My buddy, Dudley Lehew, recently moved from Denham Springs to Marrero, and he’s lost no time reminding me of the joys of life in the New Orleans area.

Knowing my love of Krystal burgers (aka “sliders”) and the lack of a Krystal dispensary in Baton Rouge, he was happy to tell me the one near his house puts Vidalia onions on its sliders.

While he enjoys a daily apple fritter from Joe’s Donuts up the street, on a milestone birthday (never mind which one), he dined on “the JoJo special” — not a doughnut but “crawfish cream sauce pasta atop fried catfish!”

He says: “No joke, it’s on the menu. Only in New Orleans!”

Blame Pawpaw

The above-mentioned Dudley enjoys giving the kids in his family little devices he found at a novelty shop that make, uh, embarrassing noises.

Tom Boone, of Gonzales, also carries on the tradition of the “bad grandpa.” He tells of this incident when his grandsons from North Carolina spent the summer with “Pawpaw and Nana”:

“While out to eat, Haeden told his 5-year-old brother, Owen, ‘Watch this.’

“He took the paper sleeve from his straw, put a piece in his mouth and propelled the homemade missile through the straw across the room.

“His mom, Kim, somewhat horrified, asked, ‘Where did you learn that?’ He gave her the ‘What a silly question!’ look and answered, ‘Pawpaw.’

“I’ve already taught him how to cup his hand in his armpit to make ‘the sound,’ and the classic ‘pull my finger’ trick, among others. Hey, he’s a little boy, and who better to teach him boy stuff than Pawpaw, right?”

Crime stopper

Ronnie Hotz, of Lafayette, says a letter from a friend of his Aunt Olga recalling her teaching days reminded him of the spirited “red-headed German” who raised him.

“During the World War II era, we lived in the Gentilly area of New Orleans, and she commuted to Destrehan, where she taught sixth grade.

“One day, we arrived home to find a burglar running out of the house with my little tin drum full of silver dimes in his hand. Well, Ms. Olga grabbed the broom and chased him across Gentilly Boulevard, yelling, ‘Stop that bastid thief!’

“She finally caught up with him in front of K&B, and beat knots on his head and retrieved my bank.”

Puzzle solved

In the Sept. 23 column, Ronnie Stutes told of a cryptic sign he saw in a grocery store and offered it to puzzle fans. I didn’t hear from any, so it was either too hard or too easy.

Ronnie reveals that “&MX HOUSE ORG RST MD DCF GRD” translates to “Maxwell House Original Roast Medium Decaf Ground.”

Houston’s Hobby

Robert L. Cabes, of Lafayette, says Houston’s “Hobby Lobby” airport, mentioned by a reader, is the William P. Hobby Airport, the “closer in” airport, south of the city:

“The newer airport has been known as the George Bush Intercontinental Airport for some time.”

Looking for stuff

Raffle items are needed for the “Pink and Teal” volleyball game between University High and Episcopal High on Monday, to raise funds to fight ovarian cancer. Episcopal player Cali Sabolik, 15, is battling the disease. Call Chip Coulter at (225) 362-2445.

Special People Dept.

Alex Imphanghe celebrates his 101st birthday on Thursday. A World War II disabled veteran, he retired from The Times-Picayune and lives in a retirement home in Florida.

T. Med Hogg, of Baton Rouge, celebrated his 94th birthday on Tuesday.

Helen Dupuis Simon celebrates her 90th birthday on Thursday.

Joy and John Carver, of Lacombe, celebrate their 55th anniversary on Thursday.

Jack ’em up!

Glenn Balentine, of Prairieville, has a question about those pop-up bollard barriers on the State Capitol grounds, aka “Bollard Estates”:

“When the bollard malfunctions, is it considered carjacking?”

Say what?

Bobby Sibley, of Watson, says, “A few years ago, I worked with a man who, when a fellow employee did something unsafe on the job, asked, ‘Is that grounds for determination?’ ”

Sandy, a New Orleans tour guide, says, “One day, I was tagging along on a tour for training purposes. The guide was pointing out some architectural details on the beautiful homes on St. Charles Avenue. I had to bite my tongue when he described the Ionic columns as ‘iconic columns!’ ”

Sara Lemon likes the campaign commercial where a lady talks about a candidate helping her with a problem with her health insurance: “She says she was ‘at death’s door stop.’ ”

Linda Champion says, “When my daughter was planning her wedding, she asked her niece, my granddaughter, to be the flower girl. My grandson immediately told his mom that he did not want to be the ‘ring barrier.’ ”

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.