Dear Smiley: Years ago, my four boys begged their dad to get them baby alligators.

So off we went to the Alligator Farm on Airline Highway to purchase two of them.

It was against my vote, but I usually lost — because it was always one girl against five men.

Back home, I put them in a No. 10 tub in my den, but they were in the way all the time. So one day, I decided to put them outside on the patio — not knowing that the temperature would fall to below freezing overnight.

Yep! You guessed it — frozen like two Popsicles.

“Let’s get rid of them before the boys find out,” I said.

Not my husband…

He said to call the vet for help while he got a straw, put it down one of the gators’ throat and started blowing air into him.

This was all going on while I was trying to tell the vet what had happened, explain what my husband was doing to resuscitate them and ask what else we could do.

After he stopped laughing, the vet said, “Bury them!”



Man vs. computer

Dear Smiley: I was totally confused by a glitch in my new “state-of-the-art” computer — sold to me by a devious salesman who met his monthly sales quota by loading me down with highly questionable features.

Needing help, but with great trepidation, I called the manufacturer’s line for expert advice.

Unfortunately, someone answered, and my immediate thought was that this was not going to be a good day.

My expert chuckled a couple of times and made an unkind remark about my age while guiding me through the procedure required to turn the computer on.

Having accomplished that momentous task, I sighed deeply and told him I needed a sip of my cold root beer, which was close at hand.

Feeling reinvigorated, I forged ahead to the next confusing item.

The conversation went as follows:

Tech support: “What does the screen say now?”

My reply: “It says, ‘Hit enter when ready.’ ”

Tech support: “Well?”

My reply: “How do I know when it’s ready?”

Tech support: “Please send me a case of your root beer. …”



The other Vegas

Dear Smiley: I’ve been smiling ever since reading the recent reference to Las Vegas, New Mexico, in your column.

My mom, Florence Robinson Day, grew up in that lovely little city.

In about 1939, she got on the train and headed for LSU to further her study of piano.

Her first semester at LSU she met my dad, Kenner Day.

It was at great sacrifice that my grandparents had sent their eldest child to college.

They told her she should not get married until she graduated.

In spite of Daddy’s requests, she held out.

In May 1941, her parents rode the train to Baton Rouge for her graduation AND wedding, all on the same day.

As a youngster, I smugly told people how my mom was from “No, not THAT Las Vegas, but from New Mexico.”

Most folks back then thought she was from another country, not knowing where New Mexico was.

We spent many wonderful vacations exploring that state.

So you can see why reading about folks getting off the interstate at the wrong exit makes me grin.

Hope those folks slowed down and enjoyed their time in the “wrong Las Vegas.”


Baton Rouge

Worse than skeeters

Dear Smiley: While growing up in rural Washington Parish, we used to burn dried cow patties in gallon syrup cans on the porch.

The smoke was supposed to discourage the mosquitoes.

I don’t remember the mosquitoes being very discouraged.



Dear Gary: Well, it would certainly discourage ME from coming around. …

Blowing in the wind

Dear Smiley: Although I am not a football fan, about 53 years ago, I went to my one and only LSU football game with friends on a Saturday night in October.

A woman sitting next to me had 1-inch purple and gold feathers in her hair, evidently placed there by her beautician.

The wind started to blow, and the feathers came out, falling everywhere. It was so funny.

It really made an impression on me about people’s faith in LSU and the way they dressed.

I spent the rest of the game watching the actions of drunk LSU fans.



Dear Daniel: This was evidently before LSU officials banned drinking in Tiger Stadium. …

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.