Richard Fossey, an education prof at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, says father-in-law Ivy Alford “told me a story that made me wish I were bilingual.

“Back in the 1950s, Ivy and his friends Leo and Agnes Richard dropped by the Rainbow Inn in Pierre Part to eat dinner. In those days, the Rainbow Inn had a restaurant, a dance floor and a bar.

“Leo had grown up around Pierre Part and spoke French, so he offered to get the group a table. While Leo was away, Agnes asked Ivy if he would like to dance, and the two started dancing to the music of a Cajun band.

“Before long a group of about six Cajuns surrounded the dancing couple, making threats in French and shoving Ivy around the dance floor. Obviously, they thought an outsider was trying to move in on a local girl.

“After a couple of minutes, Leo showed up and angrily rebuked all six guys in a torrent of Cajun French. Eventually, the group got the message that Ivy was simply a family friend, and the mood lightened. Suddenly everyone was Ivy’s bosom buddy, and several men offered to buy him a Jax beer.”

Beat the bushes

Frank Fronczek comments on a recent column topic, hedges in Tiger Stadium:

“LSU had the good sense to remove the shrubbery from Tiger Stadium decades ago; not so Georgia, where they seem proud of playing ‘between the hedges.’

“Coach Cholly Mac, who always had a way with words, referred to playing there as ‘behind the bushes.’”

Word play

George McLean says, “Our French-Canadian math prof in college would always cause a silent chuckle from the class with his use of the term ‘photogenic minds’ instead of ‘photographic minds.’ (My photographic mind is out of film; has been for years.)”

Kathy Acosta, of Bayou L’Ourse, says, “When my son, Keith Bender, was small, he called an umbrella a ‘rain-brella.’ Makes much more sense. He once told me he couldn’t tell me what I was getting for my birthday, but that you ‘wear it in the rain.’

“His sister, Tracey Acosta Braud, was playing in her room one day and I overheard her telling her friends that she was a doctor. Since she had been aDOPTED, I corrected her.”

Spoonerisms galore

Many examples of word misuse are “spoonerisms” (named for an Oxford clergyman), where initial sounds of words are exchanged:

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, says, “My daughter got a fit of the giggles and declared her ‘screech patterns were all spewed up.’”

Gerald Guidroz, of New Roads, reports hearing about the problems resulting from “ardening of the harteries,”

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, says, “One of my sons told me one morning that ‘There’s a furrel on my sindowwill.’”

Lucie Morvant says, “My father, Coach M.T. ‘Tick’ Tatum, came in one day, looked at my hairdo, and said, ‘Lucie, your hair looks like that Sara Mossett Fajors.’ I knew he was trying to say Farrah Fawcett-Majors.”

Booming sales

“One of my most memorable LSU professors was T. Harry Williams, eminent historian and storyteller par excellence,” says Pat Alba, of Metairie. “One of his anecdotes concerned the frequent territorial disputes between Spain and Portugal in the past.

“Once, the Portuguese built an extensive barricade with stationary cannons along the border between the two countries. However, they made a slight engineering error — the guns were pointing at Portugal.

“So they sold the wall to Spain.”

Looking for people

Baton Rouge Green, a nonprofit that cares for more than 5,000 roadside trees and has planted more than 30,000, plans a reunion of current and former board members, and asks them to call (225) 381-0037.

Special People Dept.

Hazel Marchand Schaubhut, of Lutcher, celebrates her 101st birthday on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Virgie Panepinto, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 95th birthday on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Pearl McKowen Slaughter celebrates her 94th birthday on Friday, Oct. 2.

Pauline Cavaliere, of Port Allen, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Ella Marie Labat Buquoi celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Carolyn “Punkin” and Michael Landaiche, of Sunshine, celebrate their 67th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 2.

John and Dru Bailey, of Thibodaux, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 2.

Those damp Martians

“On the news, scientists say there is evidence of liquid water on Mars,” says Sue Sperry, of Metairie.

“Is there any other type of water? Frozen water is called ice.

“Once again, from the experts at the ‘department of redundancy department.’”

Thought for the Day

From Algie Petrere: “Let’s all take a moment and be thankful that spiders don’t fly.”

Contacting Smiley

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.