Charles Young says that in the ’70s and ’80s, when he was vice president for institutional advancement at Loyola University in New Orleans, he would buy the first king cake for the staff during the Carnival season. Whoever got the baby bought the next cake:

“However, one of our colleagues, Clarence, always waited until someone got the baby before he would go get his slice of king cake.

“One week everyone on the staff brought a baby, and we planted a member of the brood in each and every slice. We sat and waited for the drama to unfold.

“Clarence’s hunger did eventually get the best of him. He walked into the room where the king cake was, making sure no one was around, and proceeded to carefully stab a slice to make sure there was no baby.

“Since there was a baby in every slice, he eventually went back to his office — where he was confronted by the ‘parents’ of the babies.

“Bottom line is he ate a slice (baby and all), and grudgingly bought a cake for the next week. The entire staff enjoyed seconds at his expense.”

Wedding bell blues

Loretta Toussant says, “I have sung in weddings for the past 36 years, so I have seen many wedding fiascoes, from no groomsmen showing up for the wedding to the organist being arrested the night before (the wedding went on a cappella).

“The best one was a shotgun wedding — the mother of the bride literally carried a gun in her purse!”

The Watson lights

Pat Rushing disagrees with Advocate weather columnist Pat Shingleton, who said the northern lights could not be seen in south Louisiana:

“We were living on Bend Road in Watson. We were seeing guests off one evening in the early summer, viewing the lovely sky, when we realized there was an unusual glow in the northern sky.

“It definitely was the aurora borealis, on a night about 35 years ago, when we were young enough to be impressed by such a sight.”

Radio man

Carol Paine says, “Every time I read another of the WWL stories, I can see my dad, J.D. Bloom, smiling down.

“He was a part of a college project at Loyola in the ’20s to start the radio station, and went to Detroit to study radio engineering.

“He was very proud of the ‘clear channel station’ they built that still can be heard far and wide. Also, both Al Hirt and Pete Fountain got their starts in the Dawnbusters band.”

Happy cats and dogs

Betty Swearingen Marks adds to our series on listening to LSU football games:

“My husband and I visited my aunt and uncle in Beaumont, Texas, in the ’60s.

“My aunt sent my uncle to buy steaks to grill. Bad move — he came home with round steaks, and they turned out like warm inner tubes.

“Fortunately, the only way we could get the LSU game was to hook the radio antenna to the clothesline. While everyone else ate inside, we happily cheered on the Tigers outside — and the dogs happily ate the inner tubes!”

Weekend gifts

Keith Horcasitas says on the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday, he was at the drive-through of a McDonald’s when the lady in front of him bought his breakfast as a “pay it forward” gesture.

That Sunday at a Wal-Mart he was presented a $25 gift certificate as a “pay it forward” gesture by the store.

And later that day, the Seattle Seahawks presented a Super Bowl victory to the New England Patriots...

Say no to sago

Francis Celino warns pet owners: “Sago palms, the kind used for Palm Sunday rites, are toxic to pets. My hound of undetermined origin was one of the only ones to survive eating a part of one, according to my vet.

“The cost was enough to put a down payment on an expensive German car.”

Can you dig it?

Our tale of the young husband who gave his wife a pound of crawfish for an anniversary gift reminded Jeanne Schexnayder of their unusual anniversary gift:

“This took place when Wayne and I were married about 30 years.

“We were discussing what to get for our anniversary, and I told Wayne we really needed to spend the money on a load of dirt for the back yard.

“He said, ‘That’s what I love about you, babe. Some women want fur coats — and you want a load of dirt. You’re the perfect wife.’ We still laugh about that.”

Thought for the Day

From Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon: “Money isn’t everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch.”

Getting their attention

Jerry Schexnayder, of Baton Rouge, says, “My friend in Philadelphia found a way to beat his home security company.

“He put an Iraqi flag on one side of his front yard, an al-Qaida flag on the other side and an Isis flag in the middle.

“Now his home is being watched 24/7 by the FBI, CIA, NSA and Homeland Security.

“He is also saving $49.95 per month.”

Talk to 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.