Adding to our series on church mishaps is Melba Thibodeaux, of Opelousas, with this gem:

“Back in 1967 my daughter, Gina Speyrer, then just a toddler, was attending church with the family one Sunday morning. During a quiet part of the service she decided it was just too quiet, and proceeded to do something about it.

“She stood up on the pew and began singing with all her heart, ‘When you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer!’”

Melba says she doesn’t know how the congregation reacted, because she closed her eyes and prayed (I assume she prayed that they had a sense of humor).

She says Gina now has a teenager, Olivia, “who is often invited to sing our national anthem solo at various public functions and events — including church.”

And so far, no beer commercials...

Simon says...

“Your recent article about Cajun names brought me back to the fall semester of 1976 at LSU,” says Anthony Simon.

“It was the first time being away from my hometown in southwest Louisiana, and I’m in a huge class of a few hundred people.

“For several classes, the teaching assistant would do roll call, and I kept hearing, ‘Anthony SIMON’ (the English pronunciation).

“There was no response, but I was really curious to see who this guy was who had a very similar name to mine. (My name is pronounced ‘see-maw.’)

“Yet after several classes, I never heard MY name called, and I was getting worried. After about the third class I approached the teaching assistant and asked why my name wasn’t being called.

“He turned to the instructor and with exasperation said, ‘I TOLD you we’d have at least ONE!’

“Later I found out I was one class from being discharged if I had not gone up!”

Problem phrases

Billy Myers addresses our comments about words and phrases from the past:

“To my chagrin, two phrases that are no longer used are ‘in the future’ and ‘you’re welcome.’

“They have got to be better than their replacements, ‘going forward’ and ‘no problem.’

“On the lighter side, how about ‘behind the eight ball?’”

Crazy, man!

“Seems to me the beatnik era of the ’50s came and went quickly, and so did its slang,” says John LaCarna, of Baton Rouge.

“I wonder how many of your readers would understand this joke:

“A beatnik sits in a cafe. He tells the waitress, ‘Gimme a piece of pie.’

“The waitress says, ‘The pie is gone.’

“The beatnik says, ‘Oh, that crazy pie! Gimme TWO pieces.’

“(You might explain to your readers that ‘gone’ and ‘crazy’ meant ‘wonderful.’ Or you might just leave them staring blankly at the page.)”

Which reminds me

My favorite beatnik joke is this one:

Two beatniks are sitting on a pier dangling their legs in the water.

One says to the other one, “Hey, man, an alligator just bit my leg off.”

“Oh, man! Which one?”

“I don’t know, man; you see one alligator, you seen ’em all.”

Streak of bad luck

Mona Castillo, of New Orleans, says our nostalgia items about college students living in Quonset huts and old military barracks jogged her memory:

“I was at UNO when Quonset huts were still there. When it rained, we had to take off our shoes and wade to our cars in the parking lot. I also watched a classmate as he ‘streaked,’ wearing only a mask and his shoes. He fell into a prickly bush. I had a Band-Aid to offer, but decided it wasn’t sufficient.”

Special People Dept.

On Tuesday, April 19, long-time Baton Rouge/New Roads resident Louise Humphreys McCollister celebrates her 98th birthday.

Clarence DuBos Jr., of New Orleans, celebrated his 95th birthday on Monday, April 18.

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Jim Lewis poses this question: “Smiley, I am scheduled to take a seven-hour memory test tomorrow.

“If I forget to go, will I get an F?”

(Forget to go where...?)

Out on a limb

Doug Lee, of Prairieville, says he’s still getting feedback from his April 7 story about winning a “sexy legs” contest on a cruise, and his preschool son’s pride in his dad’s achievement:

“After my post about my son wanting to be called ‘Sexy Legs,’ I got a letter from my parish priest, Father Martin, who asked if I had a picture of my winning pose that we could sell at the church auction.

“Two weeks later, I met another Prairieville contributor, Bo Bienvenu — who, in church, addressed me as ‘You must be Sexy Legs,’ to which his wife exclaimed, ‘Oh, I GOTTA hear this story!’”

Contacting Smiley

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.