner was so glad, he moved us to the big jumbo screen and treated us like royalty.

Well, good things do come to an end. It was costing us a lot of money, so we decided to get DirecTV with the football package to see our Saints.

When we informed the owner that we would not be coming back, I thought he would cry. I believe he had already built a pool with the money he expected to make with the Saints fans next year!

Like I’ve said before, no matter if you are at home, the Dome or somewhere in the middle of the Tucson dessert — yell “WHO DAT” and they will come!



What accent?

Dear Smiley: Your stories on regional accents reminded me of when I was in the Marines and was sent to the Jacksonville, Florida, Naval Air Station for training in electronics.

I had a Navy petty officer instructor from North Carolina, who on the first day of class kept mentioning something called “ware.”

I didn’t know what he was referring to, so I asked him what “ware” was.

He said, “You know, ware.”

I said, “No, I don’t know; could you spell it for me?”

He looked at me like I was stupid and said, “Ware, W-I-R-E, ware.”


Krotz Springs

Accentuate the negative

Dear Smiley: In a truly inspired moment of mischief when the caller ID indicated the same telemarketer yet again, the caller was greeted not with “Hello” or something insulting or impatient, but with “Nooooooooooh…,” a sound that only a cat or a truly demented TV character can create. (Mine was a good imitation, I might add. Back of the throat enlisted. Practice may scare pets.)

To every question, the same answer: “Nooooooooooooh.”

Several questions, too, including identity or “Any parents around?”

Not only did I not have to subscribe, I’m sure my name was frantically chiseled off the list, as the calls have miraculously ceased.



Say what, cher?

Dear Smiley: In a recent Friday sports section, there was an interesting headline: “MAIS TEAMS PREPARE FOR JAMBOREE ACTION.”

Now, I know the story was about two Baton-Rouge area teams that belong to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools.

But if you know anything about Cajun French, that headline is … well, a bit confusing.


Church Point

Minority view

Dear Smiley: Following up on Gary Hebert’s story concerning the town in Louisiana populated by “a few Catlicks and mostly dem Baptists and what choo call fundamentalist types”:

I’m a retired Baptist pastor in Jefferson Parish and was flying back home from somewhere.

In Atlanta, a priest got on and took the middle seat, with me to his right.

He was headed to New Orleans to lead a spiritual retreat. We got into a friendly discussion about our ministries without noticing that everyone around us was interested in the conversation.

At one point, the priest said, “Joe, what’s it like being a Baptist in New Orleans?”

Before I could answer, the lady in front of us turned around and announced so the entire plane could hear, “I’ll tell you what it’s like. It’s like being a Catholic in Atlanta, that’s what it’s like.”

The whole plane erupted in laughter.


River Ridge

Punctuation blues

Dear Smiley: Having a routine colonoscopy, I was driven to the procedure by a friend who had part of his colon removed years ago.

I was complaining bitterly to him about the volume of prep liquid required when he stated he only had to take a quart before his procedures.

Since mine required a gallon, obviously I was puzzled when he said he had to take so little.

His answer was because he only had a semi-colon.


Baton Rouge

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.