Camille Plaisance, who teaches at LSU’s E.J. Ourso College of Business, can sympathize with that boy named Sue:

“With all the talk about mispronounced French last names, how about confusing first names?

“My last name, Plaisance, has been mangled like other names mentioned. But my first name, Camille, has caused the most confusion.

“I was named after an uncle on my mother’s side, and I didn’t have any trouble until that darn hurricane came through in 1969.

“Since that time, I have received feminine products in the mail and waited in a doctor’s exam room for 45 minutes while the nurse waits for my daughter to come back.

“But the one I remember the most was a few years ago.

“At the end of the semester, a student sat outside my office for 20 minutes until he asked if Ms. Plaisance was coming in today.

“It was very apparent that he had not been to class all semester, because I am a male. That did not help his argument for rounding his grade up.”

What’s bugging you?

“Our daughter and her husband recently transferred to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia,” says John Gaidry, of Lafayette.

“While lamenting the absence of ‘mudbugs’ (crawfish) there, they were introduced to a local delicacy: ‘bay bugs.’ Bay bugs are similar to lobsters but have no claws and very small heads and are sometimes called flat-headed lobsters.

“This reminded me of a song popular back in the ’60s by Bobbie Gentry, ‘Bugs,’ where she says everywhere you look there’s a new kind of bug. That’s true:

“Good bugs and bad bugs.

“Bed bugs and red bugs.

“Love bugs and lady bugs.

“June bugs and lightning bugs.

“VW Beetle bugs and flu bugs.

“Computer bugs and phone bugs.

“Now we have a new brewery called ‘Mudbug Brewery.’

“Hopefully this writing will stop the bugs from bugging me.”

A book for Mom

Attention procrastinators:

Here it is Thursday and you don’t have a Mother’s Day gift for that sweet little old lady?

Candy? No, she’s on a diet.

Flowers? No, they make her sneeze.

Diamonds? Well, no. …

As a public service, I’m offering this suggestion: How about a silly book? Or two?

I’ll be signing my books, “Smiley! A Laughing Matter” and “Best of Smiley,” from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Red Stick Farmers Market in downtown Baton Rouge.

Copper Alvarez, of the market, usually puts me next to the corn. But because it’s a little early for that, look for me somewhere else. If I’m lucky I’ll be between the gelato guy and the tea cake guy. …

Special People Dept.

Lela Bourgeois celebrates her 92nd birthday on Thursday at a family crawfish boil.

Miles and Mary Joseph Lawrence, “golden members” of Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, celebrate their 66th anniversary on Thursday.

A moving thought

Patrick Hughes says, “At 78, speed is no longer a reality. Any movement at all is an achievement! If one can just keep moving, it will all work out eventually.”

Losing effort

Ernie Gremillion says he saw a note on the Internet about a guy who announced that his goal for 2016 is to lose 10 pounds:

“As of now, he is 15 pounds short of his goal.”

Cajun Dickens

Pat Alba, of Metairie, says while south Louisiana names are often mispronounced by outsiders, sometimes American or English names present a problem for Louisiana natives:

“When I taught ninth-grade literature in New Orleans, ‘Great Expectations’ was required reading. The main character in the novel, Pip, has a friend named Herbert, whom many of my students persisted in calling Hebert (A-Bear).”

Grin and Hebert it

James McReynolds, of Slidell, says, “While serving in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, circa 1956, I encountered a master sergeant named Hebert.

“I addressed him as ‘Sgt. A-Bear.’

“He asked, ‘Where you from, cher?’ ‘New Orleans,’ I replied.

“Said he, ‘I thought so. That’s something I haven’t heard since I was home on leave in Opelousas.’ ”

Sign language

Celeste Ellender shares my aggravation with folks who improperly use the apostrophe, designed to indicate possession:

“I’m wondering about the billboard on Interstate 10 as you’re going into the downtown area.

“It says ‘Thank God for Mama’s.’ Mama’s what?

“Gotta be Mama’s love, in honor of Mother’s Day!”

Batter up!

Bob Maher says the Zephyrs baseball team should be named the New Orleans Beignets — because beignets are made from a good batter.”

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.

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