Marsha Reichle says this story, in a Houston newspaper, shows how communications technology changes lives:

“The Houston jails, like all others, take away the phones of new ‘customers.’

“And it turns out that no one knows any phone numbers, because they just use their phones.

“Now they have an excess of inmates who have made no contact with anybody who could bond them out.

“So they will now be trying a new tactic: inmates will be allowed to copy out five numbers from their phones before the phones are bagged, sealed and stored.

“They are hoping that at least one of the numbers chosen will be useful to the inmate.”

Chip’s sweet tooth

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says, “Many years ago we had a boxer named Chip. One night after going out for dinner, my wife and I returned home to find that two Easter baskets filled with Elmer’s chocolate eggs, in the gold and blue foil wrappers, had been eaten by Chip. He had probably eaten over a pound of chocolate.

“Alarmed by the fact that dogs are not supposed to have chocolate, with sometimes fatal results, I called the poison hot line. I was pretty much told the dosage was fatal.

“I then called a vet friend, who told me to administer peroxide so Chip might throw the chocolate up. I did that, and let him roam the yard at night.

“Another vet came to my home and said, ‘Let’s go look for him.’

“We brought a hand-held light — and the yard looked like the solar system on a clear night. The foil from the candy, now in hundreds of pieces, was reflecting light from all over.

“Chip lived many years afterwards, and we never left candy in his reach again!”

Last laughs

Algie Petrere says most obituaries are similar, so she loves seeing “the unusual ones, especially those with a sense of humor.”

She cites one for a young man killed in an accident, which told us he was “a connoisseur of root beer and bacon, searching far and wide for varieties he had yet to try.”

And, she says, “One of the most amusing obits I saw on the Internet was for Michael ‘Flathead’ Blanchard.

“It said that he was tired of reading obituaries noting someone’s courageous battle with death, and wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctor’s orders, and raising hell for over six decades — enjoying booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died. This one went viral on the Internet, and is worth looking up.”

He takes the cake

“Speaking of New Orleans accents,” says Loretta Toussant, “my uncle, Tim O’Leary, tells me all the time that I have the biggest ‘hawt’ (heart), especially when I bake him his favorite pineapple upside-down cake!”

Cutting remark

Anthony Michelli, after nearly 60 years of barbering, is hanging up the scissors and closing Baton Rouge’s “Razor’s Edge” shop after his final customer on Thursday, March 26.

“He’s a great barber and an even better person,” says David Funes, his customer for 27 years. “I’m sure all his customers wish him a happy retirement. Still not sure what his wife has to say about him being home every day!”

Nice People Dept.

Gerald Foret, of Franklinton, says, “Last week I had a significant medical emergency in an upscale restaurant in Baton Rouge.

“Kudos to the staffs of the restaurant and Our Lady of the Lake emergency room, and the excellent EMTs.

“A special heartfelt thanks to the ladies sitting at the next table, who not only graciously and generously picked up my tab, but subsequently refused reimbursement.”

Special People Dept.

Joan Oppenheim, of Metairie, celebrates her 94th birthday on Tuesday, March 24. She serves weekly as a volunteer at the information booth in New Orleans’ World War II Museum.

Causby Hamic Jr., of Crowley, celebrates his 94th birthday on Tuesday, March 24.

Lena Catanzaro Canella celebrated her 92nd birthday on Friday, March 20.

Raymond Boykin, of Bayou Vista, celebrated his 92nd birthday on Wednesday, March 18. He is a World War II veteran.

Andrew and Marian Jones, of Morgan City, celebrated their 62nd anniversary on Sunday, March 22. He is an Army veteran, having served in Germany during the Korean conflict.

Thought for the Day

From Robert Downing: “This is the time of year to remind your readers that Jesus was from the South. If he was from the North, it would have been called the Last Dinner, not the Last Supper.”

Bloody good idea!

Rose Rolfsen adds to our seminar on unsolicited phone calls:

“A few years ago a good friend of mine, Charles Cramer, was tired of being harassed by phone solicitations about having his carpet cleaned.

“He asked his caller if he could get blood out.

“When the caller said he could, my friend said, ‘Good — but don’t tell anybody where you are going!’”

Contact 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.