Richard Fossey, a professor at UL-Lafayette, tells of getting into a big argument with his family about the proper way to spell the French name for a Cajun werewolf:

“Some argued that the word is ‘rougarou,’ and others said it should be spelled ‘loup-garou.’

“I’ve forgotten how we wandered onto this topic, but the discussion got pretty heated.

“Like all good Americans, we went to the web for the correct answer. Wikipedia told us that both spellings are common.

“But here is the interesting part. According to Wikipedia, a French folk legend holds that people who violate Lent for seven years actually become loup-garous. That’s right — people who eat meat on Friday during Lent for seven years get turned into werewolves.

“Of course, I immediately thought about that Jimmy Dean sausage biscuit I ate on a Friday last spring, before I remembered it was Lent. How many times had I done that, I asked myself. A couple of times at least.

“And then I began to wonder whether this curse applies to everyone, or just Catholics. I have many Protestant friends who don’t observe Lent, and it doesn’t seem fair for them to get turned into loup-garous just because they don’t go to Mass on Ash Wednesday for seven years.

“On the other hand, I’ve lost touch with many of my Oklahoma steak-eating relatives, and I’ve often wondered what happened to them. Do you suppose they got turned into Cajun werewolves and are wandering about the prairie at night?

“That would explain why I haven’t gotten a Christmas card from them for several years.”

Memory of war

A post-Katrina memory, from Baton Rouge attorney Bo Rougeou:

“I was contacted by a man wanted by the New Orleans police for allegedly perpetrating a scam outside the Superdome shortly after Katrina.

“The police wanted him turned in, so we met them at the railroad station by the Superdome. A day or two later former New Orleans prosecutor Margaret Lagattuta and I went to try to get his bond lowered.

“The court was being held in the auditorium of the House of Detention, with the obvious waterline at head level all around the building. Armed National Guard troops patrolled the area. I suddenly had flashbacks of Vietnam, especially the unbearable heat.

“After a successful court appearance, Margaret said she wanted to go see Lakeview and check out the destruction. It was a total loss.

“Margaret said, ‘This looks like a war zone.’

“I said, ‘No, Margaret; in a war zone sometimes they miss. This hit everyone.’

“It was a very somber ride back to Baton Rouge.”

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Betti Alleman, of Baton Rouge, asks, “Was the Istrouma Baptist Church ever on Scenic Highway?”

Nice People Dept.

Joël Levy, of Baton Rouge, says she was in the Albertson’s on North Foster “to buy some unexpectedly needed ingredients for dinner.

“At the cashier, my bill was $19.43. I had $15 in bills and a lot of change. It didn’t look like I had $4 in change, and I told the cashier I’d have to give the watermelon back (OK, it wasn’t part of dinner, just yummy).

“But as I was awkwardly trying to count the change to the cashier, the lady behind me said, ‘Leave the watermelon. I’ll get the difference!’

“I handed her everything I had in my wallet. Then I asked if she had pets. Yes, four cats and a dog, all rescues. I would have bet on that!

“I am so thankful to her, and I will pass the goodness on.”

Special People Dept.

— Luci Mae Dupre, of Belle Rose, celebrated her 91st birthday on Saturday, Aug. 29.

— K.O. and Dianne Bunch Stafford celebrated their 58th anniversary on Monday, Aug. 31.

— On Sunday, Aug. 30, Joe Ellis and Billie Civello celebrated 57 years of marriage.

— Kim “Pops” and Virginia “Teeny” Seago, former Baton Rouge residents now in Columbia, Tennessee, celebrate their 52nd anniversary on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

That’s show biz

Continuing our seminar on old movies and TV shows:

— Elwyn Bocz, of Gramercy, says, “The cowboys who threw their empty firearms away after their gun was empty must have been the poor cowboys who could not afford the deluxe six-shooter that could fire 20 times or more and never run out of bullets.”

— Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “It’s easy to pick out the murder victim before they meet their demise in Perry Mason shows. They’re usually the meanest person.”

Creative correction

Algie Petrere came across this newspaper story:

“The editor of a small country newspaper, furious over several government bills that had recently been passed, printed a scathing editorial with an enormous headline: ‘HALF THE LEGISLATORS ARE CROOKS.’

“Many local politicians were outraged, and exerted tremendous pressure on him to print a retraction. He finally gave in to the pressure and ran his apology with the headline: ‘HALF THE LEGISLATORS ARE NOT CROOKS.’”

Contacting 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.