Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, this column’s unpaid legislative observer, files this report from the Capitol:

“With all the problems facing the state, it is nice to see the Legislature set priorities and come together in a rare display of bipartisanship to pass a bill that will undoubtedly help propel the state forward.

“Deer hunters can now wear pink.”

I agree with Bo that this is groundbreaking legislation. And I have an intensely personal reason for this view.

Pink, as you may know, is the official color of one of Baton Rouge’s major events, the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade where the stately pink flamingo has long been the neighborhood’s official mascot.

With the state’s hunters now free to don pink gear, I look for many to attend the Spanish Town parade (and ball) in their hunting attire, perhaps coming right in from the fields, bayous, marshes or wherever it is that people hunt.

I would hope, however, that they put away their firearms before attending the festivities …

Honey hush

When I was growing up in Mississippi and Louisiana, the ladies who waited on tables in downtown cafes or roadside diners were stately women of middle age, who wore white uniforms and hair nets and called customers “Honey.”

I figured this was normal, and accepted the appellation without question, even finding it rather endearing. I knew it was a Southern thing, but couldn’t imagine anyone taking offense

I was wrong.

Simon Kwan says, “When I was in the restaurant business, one of the waitresses loved to address customers as ‘Honey.’

“One day she waited on a single lady in business attire; and the lady wrote this on the bill when she left, ‘I am from the North, and not everybody likes to be called honey.’”

And Phil Pisciotta, of Metairie, objects to “Honey” when a male waiter uses it when addressing a female customer:

“When dining it really upsets me when my waiter says to my wife, ‘What can I get you, Honey?’

“She is not his ‘honey,’ she is my wife, married to me for 54 years.

“What happened to ‘ma’am’ and ‘sir’?

“Also, when we are with others I don’t want the waiter’s opinion on whatever we are discussing. He should take our order, get it correct, deliver it in a timely fashion, shut up and stay out of sight.

“That’s his job! He’s not my friend. He’s there to wait tables. Period!”

Crawdads to Dingbats

More suggested names to replace “Zephyrs” for New Orleans’ pro baseball team:

Rick Bryant, of St. Amant, says, “How about the Delta River Runners, New Orleans Crawdads, Big Easy Cats or Louisiana Mud Bugs as new names?”

Ed Pramuk suggests New Orleans Blues, New Orleans Ramparts, New Orleans Krewes, New Orleans Snappers or New Orleans Jacks.

And John Engelsman, of Baton Rouge, says, “My suggestion as a new name for the Zephyrs is New Orleans Dingbats — ‘ding’ approximating the sound on those infrequent occasions when the bat actually hits the ball.”

Pay for your paper

Another legislative report from an unpaid observer:

Elwyn Bocz, of Gramercy, has a modest proposal for balancing the state budget:

“As everybody knows or should know, our Legislature, in an effort to balance the budget, has passed an increase on two sin taxes, one pertaining to the consumption of alcohol and one pertaining to smoking cigarettes.

“It is a well-known fact that not everybody smokes cigarettes, and not everybody drinks alcohol — so I suggest they pass a tax on toilet paper, because everybody uses toilet paper.

“This would make sure that everybody pays their fair share as far as what it costs to run our state government.”

Special People Dept.

Lucille Hughes celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday, May 3.

Negative thinking

Gail Stephenson says, “Granddaughter Zelda has learned to sing ‘The Alphabet Song,’ but she tends to skip from M to P.

“I told son Scott that is probably because she doesn’t like to hear ‘N-O.’

“‘Well,’ he responded, ‘she sure likes to say NO to us.’”

Breakfast screwdriver

I recently confessed to pouring orange juice over my breakfast cereal, a mistake several folks, including one I live with, have helpfully told me is a sign of age-related decline.

But Carl Spillman has this suggestion for how I should have handled the gaffe:

“If the wife was watching, you should have nonchalantly got up, got the vodka out and added a shot — of such stuff legends are made …

Cracking the code

Speaking of kitchen mishaps, Art Sterling issues this appeal: “Help! I just entered my four-digit iPhone unlock code on the keypad of my microwave.”

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.