Dear Smiley: Our family and its pets have been talked about incessantly with our family and friends.

Have a stray dog, cat or any living critter? Drop it off at the Weilbaechers’.

My wife and I had a little squirrel named Buttons, who fell out of a tree.

Our son gave him to us to save his life.

We nursed him daily, but he was faltering badly, so we decided to go to the grocery and get baby formula for him.

While standing in front of the collection of formulas, which was overwhelming, we began to discuss with each other the size and expense of the cans.

My wife stated that maybe we shouldn’t invest in the large expensive cans — “because he may not live out the week.”

What we didn’t know was that two old ladies standing nearby were listening to our every word.

And as we continued shopping, they followed us, with the most disgusted looks, all around the store.

We wondered why they were staring at us, until we remembered the baby formula and realized they thought we were talking about a baby and not a squirrel.

We hurriedly left the store.

Maybe we should have told them the truth. But my wife said no:

“They were eavesdropping, and this will give them gossip for a week.”



Quick on the draw

Dear Smiley: The recent election had an abrupt ending for one Livingston Parish voter.

He entered the voting booth with a list of his voting preferences.

When he didn’t exit after the vote register sounded, I said, “Mr. John, you’re done.”

He poked his head out from behind the curtain and informed us, “No, I’m not done.”

A chorus of commissioners confirmed that he was indeed done.

After voting in the first race, he had pressed the orange “Cast Vote” button — thus ending his primary voting.

We all laughed while assuring him that we were laughing with him and not at him.

Chances are he won’t press the “Cast Vote” button Dec. 6 before he casts all his votes.


Denham Springs

Never say die

Dear Smiley: One month after my brother passed away in July, there was a post from him on Facebook “liking” a certain well-known coffee shop.

It was painful to see at the time but comforting, too, because if my brother still had access to Facebook and Starbucks, he must have gone to heaven.

Now, four months later, he “posted” a link on the Senate race in Louisiana.

He lived in South Carolina and has never been a resident here, so I was doubly surprised.

I have heard of dead people voting in Louisiana elections, but I thought they had to have been registered in the state at some point.

I’ve also heard it’s hard to get off Facebook, but this is ridiculous!


Baton Rouge

Land of the bland

Dear Smiley: My wife, Phyllis, née Lalande, and I just returned from Nova Scotia so she could trace her ancestry.

We learned her L’Acadie ancestors were purged from Grand-Pré in the 1700s.

We also learned the Nova Scotians DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SEASON THEIR DISHES.

With the abundance of seafood, you’d think someone would learn!


Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Heroics practice

Dear Smiley: College basketball is starting, and I remembered a great story told to me by coach Charlie Kinsley.

When the Korean War ended, many basketball players returned to college having not completed four years of play.

The NAIA waived the time limit, and coaches found themselves younger than some of their players. Discipline was often tough.

After one disorganized practice, the Southeastern coach told his players to spend the final five minutes practicing shots they would take in a game. He saw one of his players taking hook shots from half-court.

He suggested he shoot from the head of the key, but the player replied that he might be trapped at half-court with his team losing by two points and time running out.

The coach blew his whistle and sent the players to the shower.



Ewww, gross!

Dear Smiley: This is an unappetizing follow-up to your segment on “pigskin gumbo.”

Growing up in the late 1930s in Bernard Terrace, we had open sewerage ditches and thought nothing of it.

Playing football in the neighborhood would result in an occasional ball landing in such a ditch.

We simply picked up the ball, wiped it “clean” on the grass and proceeded as if nothing happened.

Naturally, we washed our hands before the next meal.


Baton Rouge

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.