After Val Garon told of an accident at a crawfish boil, where the main concern was to avoid bleeding on the mudbugs, Val heard from next-door neighbor Patricia Ponthier:

“You’re right. Only in Louisiana would they be more worried about the crawfish than your head!

“Years ago we were boiling crawfish at my sister’s house in Georgia when Daddy tripped going up the steps.

“It was obvious someone would have to take him to Urgent Care.

“Problem was, who was going to give up their duty — the cooks or the eaters?

“As it turned out, he decided to wait and go after we (and he) ate.

“You gotta have your priorities.”

Nice People Dept.

After Austin Bridgforth told me of some creep stealing the LSU bench of Sam, a lad with disabilities, I heard from Johnny Territo of Ralph’s Market on Jones Creek Road, who had a purple bench to give to Sam.

I relayed the offer, and Ernestine Bridgforth told me that Sam’s mother was going to pick up the bench at Ralph’s. (Ernestine suggests setting it in concrete this time.)

Remember when?

Roy Pitchford, a former Baton Rougean now in the Frozen Nawth (Monroe), has composed a few “You might be from old Baton Rouge if…” items:

“You might be from old Baton Rouge if you and three other guys each pitched in a quarter, bought three-plus gallons of Billups gasoline, and cruised all Sunday afternoon.

“…if you parked your car on the levee on Saturday night and rode the ferry back and forth for hours, making regular visits to the concession stand.

“…if you spent a Sunday afternoon playing football on the grassy patch near the Old Arsenal next to the State Capitol.

“…if you walked down Government Street to the Ogden Theater to watch ‘The Sands of Iwo Jima.’

“…if after Sunday morning worship you hurried over to Fisherman James.

“…if you once thought Melrose Lanes was as modern as a bowling center could get.

“…if you held your breath when you went past the ‘ether plant.’

“…if you breathed deeply when passing the Sunbeam Bakery.”

Her unfavorite things

Sue Sperry, of Metairie, says: “My pet peeves are phrases and terms that are misused or convoluted:

1. “‘Trooper’ instead of ‘trouper’: I read this all the time — ‘She was a real trooper.’ A trooper is state police officer; a trouper is a member of a performing troupe that relies on teamwork to succeed (or avoid falling to one’s death).

2. “‘Over’ versus ‘more than’: Even reputable journalists refer to quantity as ‘over’ instead of ‘more than.’ Example: ‘Over 1,000 people ran in the marathon.’ It should be: ‘More than 1,000 people ran…’

3. “Hashtag has replaced the equally annoying LOL in everyday conversation. You see these in commercials: ‘Hashtag: stress sweat’ (deodorant ad).

4. “And about LOL — why don’t you just laugh out loud?

5. “Conversate. Our young people are using this word. They must be stopped!”

Educational experience

Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, has a typing tale:

“In my junior year of high school, Mrs. Janice Brignac taught our class typing (‘keyboarding’ these days).

“I was a reluctant student, because since shortly after birth I was ‘guided’ by my pop to be a lawyer (so ‘my secretary would do all that for me’).

“Fast forward to the explosion of PCs on the scene, and suddenly I was actually using my typing skills.

“The first time, post PC, that I ran into Mrs. Brignac, I thanked her profusely. She smiled.

“Then cellphone texting and Facebook posting replaced the PC, so back to hunt and peck.

“At least I was able to use some of my high school education for a little while.

“PS: I’m still waiting to use algebra in the real world.”

Special People Dept.

Myrle Ostergren, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 99th birthday on Saturday, Sept. 20.

Enola Norton Martrain celebrates her 90th birthday on Friday, Sept. 19.

Sister Mary David Hecker, of Our Lady of Prompt Succor nursing home in Opelousas, celebrates her 90th birthday with family and friends in New Orleans on Saturday, Sept. 20.

John and Laura Savoy, of St. Amant, celebrate 61 years of marriage on Friday, Sept. 19.

Alvin and Janelle Breaux, of Gonzales, celebrate their 61st anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 20.

A quiet place

G.L. Dighton says, “Recent letters about apartments above businesses reminded me of the apartment where (wife) Maurine lived with her single mother and younger sister.

“Unlike apartments above the busy shops on the main street in Vinita, Oklahoma, it was very quiet.

“The business below them was the local funeral home.

“The major drawback was it was a little spooky climbing the dimly-lit stairs when coming home late from a date.”

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.