Thank goodness for children. Without them, this column would be a lot harder to construct. For example:

John Sample says, “About 38 years ago a fellow Titleist rep was spending the night at our home, sleeping in my 4-year-old son David’s room. He asked little David why the bedside lamp didn’t work, and was politely informed that it was ‘plugged out.’ Made perfect sense to David.”

Dana Bannerman says, “My 2-year-old grandson, Mack Anderson, insists on eating ‘pizzaroni’ (pepperoni pizza). How can you argue with that?”

Mike Shook, of Metairie, says, “Some five years ago we were visiting our son and his family in Houston, and our 3-year-old granddaughter wanted to clean her hands before eating. Wanting the Purell hand sanitizer, she asked her mother for some ‘hanatizer.’ It is a perfect word, and I ask my wife for her hanatizer every time we go out to eat.”

Jack Lithgoe says, “A few years ago I took my wife’s 8-year-old grandson along to bush hog my overgrown lot, pulling a trailer with my new orange tractor. We saw a similar trailer loaded with lawn mowing equipment and workers, and young Taylor said, ‘Look at that truck full of mowgrassers.’ That same young man is now a nuclear technician in the U.S. Navy, serving on the new aircraft supercarrier, USS George H.W. Bush.”

Right word!

I’ve been so engaged in our seminar on misused words that when I heard Shelley Carter say that an LSU defensive back had gotten the Tigers the ball back with an “intervention,” I thought it an error.

But after I checked my dictionary, I realized she was right: intervention is “any interference in the affairs of others,” so a pass interception (as well as pass interference) could reasonably be termed “intervention.”

Conspiracy theory

Mike Coon’s story proves it’s not paranoia if they really ARE out to get you:

“There was a lot of coverage of the LSU penalties during the Syracuse game, but they overlooked two flags that should have been thrown before the game. On my otherwise perfect United flight into Syracuse, arriving 15 minutes early, with 95 percent of the passengers Tiger fans, the plane stopped 100 yards from the gate and remained there for 45 minutes before moving to the gate.

“The crew claimed communication issues, but LSU fans called for ‘holding’ and ‘delay of game’ penalties.”

Remembering Yogi

Lu Cutrera, of Baton Rouge, has this tale of the late Yogi Berra:

“Many of your readers will recall Ron Guidry (“Louisiana Lightning”), one of the New York Yankees’ great pitchers. Ron and Yogi became very close friends. So close were they that Ron wrote a book, ‘Driving Mr. Yogi,’ about his times with Yogi. It’s a great book, and I recommend it highly.

“One timely and poignant moment from the book stands out. Ron and Yogi were standing next to each other at one of the Yankees’ old-timers games. As the names of deceased Yankees scrolled across the scoreboard, Yogi leaned over to Ron and said, ‘Boy, I hope I never see my name up there.’ Funny and sad at the same time, it looks like he got his wish.”

Happy returns

Lisa Disney, of Greenwell Springs, thanks the gent in the red truck who found her son’s wallet in the middle of Arnold Road in Denham Springs and drove to her home in Central to deliver it:

“He went out of his way to return it. I was so blown away I didn’t get the man’s name. Please allow me to thank him from the bottom of my heart.”

Special People Dept.

— Dollie Singleton celebrates her 95th birthday on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

— Bernice B. Lammert, of Denham Springs, celebrates her 91st birthday on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

— Mary Polozola Dixon, of Melville and Baker, celebrated her 91st birthday on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Dead reckoning

Mike Muller says when St. Landry Parish Sheriff Cat Doucet, a colorful figure from the past, said he was going to “win by a landscape,” as reported by a reader, “he was probably thinking about all the folks beneath the nice landscape at the cemetery who were going to vote for him.”

But Robert Begnaud, a former St. Landry Parish resident, says the quote about “winning by a landscape” is not entirely correct:

“His saying went more like this: ‘Mais chere, I’m gonna win dat election by a landscrape.’”

Dead reckoning II

Ernie Germillion says this is “absolutely positively” the last armadillo story:

“Years ago when the national hot air balloon competition was held in Baton Rouge, I was one of the observers, responsible for measuring the distance of the drop to the target ‘X’ for each balloon competition event.

“The target was usually in the center of a rural intersection in Ascension Parish.

“One of the observer’s jokingly put in his report that the drop landed ‘on the road, (x number) of feet from the third dead armadillo on the right, north of the target intersection.’”

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.