“How about writing about barbers?” requests Jim Newcomb, of New Iberia.

“In small towns men go to the barber shop to find out what is going on and what has gone on, plus all the latest political news.

“How do these young men who go to beauty shops know what is going on?

“I am sure there are some good stories out there in Smiley land.”

(I’m assuming, Jim, that the young men who go to beauty shops now get all their information from social networks on their electronic devices. This enables them to be just as misinformed as the guys gossiping in barber shops.)

A missing service

The above discussion about barber shops leads me to this observation:

I have to confess that I am one of those “young men who go to beauty shops” (well, maybe “young at heart” is a better description).

In addition to the attractive, stylish young ladies, there is another difference between beauty salons and the old-time barber shops.

I’ve never heard my “hair stylist” taking a bet over the phone as she trims my locks...

Mom knows best

“Q Ball Fryoux,” of Baker, says the approach of Mother’s Day always brings thoughts of “momisms,” words of wisdom from our mothers:

“One of my favorite momisms was ‘Cheer up, son; things could be worse.’

“So I cheered up, and sure enough, they got worse.”

No blinking way!

Robert Robbins addresses the driving issue brought up in the Saturday letters column:

“Perhaps Judy Collins’ complaint about those using the middle turn lane as a ‘wait to merge lane’ can be resolved by use of turn signals indicating intended direction of movement.

“My bad! I forgot this is Baton Rouge, where car salesmen fail to tell buyers the purpose of the little stick on the steering column.”

Gripping discovery

Gayle M. Deshotel adds to our collection of stories about unusual door handles:

“Several years ago George Tucker, Charlie and Lucille Martin and I were touring several countries in Europe.

“While at a tourist attraction in Switzerland, we realized the door handles were in the form of mermaids.

“George, being the Southern gentleman that he was, graciously held the door open for us ladies. George and Charlie are no longer with us, but there are plenty of good memories.”

(My question about mermaid door handles is, “How do you grasp the handle in a tasteful manner?”)

Nice People Dept.

“Every cloud has a silver lining, and I found mine at LeBlanc’s new supermarket at Drusilla Lane and Jefferson Highway,” says Lucy Sloan.

“The Monday afternoon after the wind and rain stopped from the storm that hit Baton Rouge, I was without power, and all my telephones were dead, even my cell phone.

“At the front counter at LeBlanc’s I found two wonderful ladies who came to my rescue.

“My power was out four days, and during this time Miss Allison and Miss Linda charged my cell phone (twice) while I bought my groceries and picked up hot meals.

“When, just as I was leaving the store, the rain came pouring down again, Miss Allison and Miss Linda donned their raincoats and umbrellas, walked me to my car and loaded my groceries in the back seat.

“It just doesn’t get any better than that. Many thanks to both of them. LeBlanc’s is fortunate to have such a caring staff, and we are fortunate to have them in our neighborhood.”

Trashy behavior

Shirley Fleniken says, “I nominate for ‘Creep of the Week’ the person(s) who, on a dark part of Perkins Road at about 11 Sunday night, lined up FULL trash cans across the road, end to end, blocking traffic.

“My friend quickly reacted, with the help of a lady coming from the other direction, and removed all the cans before other cars approached, averting any problems this could have caused.

“Her 88-year old mother was with her, and is doing fine, but my friend’s back is very sore from all the heavy lifting. Thankfully, she was strong enough to do this.

“While we’re at it, could I nominate her and the other lady as ‘Heroes of the Week?’”

Special People Dept.

— Lillian Cain Guillory, of Washington, celebrated her 100th birthday on April 29.

— Leonard Gautreaux, of Gonzales, celebrated his 94th birthday on Monday, May 4.

Life imitates comics

Paul Major says, “Watching the Kentucky Derby coverage, including all of the shots of the ‘fashionable’ hats being worn, brought to mind the sotto voce comments that the comics character Curtis makes about the church ladies’ hats.

“NBC should have had Curtis as one of the commentators.”

(Well, they did have Johnny Weir in his rose-covered hat — pretty much a live cartoon character...)

Contact Smiley

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.