“While on a Mediterranean cruise,” says Sibby Bourgoyne, of Central, “we were set upon by street vendors at some ports who were selling cheap copies of high-fashion products.

“It was with some apprehension that I accompanied my wife to a large bazaar across the street from the cruise ship pier at Kusadasi, Turkey.

“There were the usual rug merchants, leather shops and jewelry sellers.

“Out of the corner of my eye, a sign caused me to do a double take in disbelief.

“There it was in very big letters — ‘GENUINE FAKE WATCHES.’

“This has to be a first in the history of advertising!”

The opening dance

“Some years ago,” says Daphne Crawford, “one of my friends was the first person I knew to have a car with a keyless remote ‘fob.’

“One evening after dinner with a group of our friends, we all stood in the parking lot finishing up conversations.

“I needed to place something in her car. A quick glance inside her purse didn’t produce the remote, so she handed me her purse and told me to simply take it to her car and the door would unlock.

“I followed her instructions, with no luck.

“When I returned to tell her what happened, she looked a little sorry for me and repeated her instructions.

“I tried again but with the same result. So I held her purse closer to the door, shook it, swung it, swirled it over the door handle, did a few dance moves, went to the other side and repeated the ritual. Nothing.

“I slunk back to my friend with my head down to tell her I was a ‘fob failure.’

“It was then she remembered the remote fob was in her pocket. And yes, we’re still friends.”

Coins of love

Pat Ryan, of Baton Rouge, adds to our list of imaginative gifts:

“The most loving thing my husband, Ed, did for me was a complete surprise.

“As a poor young couple, we could not afford to send his white shirts to the cleaners, so I did them.

“On Valentine’s Day he presented me with an envelope containing a bunch of quarters.

“Each time he put on a fresh shirt, he put aside a quarter.

“I will never forget that loving gesture.

“We were married 63 years on Monday.”

Mystery priest

Ken Toups, of Lafayette, tells a “small world” story with a puzzling twist:

“Some years ago I visited Canterbury, Kent, England, and soon found myself standing in the center aisle of Canterbury Cathedral.

“A priest walked up to me, and without introducing himself, said, ‘Where were you born?’

“The following recounts our complete conversation, word for word, beginning with my answer:

“‘In the United States.’

“‘I was born there, too. What state?’

“‘Louisiana.’

“‘The same for me. What city?’

“‘New Orleans.’

“‘The same, as well, for me. What hospital?’

“‘Hotel Dieu.’

“‘I was also born in Hotel Dieu.’

“Then, without another word, this mysterious priest turned and walked away.”

Attitude adjustment

“Bayou Jeaux” says, “Like a lot of older guys, I enjoy wearing my baseball cap, particularly on our cool winter days.

“Recently I bought a new ‘US NAVY’ dark blue cap from Amazon.

“One day I was leaving the doctor’s office on the fourth floor of a local medical center, somewhat distressed with my diagnosis.

“As I approached the elevator, a young lady held the door as I entered.

“She had a great smile on her face, and she said, ‘Thanks for your service!’

“I can’t tell you how my attitude changed.”

Special People Dept.

Julia Hawkins celebrates her 99th birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Noelie “Coonie” Triche celebrated her 98th birthday on Sunday, Feb. 8, at Sno’s restaurant in Gonzales.

Joe Boudreaux, of Ventress, celebrates his 90th birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

No deposit

Several readers responded to a complaint about dog owners allowing Phideaux to leave, uh, reminders of his visit on neighbors’ lawns.

Francis Celina, “The Metairie Miscreant,” asks, “Isn’t that what the plastic sleeve The Advocate comes in is for?”

And Marvin McConnell says, “I’m thinking about putting this sign in my yard:

“‘This ain’t no doggy bank, so please don’t let them make a deposit.

“‘And if they do, help them make a withdrawal.’”

Vital employees

Gail Stephenson says, “Husband Joe read the headline in Saturday’s paper — ‘State lays off 111 to close $103M gap,’ quickly did the math (almost $928K per employee), and quipped, ‘I didn’t know LSU had that many coaches!’”

Talk to Smiley

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.