No NFL fans can go from the heights of exhilaration to the depths of despair faster than fans of the New Orleans Saints.

A couple of losses — even if one was at home in the Dome — shouldn’t be enough to cause the normal fan to pack it in and anticipate a terrible season. But whoever said Saints fans are normal?

For example, Terry Maderson sends this message: “Attention Saints Fans: Schwegmann’s ain’t dere no more. Paper bags are available at Zuppardo’s.”

Fun with words

Regarding our seminar on misused words, Virginia Howard, of Metairie, says such gaffes as “Nellie Wilson” for “Willie Nelson” are spoonerisms, named for William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930), an Oxford dean noted for such gems as telling a student, “You have hissed all my mystery lectures” and remarking, “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.”

Virginia says, “My first experience with spoonerisms was at an office lunch table, when one of my friends, unwrapping her sandwich, said with enthusiasm, ‘I have turned bokey for lunch today!’

“We all gave her a blank look. She then said, ‘Boned turkey...what did I call it?’”

Speaking of which...

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, says, “We were charmed when our very excited 5-year-old ran into the house to report that he had seen a ‘hopgrass’ on the ‘walkside.’”


Elise Gauthier Fryou, of Baton Rouge, says, “Your mention of new employees being sent for skyhooks and striped paint reminded me of the early days at my first job, at Fidelity National Bank in the late ’50s.

“Mrs. Brooks Gerald, my boss in the transit department, sent me to her son-in-law, Jack Jackson, a teller at that time, for a ‘money stretcher.’

“Of course, ‘gullible me’ gave them both a good laugh, at my expense.”

Cars and kids

I’m with Jim Dumigan, who misses the days before all cars looked the same. As a kid, I could immediately tell a Cadillac from a Buick, a Packard from a Plymouth, a Dodge from a Chevy, etc.

He recalls the cars of his youth: “Rambler, Corvair, Ford Falcon station wagon, Pontiac Grand Prix and my 1954 Pontiac Chieftain with the politically incorrect Indian hood ornament that lit up in a bright orange.”

Safety measure

After readers discussed the practice of people crossing themselves at the clock in front of the D.H. Holmes store on Canal Street, I received this explanation from Reggie Gremillion:

“I am pretty sure they were praying that the thing didn’t fall on them...”

Good Samaritans

“Last weekend my husband and I visited St. Francisville for the first time,” says Carolyn Drouant.

“We followed the signs to Cat Island, but took a wrong turn along the way. I whipped out the GPS, but didn’t realize the destination I had found was not the wildlife refuge that was our goal.

“We ended up way off our intended route and stuck deep in the mud! Of course at that point we also had no cell phone service. Within about three minutes, my prayers were answered! We were rescued by two men on ATVs, who we believe to be father and son. Many thanks to them for saving the day!”

Success story

Denham Springs teacher Sulynn Ganey, who in the Thursday column told of the need for a larger cage for Whiskers, the classroom bunny, says they quickly received one: “We are very appreciative. This just proves what we already knew; Smiley readers are awesome!”

Special People Dept.

— Annette Thomas Bowman, of Berwick, celebrates her 104th birthday on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

— Mina Newchurch, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 99th birthday on Monday, Sept. 21.

— Rita Veron, of Lutcher, celebrates her 94th birthday on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

— Bernard and Dorothy Pentes, of Metairie, celebrated their 65th anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 17.

— John and Nita Himel, of Plaquemine, celebrate 62 years of marriage on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Changes in attitude

Ronnie Hotz, of Lafayette, says he, like my spouse Lady Katherine, once lived across the street from New Orleans’ Fairgrounds race track:

“My grandmother owned the double on the corner of Aubrey and Gentilly Boulevard. I was in the street-facing half, with a side door facing Aubrey.

“It was conducive to hearing cursing from people who couldn’t find parking, and cursing from losers coming to collect their vehicles. There was also a pleasant group, cordial, which I ascribed as winners!”

Colorful error

Richard Guidry, of Zachary, says, “One of the better lessons my daughter Penny learned when she attended Brownsfield Elementary School was that if you are going to change an ‘F’ to a ‘B’ on your report card, don’t use blue ink when the report card grades are in black. Busted!”

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.