Dear Smiley: A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were spending a few days with our granddaughter and our 3-year-old great-granddaughter in The Woodlands, Texas.

When going to a restaurant for lunch, I opened the door and the 3-year-old entered first.

The lady behind the desk asked, “Table for how many?”

Our 3-year-old put her hand up and said, “Three adults and a kid.”

I looked at my wife and said, “What are we going to do with her when she is 15?”



Dear William: She’ll probably be running the restaurant by then, so just go and enjoy it.

Vital ingredient

Dear Smiley: Mom was a great cook and taught her young daughters many culinary skills.

Faye volunteered to make some brownies from scratch one afternoon after school.

The recipe listed all the ingredients and then concluded with the statement, “Yield — 24 2-inch squares.”

As she rummaged through the pantry gathering the ingredients, I heard her call out, “Mom, where do you keep the yield?”



Here’s the beef

Dear Smiley: Your March 21 column, titled “And did they name the calf Veal?” brought to mind my granddaughter Elisabeth’s calves.

She has raised several calves for 4-H since she first bottle-fed a calf rejected by the mother a few years ago.

She named that calf Daisy. Over the years, Daisy produced heifer calves, with names like Lilly and Amarilla, that were added to the herd.

However, when a male calf came along and I asked Elisabeth what its name was, she said, “Deep Freeze, because that’s his job.”

Incidentally, this year, her calf was another male she named Ferdinand.

She sold him at the auction after the show at LSU, and he probably has been a special guest at some fine local dining places.


Baton Rouge

Fiery protest

Dear Smiley: The recent ban on smoking in New Orleans reminded me of a story my father, Squint Laiche, told me years ago.

He was born in 1910, so I imagine this was in the 1930s.

He got a job digging post holes in the spillway in Norco (he went on to work at the Shell refinery there).

He noticed that ever so often several men would stop working.

He questioned the foreman, who said that those men were on a smoking break.

Well, you guessed it. He came to work the next day with a pack of cigarettes and smoked for the next 25 years or so.

He was not a lazy man (his father died when he was 3, so he knew hard work as a youngster). He just didn’t think it was fair.



Flaming dish

Dear Smiley: Thanksgiving is always a big celebration at our house, with 25 to 30 guests, but the last celebration will be remembered for years to come.

Here’s the scenario: The turkey is ready, and I ask cousin Paul to place a wooden board on the stovetop so I can put the roasting pan on it.

Within seconds, smoke is coming from the board, and the fire alarm goes off.

I cannot figure out how to stop the alarm. Here I am, opening doors, setting a turbo fan. The phone is ringing, my cellphone is ringing and the alarm is making its deafening noise. Our guests are frantic.

Finally, I throw the board outside, yank the alarm from the wall and cut the wire.

Ding dong. I answer the door and two firemen walk in, one of them in full garb. The fire truck is parked on the street in front of our house.

After a thorough check and a few chuckles, they wish us Happy Thanksgiving and return to their station.

One burner had been left on our stove, and I have two suspects — my wife, Mary Beth, and our friend Ilene, visiting from the Virgin Islands.

The turkey was delicious and not too smoky. Maybe our guests were just polite.



From Wildcat to Tiger

Dear Smiley: I’m like most of these other folks who have a song running around inside their head that just won’t go away.

But this one is a bit stranger than the others.

It’s “Hey Look Me Over” from the 1960s Broadway musical “Wildcat,” starring Lucille Ball.

And it seems to become more pronounced around the end of August — and tapers off in January.


Baton Rouge

Dear Don: I wonder how many younger folks think the locally popular version of that song is the original one?

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.