On Thursday, when I ran Mike Romano’s tale of feeding ducks at Lake Rosemound and feeling sad when they flew away, I also saw the story about Baton Rouge police officers trading in their hot polyester uniforms for ones in a “much lighter, breathable fabric.”
Remarkably, these were almost exactly story lines in two of my favorite TV shows.
In the famous opening episode of “The Sopranos,” mob boss Tony Soprano is enchanted when a family of ducks occupies his swimming pool, and his sadness when they leave triggers a panic attack that leads him to Dr. Melfi, the psychiatrist he sees throughout the show’s long run.
And in a hilarious “Seinfeld” episode, George Costanza, working for the New York Yankees, convinces them to dump their polyester uniforms in favor of light, breathable cotton ones. Unfortunately, the cotton uniforms shrink, causing the players to take the field walking, the TV announcer says, “like a bunch of penguins.”
To paraphrase Woody Allen, life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates old TV shows...
Pardon me, Roy...
Ed Clancy, of New Orleans, offers “the ultimate Roy Rogers story” from Ed’s days at WGSO radio:
“When Roy came to New Orleans to publicize his new restaurants, I interviewed him in the lobby of the Canal Street Marriott, and he became my hero all over again. Not as a cowboy but as a human being. I cannot overemphasize just how nice he was.”
Later Ed, Kim Peterson and Mike Franklin were in the newsroom discussing Roy, and recalled a terrible pun about Roy based on Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”
Says Ed, “I wondered if Roy had ever heard it. So we cranked up the tape recorder and called him.
“He answered his phone at the Roy Rogers Museum, and we chatted a while before I asked, ‘Hey Roy, have you heard the Chattanooga Choo Choo joke?’
“‘Heard it? I can’t get away from it! It’s driving Dale and me crazy!’ I could hear wife Dale chuckling in the background.
‘‘‘Well, could you tell it to New Orleans?’
“‘I’ve told it a few times on the air, so I guess I could tell it for you.’
“And he did. Wish I still had that tape.”
Don’t make me do it
You’ll notice that I didn’t run the terrible pun mentioned above. This is because I assume my highly-informed readers have already heard it — multiple times.
But if there is anyone out there who hasn’t heard it and would like to, I suppose I could relent and tell it again.
Warning — it’s a groaner...
Diane F. Camelo, of Hammond, comments on our tale of the youngsters who stole plums and were eating them until they found they all contained worms:
“When I was young my great-grandmother, Mary Ann Varisco, told us we could eat the plums.
“Only thing was, we were not to eat them on Fridays — because they had worms, and ‘No meat on Friday!’”
Which reminds me
When I was at Istrouma High back in the glory days of its football team, we often played the big Catholic schools in New Orleans — Holy Cross, Jesuit, etc.
There were some tough kids in those schools at the time, and they always gave us a good game .
I recall one of the Istrouma players remarking, “I’m glad we play those Catholic guys on Fridays — at least they can’t BITE us!”
Special People Dept.
— Ella Wiser Skyring, of Whealdon Estates, celebrated her 94th birthday on Sunday, May 17.
— On Monday, May 18, Herman “Tip” Torres, of Donaldsonville, celebrated his 93rd birthday.
Micheal Eldred follows up on Linda Leger Belleu’s story about meeting cowboy actor Smiley Burnette at a school event and finding that he wore makeup:
“I understand Linda’s shock. Around the same time in Alexandria my favorite radio show personalities came to Bolton High School.
“Every school kid in the area bused in to see ‘Big John and Sparky.’
“Billed as the world’s only electronic puppet, Sparky was not at all like I imagined — and Big John wasn’t big at all.
“His Saturday morning show, ‘No School Today,’ was never heard the same.
“His theme song, however, ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic,’ is still a favorite.”
To die for
“I read with amusement the story of a reader who kept receiving offers for life insurance on a relative who was already deceased,” says Frank Prattini, of Mandeville:
“I have a suggestion that may work. The reader should call the company and ask what is the largest policy that they will sell her.
“When they reply, she should say, ‘Great! He’s already deceased; you can send the check to...’
“I’m sure she will never hear from them again!”
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.