Carol Moore says our comments on flying squirrels bring to mind this teenage experience when she lived in Crystal Springs, Mississippi:

“Our Girl Scout troop spent a week of summer camp at Percy Quin Park near McComb.

“My patrol settled down to sleep the first night with all our stuff stowed away, including makeup, which we put on a small shelf alongside our bunk beds.

“The next morning we discovered that a number of items on those shelves were missing, especially colorful things like lipsticks and compacts, also small mirrors and combs.

“The next night we took turns as lookouts, and all of a sudden, a lookout called, ‘I’ve found the thief! Look, everybody!’

“Gliding through the air to a corner where the ceiling rafters converged was a flying squirrel with a mouth full of makeup.

“We retrieved our treasures and tried to make them less noticeable on the little shelves.

“But the next night we had lookouts to see if the thieves had given up.

“A shriek soon showed they had not. A night of swatting at them with a broom left us very sleepy the next morning.

“Our Girl Scout leader was alerted, and the pest control folks got rid of our nightly visitors.”

Home sweet Spam

Jim Jeansonne says, “In World War II my dad was in the Philippine Islands. He and his buddies got so tired of Spam they would trade it with the locals for tough fighting gamecocks, so they could at least make a gumbo for a change in menu.

“Meanwhile, back in the States, mom had the problem of buying meat with everything rationed.

“Guess what Dad thought when her first meal she cooked after his return was Spam that she had saved for this very special occasion?”

Say cheese!

Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs, says, “I have a cookbook that was, I think, originally designed for bachelors. It’s by David Joachim and the editors at Men’s Health magazine, and titled simply ‘A Man, A Can, A Plan.’

“It kind of sounds like my philosophy of cookery. Give me some instant rice, a can of ‘cream of whatever’ soup, a can of mixed veggies, and whatever meat is left over (turkey after Thanksgiving, chicken from the leftovers of an eight-piece from wherever, diced and fried Spam, or even the oft-mentioned vienna sausage) and I can mix up a batch for dinner, with several servings to put in the freezer.

“Besides, in my opinion, almost anything can be made better with enough cheese. The best compliment I can give my wife’s cooking is to tell her I won’t have to put cheese on the leftovers.”

Thanks, soldiers

We’ve had a number of stories about generous folks buying lunch or dinners for uniformed members of the military when they encounter them in restaurants.

But Forest Brady, of Gonzales, had an opposite experience:

“Recently, entering Fred’s Casino & Restaurant in St. Gabriel for lunch, I saw six Army servicemen having lunch.

“I introduced myself, and they introduced themselves, and said they were from Fort Polk. I sat next to them, and we traded stories. I told them of my military experiences in 1952 in Korea, and thanked them for their service.

“As they departed, they thanked me for my service.

“When I went to pay, the cashier said the six servicemen had paid for my lunch.

“So to them I say, ‘Thank you for your service — and the meal.’”

Special People Dept.

Joyce and Albert Pendarvis, of Walker, celebrate their 65th anniversary on Wednesday, April 13.

Thought for the Day

From Richard Guidry, of Zachary: “IRS motto: ‘We got what it takes to take what you got.’”

Welcome to LA

“Over several years I have enjoyed reading and contributing to your column,” says Doug Johnson, of Watson, “but it may be coming to an end.

“Just yesterday I received a phone call from a woman claiming to be with the U.S. Department of the Treasury telling me I was to be arrested soon because of failure to pay my 2003 federal income taxes.

“I asked several times what could I do to avoid arrest, but couldn’t understand her because of her Indian accent.

“I asked why she was calling from Connecticut, based on phone number info, and she said she was in D.C., at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue. Ring a bell?

“She did have my address, telling me it was in ‘Denham Springs, Los Angeles.’

“So far, no one has showed up to take me away.

“Seriously, this call worries me. Not because I may be in trouble, but because these obvious scams would not be taking place unless there were fools in our society dumb enough to fall for them.”

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.