Our discussion of malapropisms in my last column yielded some excellent examples of word misuse from our alert readers.
Nobey Benoit says, “The barkeep at our favorite local bar was talking about how much he hated the singer Nellie Wilson. It took us a while to realize he was talking about Willie Nelson.”
Brave husband Tom Boone, of Gonzales, says, “My wife Cathy was looking for some luggage and came across a nice set that could be customized by having your initials stitched on.
“She liked the quality and said, ‘Baby, you should get these; you can even have them mammogramed.’”
But my favorite so far comes from Glenn Everett, who says, “Many years ago, when acting as Crowley’s city prosecutor, I received a call from a woman asking if I was the city prostitutor. The only reply I could come up with was, ‘Yes ma’am, I am; how can I help you?’”
Tale of two friends
This story, by Rhonda Rogers Armor, is another one of those Hurricane Katrina tales that keep coming up a decade after the disaster.
It’s about two special women named Muriel and Vicky.
Muriel was 85, confined to a wheelchair by polio, when Katrina hit New Orleans and the levees failed.
Alone in her home, she was rescued by neighborhood men who waded in chest-deep water to get her in a boat. But her home was destroyed.
Muriel wound up in Houston, and with no family to help her did not know what the future held for her.
Vicky and her friends in a Bible study group in Baton Rouge had never met Muriel, but they learned of her plight and sent her encouraging cards, made phone calls and presented her with gifts.
Finally Vicky decided to invite Muriel to come live with her in Baton Rouge.
Volunteers renovated Vicky’s home to accommodate a wheelchair, and they’ve lived there ever since. Muriel, an accomplished artist, has taught Vicky to paint with oil.
Rhonda says Vicky needs a van that will accommodate a wheelchair, after her old van finally died. Follow this link to find out how you can help.
Nice People Dept.
Debi W. Cesario says, “My dad, Dewitt Watts, and a few of his friends, all Shriners and veterans, attended a Wreaths Across America event last Friday, and on their way home they stopped at Mike’s Catfish Shack in Amite for lunch.
“When it came time to pay the check, they were informed that it had been taken care of by another patron.
“They would like to thank this kind person. They do so much for others through their organization and past service to our country, and I am sure they will pay it forward in many ways.”
Special People Dept.
— Myrle Rivault Hebert Ostergren, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 100th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 20. A native of Addis, she was recently honored during the Addis centennial celebration.
— Loraine Carr Bruner, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 95th birthday on Friday, Sept. 18.
— Oneil Williams Sr., of Metairie, celebrates his 92nd birthday on Friday, Sept. 18.
— Natalie Elbourne celebrates her 91st birthday on Friday, Sept. 18.
— On Friday, Sept. 18, Mildred “Millie” Caldwell, of St. James Place in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 90th birthday.
— Juanita Fernandez Perret, of Edgard, celebrates her 90th birthday on Friday, Sept. 18. She served the communities of Edgard and Vacherie as postmaster for 54 years.
— Ralph Stephenson Jr. celebrates his 90th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 20. A World War II veteran, he was also an Air Force pilot in Korea and Vietnam. An LSU Law School graduate, he retired as an attorney for the state.
— Lewis and Eve Craft, of Baton Rouge, celebrated their 63rd anniversary on Sept. 7. He is retired from the Air Force and from Boise Cascade; she is a retired registered nurse.
— Janelle Jacob Breaux and Alvin Breaux Jr., of Gonzales, celebrate their 62nd anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 20.
The Big Squeezy
Val Garon, of Prairieville, says, “My wife and I have arranged for cremation after we die.
“I saw an ad in a magazine that for a price, one can have their ashes compressed and heated to produce a real diamond.
“Truly, this is not acceptable to me — I’m claustrophobic!”
Finding a cure
Bertha Hinojosa, who teaches English to students from Central America at LaBelle Aire Elementary in Baton Rouge, says one day recently she experienced a severe attack of hiccupping.
While the class giggled in amusement, one of the girls walked over to Bertha and said, “My mother says you still owe her $25.”
The very surprised teacher responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about, and I have not even met your mother.”
The girl replied, “That’s true, but I bet your hiccups are gone.”
Sure enough, the hiccupping had stopped.
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.