Ginger Williamson tells of her encounter with the generation gap:

“When my granddaughter, Pressley Calahan, now 9, was about 4, she was playing outdoors, and when she came inside I told her she would need to wash her hands before eating.

“We went to the bathroom sink and I turned the water on. She stood there for a moment and then asked, ‘Where is the soap?’

“I said, ‘It is that bar right there in that little dish.’

“She stood there a moment staring at the bar of soap and then asked, ‘How do I make it work?’

“I picked up the bar of soap, handed it to her, and told her to hold it under the water and rub it, which she did.

“Then she exclaimed, ‘MiMi! It is MAGIC!’

“She had never seen a bar of soap, as they only use the pump bottles in their house.”

Horsing around in Paris

“A recent column about horse meat being a delicacy reminded me of a trip to Paris many years ago,” says Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville.

“While walking down a street with many small cafes, I saw a friend of mine and his wife dining out for dinner.

“I knew that neither spoke a word of French, and after greeting one another, I inquired as to what they were eating.

“He told me he didn’t know, but that it was delicious. I asked him to point it out on the menu because I couldn’t recognize it the way it was prepared.

“He did, and I asked if he wanted me to tell him what he was eating then or after the meal. His wife said, ‘Now!’ They were eating ‘Reins Cheval,’ translated as ‘horse kidneys.’

“Not much was eaten after that; however, we all had a good laugh — and more wine!”

Safe and sound

Jim Dumigan, organizer of the Amtrak “Bama Train” taking LSU fans to the Alabama game, says after the train was involved in a wreck with a truck in Bessemer, Alabama, “many people reached out to my group to voice their concern for their safety and welfare. Fortunately, there were no injuries on the train.”

Jim thanks them all — but wisely doesn’t mention that other train wreck the LSU fans viewed once they got to Tuscaloosa...

Paint it black

“This is one of those stories you would never tell on yourself until you are past the days of caring and just love to laugh,” says Linda Dalferes:

“I worked for my Aunt Gertrude in her shop, Miller’s Beauty Shop in Denham Springs, on Saturdays.

“One of the services she provided her clients was to dye their eyelashes. She had some concoction that was a two-step deal.

“You put the liquid from the first bottle on, waited a while and then put on some from the second bottle. And, voilà, you had black eyelashes!

“My job was to clean the shop after the day was done. I was in there all alone and decided to dye my eyelashes. I didn’t use the cotton swabs I saw Aunt Gertrude use; I just put some on my finger and wiped it across both eyelids. I waited a little while, grabbed the second bottle, put some on my finger and wiped it across my eyelids.

“I went on about my business, sweeping and mopping. When I looked up in the mirror I HAD TWO BLACK EYES!

“I had to wear sunglasses to high school until the stuff wore off.”

Wear your quips

Remember when cool guys like James Dean and Marlon Brando wore plain T-shirts, with no writing on them?

Evidently those days are gone forever, and most of the tees I see bear messages. Some of mine say “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro” (Hunter S. Thompson quote), “I will write no column before its time” (from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists), and “Eat oysters, love longer” (from Black’s Oyster Bar in Abbeville).

Marsha R. passes along these T-shirt messages from two catalogues she came across:

“I’m not yelling: I’m Italian.”

“A party without cake is just a meeting.”

“Stupidity is not a crime — therefore you are free to go.”

“Warning: The coffee’s worn off and the wine hasn’t kicked in.”

“Karma takes way too long. I’d rather just smack you right now.”

Special People Dept.

Irene Hebert, of Norco, celebrates her 101st birthday on Thursday, Nov. 12.

Hello? Hello?

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, shares this memory:

“In the ’80s very few people had cell phones, and if they did they were those huge bag phones.

“While I was teaching at Park Forest Middle School, one of the teachers decided to make a call on her cell phone on her lunch break in the teachers’ lounge.

“Other teachers’ lunches were interrupted while watching this lady unsuccessfully try to make a call.

“She finally realized she was using the receiver from her cordless home phone that she had picked up instead of her cell.”

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.