I knew it was going to happen.

When I read that the New Orleans Zephyrs Triple-A pro-baseball team was looking for a new name, I figured it was just a matter of time before my ever-helpful readers would be offering some creative titles for the lads.

Perry Snyder says his Tuesday morning group, retired gents who meet at the Crawford’s Two, a Baton Rouge catfish restaurant, have paused in their discussions of major world issues to consider the name question.

Here are their initial ideas: “The New Orleans Turkey Gnats; The Crescent City Strong Arms (with apologies to Louis Armstrong); and the New Orleans Jambalayas.”

Perry promises more names soon. (Actually, he THREATENS more names soon. …)

Sorry, Sarge

Gordon Wimberly says, “In the early ’70s, the Air Force assigned a resident of Tennessee to the Air Force ROTC unit at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.

“As students were processing in, this sergeant would address them by name. However, his Tennessee drawl, combined with not knowing how to pronounce Cajun names, was frustrating:

“ ‘Welcome, Mr. Seven.’ ‘My name is pronounced Sevin.’

“ ‘Welcome, Mr. Herbert.’ ‘My name is pronounced Hebert.’

“ ‘Welcome Miss Co-villion.’ ‘My name is pronounced Couvillion.’

“He decided to stop trying to guess how to pronounce their name and simply ask them. When the next student approached his desk he said, ‘And how do you pronounce your name?’

“The student pointed to each letter on his name tag as he spelled out his name: ‘R-o-u-n-d-t-r-e-e, Roundtree, just like it’s spelled.’

“The student was from New Orleans and wasn’t Cajun. The old sarge muttered, ‘I give up.’ ”

Messy dining

Daphne Crawford, of Baton Rouge, responds to our discussion of those little plastic holders for corn on the cob:

“I think it’s funny that we will dig into a pile of boiled crawfish, allowing shell and meat and seasoning to coat everything up to our elbows and under our fingernails, or pick up raw oysters, letting the juice pool in our palms. And mayo and tomato sandwiches are only good if the stuff can run down our arms while standing over the sink.

“But when it comes to buttered corn on the cob — oh, no, no, no, we rummage through the kitchen drawers looking for those holders (all three of them) in hopes of keeping our hands pristine. It’s just how we roll in south Louisiana.”

Talkin’ Texas

Larry Meunzler recalls a conversation he had one night at the Patio Lounge with the late TV anchor John Mahaffey:

“Many people don’t know he was from Texas and a graduate of UT Austin (like me). He spoke in a distinctive Texas drawl (twang?) unlike anything you heard from him on TV. This was obviously his natural way of speaking, but few people in Baton Rouge ever heard him this way.”

It’s a rule

Cindy Bouchie says, “The ‘fewer than’ and ‘less than’ rules that a reader commented on in your column were driven into my memory in journalism classes at LSU. Also the use of ‘more than’ is preferred when determining a quantity: ‘More than 10 people read Smiley Anders’ as opposed to ‘Over 10 people read Smiley Anders. …’ ”

(Or “Fewer than 10 people read Smiley Anders, so he’s outta here. …”)

Seeking Stephanie

A Baton Rouge lady says, “When I was having a particularly bad day, a young lady by the name of Stephanie rang my doorbell holding a cane I had left in my basket at Wal-Mart. She found my address and brought my cane to my house.

“She is from Baker and is getting married to a minister in July. If you know her, please tell her to contact me again. I have a wedding gift for her.”

Special People Dept.

Carmen Simmons, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, celebrates her 94th birthday on Thursday .

Sylvia S. Peak celebrates her 93rd birthday on Thursday .

A Yankee thing

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, notes a reader’s complaint that use of the phrase “you guys” irritates him when some of the crowd is female:

“As a Yankee, I can tell you that is the all-inclusive phrase for a group of people.

“I was puzzled when a Southern waitress wanted to know what ‘Y’all’ wanted, when I was the only person at the table. What ‘all’? It’s just me! And at 5 feet and 90 pounds, there is not ‘all’ that much of me!”

Thought for the Day

From Algie Petrere: “Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!”

Burning issue

Tom Toddy says his family members have come up with “Marie’s Law,” which states: “If you put the bread away before the toast is completed, the toast will burn.”

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.