Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, recalls the days when he took his kids on vacation in the car and these parental remarks on every trip:

“Don’t make me stop this car!”

“One more argument and we’re going back home!”

“I told you to go to the bathroom before we left!”

“No, we’re not there yet!”

“No, we don’t have a video player in this car.”

“Don’t spill your drinks; it’s a rental car.”

“Yes, the dog is OK at the vet’s.”

“I thought you packed your bathing suit.”

Says Dan, “I’m sure there are more. …”

How ’bout them apples?

After I mentioned “horse pies” in connection with the new police mounted patrols at the Mall of Louisiana, I heard from Willi Sager, bass player with the Fabulous Bagasse Boyz, the first of several readers to tell me he had always heard that “cows make pies and horses make apples.”

OK, horse apples — and can we change the subject now?

A striking tale

Valery Garon says an article on lightning by meteorologist Josh Eachus on the WBRZ website brought this memory:

“I can’t help thinking about my mother’s uncle in Donaldsonville, who was struck by lightning around 1890 when he was a young man.

“It seems a bolt or streamer went through his shoe and set the shoe on fire.

“He could not get the shoe off easily, so he started yelling to his friends in French, ‘Coupez la cord, coupez la cord!’, meaning ‘Cut the laces.’

“He was forever given the nickname ‘Coupez la Cord.’”

Prophetic song

Keith Horcasitas says, “This past weekend, I was standing outside the Prytania Theater in N’Awlins waiting to join a friend also attending the 50th anniversary of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and a talk by Beatles historian Bruce Spizer.

“How funny it was to not see ONE attendee without many shades of gray!

“I guess the Fab Four will continue ‘needing and feeding me’ when I’m (past) 64.”

Food for thought

After a French professor was cited as maintaining that “gourmet” is an adjective describing food, not a description of a food lover (that would be a “gourmand”), Vicki Ferstel, The Advocate’s night editor, looked up the words:

“The Advocate follows Webster’s New World College Dictionary, which defines ‘gourmand,’ a noun, as a glutton or a person with a hearty liking for good food and drink and a tendency to indulge in them to excess. The dictionary notes the synonym is ‘gourmet.’

“The dictionary defines ‘gourmet,’ a noun, as ‘a servant, wine taster, vintner’s assistant, or a person who likes and is an excellent judge of fine foods and drinks.’ ”

And Alex Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “in Cajun/Creole dialect, ‘gourmande’ means ‘greedy.’ ”

Happy returns

Harriet Osterberger says, “I would like to thank Gene and Jena Smith for finding my credit card in a Wal-Mart parking lot and calling me to let me know it was safe.

“Gene met us after, I’m sure, a long day at work to return it.

“I truly believe there are more good people out there than the ones we hear about in the news.”

Remembering Dad

Dr. Emmanuel P. Rivas III, a New Orleans physician, was surprised to read the story about the elderly gentleman who told his son he didn’t need to leave his home as a hurricane threatened because he had lit all the candles in the house.

The story was about his dad, Manny, he says, “and I am the son referred to in the letter. It’s a true happening.”

Special People Dept.

  • Joe Arbour celebrates his 90th birthday on Wednesday. He is a Navy veteran and retired photographer at the Exxon refinery.
  • Sylvia Ann and Edward Carrio celebrate 65 years of marriage on Wednesday.

Thought for the Day

From Harriet St. Amant: “True hospitality is making your dinner guests feel at home, even when you wish they were.”

Cause and effect

Ronnie Stutes says, “The headline ‘Man found dribbling along I-78 charged’ in the July 2 Advocate is a classic, but the article itself raises an important issue.

“The Pennsylvania man was dribbling a basketball along Interstate 78 with a license plate sticking out from his shirt and shorts, and smelled of marijuana.

“Given the current national debate about legalization of marijuana, the conclusion is obvious — wearing a license plate in one’s clothes makes one smell like marijuana.”

Fish story

“Old Friend” says, “I was writing our friends to thank them for a delightful meal at Parrain’s when this pun came out of my pen!

“My husband and I enjoyed our favorite fish entree, and I wrote, ‘It’s hard to beat their drum.’ ”

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.