In an idle moment (yes, even I have them) I was thumbing through Jan Harold Brunvand’s 1999 classic, “Too Good to Be True,” a collection of “urban legends” — fictional stories told as true ones — and recalled when I was the victim of such a tale.

Back when I was a green youngster — 45 or so — a caller told me a story he had heard secondhand, but “knew” to be true.

A couple from out of state was driving their trailer on a cross-country vacation when the husband got sleepy, and asked his wife to drive while he took a nap in the trailer.

He was sleeping, in his underwear, when his wife stopped suddenly for a red light as they drove through Baton Rouge.

The jolt woke him up, and he opened the door to see what was going on.

Just as he did, the light changed and she took off, tossing him out in the street.

He got up, watched her drive away, and realized he was standing in the middle of a highway in his underwear, and had no idea what city he was in.

I duly reported this, only to be chastised by alert readers for presenting an old gag as a true story.

OK, so it wasn’t true — but it’s still pretty funny...

Generous offer

Buck Bertrand volunteers to perform a public service to help troubled youths:

“Smiley, the LSU students who had their alcohol confiscated on their way to Gulf Shores, Alabama, for spring break, were in possession of 106 18-packs of Natural Light beer, five 12-packs of Corona beer, five liters of Franzia boxed wine and several bottles of tequila, vodka, whiskey and rum.

“At our regular Friday night poker game on the bayou at the camp, my poker buddies and I would very much like to help these young LSU students by disposing of any and all evidence.”

Critics’ Corner

Brenda Sharp says, “I was a witness to a rare occurrence while watching a live-streamed LSU baseball game at the Patio Lounge — consensus by the whole group on an issue.

“The issue was the new SEC Network ‘broadcasts’ of the game. Here’s what came together for all:

“The SEC Network makes more games available, but the live-streaming just doesn’t cut it — fans want TV.

“The Alabama game broadcast was especially egregious — one camera, high above home plate, jerky movement trying to follow the ball — can’t see players.

“No instant replay.

“We can see other SEC teams on the TV network channel, but rarely LSU.

“And the main agreed-upon point? Nick Saban has to be behind it all!”

The pajama game

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, says, “As I was sitting in a waiting room waiting to have a colonoscopy, a man came in wearing pajamas and sat across from me.

“I didn’t hesitate to ask him if he was Hugh Hefner. He wasn’t!

“His friend said, ‘They told him not to dress up, and he didn’t.’”

Fine dining

Bert Dorgant, of Mansura, says, “Back in 1964, St. Paul’s Middle School played in the Alexandria CYO football league. Every Sunday we would ride Mr. Dallas Janet’s bus and go behind the Menard School and play.

“After each game, Mr. Truex, our coach, would let us eat at the McDonald’s on MacArthur Drive.

“Before I left home my dad would give me $1 — and boy, was I a happy camper!

“I would get two burgers, large fries, a drink and a hot apple pie, and get change back from my $1.

“Those were the good ol’ days, and I did not even know it back then.”

Early riser

After artist Allen Crochet told of getting up at 4:17 a.m. to start working, a habit learned from his sugar cane farmer dad, I heard from Warren Braud, former superintendent of schools in Pointe Coupee Parish:

“In response to Allen Crochet’s work ethic: he was an excellent art teacher at Livonia High School. It was never reported that he was late for class.

“Whether or not he slept while teaching will never be known.”

Special People Dept.

Tony Jordan, of Baton Rouge, celebrates his 95th birthday on Sunday, April 12. He is a World War II Merchant Marines veteran.

James W. Rodriguez, of Walker, celebrates his 94th birthday on Friday, April 10. He is an Army veteran of World War II.

Millie and Charles Broussard, of St. Francisville, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Friday, April 10.

Groom on the green

Algie Petrere says with the Masters underway and golf in the news, this story is appropriate:

The bride was escorted down the aisle. When she reached the altar, the groom was standing there with his golf bag and clubs at his side.

She said, “What are your golf clubs doing here?”

He looked her right in the eye and said, “This isn’t going to take all day, is it?”

Contact 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.