Some people may think LSU’s new policy of banning halftime shows in Tiger Stadium by visiting football teams’ bands (as a “safety issue”) is a solution in search of a problem, but as a drummer/cymbal player with two marching bands in my youth (the Istrouma High band and the LSU ROTC military band), I can understand the concern.

I mean, the edges of those cymbals are really SHARP.

You don’t want to be standing next to a bass drum when the drummer makes a quick turn.

One misstep and those flutes could put an eye out.

If you’ve never had to subdue a berserk trombone player, you’re very lucky.

And don’t get me started on sousaphone players …

I haven’t been asked, but I’d like to offer this as a new motto for Louisiana’s flagship university:

“LSU — keeping you safe from visiting bands since 2016.”

Ban wagon

Doug O’Bannon, a former Tiger Band member, adds this thought to the issue discussed above:

“It seems to me that if the LSU Athletic Department is truly concerned about student safety that they would ban football (where real injuries occur) rather than ban opposing team’s bands.

“Are they going to ban the Alumni Band also? There are some tough characters in that group.”

Say what?

Linda Dalferes says her cousin told her this story about one of her friends from “up Nawth:”

“The lady was saying how much she loved New Orleans and going to Paul Prudhomme’s K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen to eat, and how much ‘jumbo’ she ate.

“She ate there so often that she was invited to meet the legendary chef.’

“Can you imagine the look on his face when she told him how much she loved the jumbo?”

To Lee with glee

I’m so proud of my readers — instead of getting silly, which they were no doubt tempted to do, they have been offering serious, well thought out ideas for a name for Baton Rouge’s new Lee High School, since the city’s anti-slavery faction has objected to honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee:

For instance, Kate Randall says, “What about naming the new magnet high school on Lee Drive in honor of a famous and beloved Louisiana native, notable for his historic accomplishments: Jerry Lee Lewis?

“Goodness gracious, great balls of fire — what possibilities for athletic event cheers!”

Glenn Balentine, of Prairieville, says, “Just rename Lee High ‘Lea’s Pie School’ to honor the famed Lecompte restaurant (noted for its pies and ham sandwiches).

“Smiley can serve as the school mascot, ‘The Ham!’”

Scott Calkins says, “The idea to shorten the name to Lee High is a good one, but why just one Lee honoree? With all the buildings, wings, and classrooms, I can see Harper Lee/Literature classroom, Spike Lee/Film Studies theater, etc. Imagine the possibilities.”

And “Richard from the frozen tundra of central Louisiana,” says there’s been so much doomsday rhetoric regarding the name controversy that an appropriate name might be “HYPERBO-LEE High School.”

Language lessons

Sandy Shahady disagrees with the reader who objected to some common phrases:

“‘I could care less’ is correct. ‘I couldn’t care less’ is a double negative, and is a big no-no!”

Frank Fronczek adds, “On the topic of abuse of the language, a couple of commonly misused sayings really gall my bladder:

“‘No pun intended,’ when no pun is even present.

“‘Ironically,’ when no hint of irony is evident, and what is really meant is ‘coincidentally.’

“Now if I could think of a really ironic pun …”

Bloody good

Sue D. Hillard, grandmother of a cancer survivor, tells me something I didn’t know about blood:

“Blood products from females who have never conceived a child, or males who have never had a blood transfusion, are considered purest because their antibodies have not been disturbed, and valuable for children who are cancer patients.”

Sue says there’s a blood drive from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at Baton Rouge’s Jefferson Baptist Church.

Special People Dept.

Jimmy and Jewell Varnado, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 71 years of marriage Tuesday, June 14.

Biting wit

Cathy O’Keefe, of Harvey, offers this story for our ever-growing “Funny Things Kids Say” file:

“When my youngest son was about 3, he offered an apple to his grandmother.

“She said, ‘No thank you, I don’t have my own teeth.’ (She meant she had dentures.)

“He thought a minute, then asked, ‘Well, whose teeth DO you have?’”

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.