Gene Duke adds to our seminar on the noble mule:

“My father-in-law enjoyed plowing mules all his life, even though he had a diesel tractor.

“On a trip to buy a clutch for the tractor, he bought an old mule instead.

“Since my father-in-law was approaching his 70s, he thought an old mule would plow at a speed he could match. However, the mule was too fast.

“To slow the mule down, he placed a horizontal stick at the mule’s front knees, causing the mule to look down to see what was bumping his knees.

“You could call this a plowing speed governor.

“Both the mule and my father-in-law enjoyed the slower pace.”

Desperately seeking Susan

Tom Toddy says, “When my daughter Susan was just a little tyke, we went to visit friends, who had a young son about the same age.

“To describe this lad as a ‘terror’ would be an understatement.

“While the two children were unsupervised in a bedroom, the lad dumped a whole box of powder on his mother’s dresser.

“When his mother walked in, he yelled ‘Susan did it!’

“His mother knew better, but since the possibility did exist, the boy escaped punishment.

“About two weeks later, the lad’s mother called and said she again found her dresser covered with powder.

“When she confronted the boy, he said, ‘Susan did it!’

“Unfortunately for him, there was no Susan around this time to shield him from the consequences.”

Surprise, surprise!

Doug Johnson, of Watson, was leaving a store with four avocados when he discovered he had only been charged for three.

He says he went back in the store to explain the mistake and pay for the other avocado:

“It cost me an additional 53 cents, but the look on the face of the employee who was expecting me to ask for a refund was worth every cent!”

That sinking feeling

After I mentioned the Confederate submarine Hunley, Bill Sierichs pointed out that three crews drowned in it — two during tests and one when it sank the USS Housatanic.

There’s a Louisiana connection: Horace Lawson Hunley, James McClintock, and Baxter Watson built a small submarine named Pioneer in New Orleans:

“It was tested in February 1862 in the Mississippi River and was later towed to Lake Pontchartrain for additional trials. But the Union advance towards New Orleans caused the men to abandon development and scuttle it.”

Hunley later drowned in the second test of the sub that was given his name.

Pleasant duty

Keith says when he got picked to serve on a jury, “I was one of the few who actually wanted to get picked for a case.

“Kudos to Ms. Collins, juror manager at the 19th Judicial District Court, and all those affiliated with Judge William Morvant’s court.

“While being very serious about their roles in facilitating our jury service for them, they had such a wonderful way of lightening things up at times.

“Why do so many folks want to get out of this wonderful duty/opportunity?”

Worthy causes

On Monday the Terracon Golf Benefit at University Club aids Capital Area CASA Association. Contact Lisa Smith at (225) 344-6052 or

Looking for people

Magnolia Methodist Church, on Greenwell Springs Road in Central, has “Community Open Market” Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a produce stand, jewelry and crafts. Call Richard Thevenet at (225) 266-7964.

Special People Dept.

  • Clara Campbell Holmes celebrates her 101st birthday Saturday. A native of New Edinburgh, Ark., she moved to Baton Rouge in 1939 and has a master’s in history from LSU.
  • On Saturday Chuck Meole, a champion on the Gayle Hatch Weightlifting Team and a competitive ballroom dancer, celebrates his 98th birthday.
  • Celestine Marshall, of Norwood, celebrates her 93rd birthday Saturday.
  • Clint Gautreau, of Gonzales, celebrates his 92nd birthday Saturday.
  • Dona and Joe Ridenour celebrate their 55th anniversary Saturday.
  • Donald and Michael Ruth Thomas Jones, of Denham Springs, celebrate 50 years of marriage Friday.
  • Glenn and Barbara Richards, of Central, celebrate 50 years of marriage Saturday.

Get primitive

Shirley Fleniken says, “In Africa, some of the tribes have a custom of beating the ground with clubs and uttering spine-chilling cries. Anthropologists call this a form of primitive self-expression.

“In America, they call it golf.”

That’ll show him!

Della Stout overheard this conversation between Boudreaux and Thibodeaux:

Boudreaux: “Coming home from the plant I saw this guy driving and texting, and I got real mad, yeah!”

Thibodeaux: “What did you do, Boo?”

Boudreaux: “I rolled down my window and threw my beer at him!”

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.