“The story about the lines at a confessional, in the Thursday column, reminded me of one of my more memorable confessions,” says Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville.

“Trying to be really cool and wanting to impress the padre with my knowledge of my Catholic faith instilled in me by my catechism teachers, I decided to tell my sin by giving the number of the commandment to him.

“In confessing, I said I had broken the second commandment (really should have been the third, about taking God’s name in vain — and not idolatry!).

“The padre came unglued and asked in a very loud voice, ‘What kind of idol did you worship?’

“I knew everyone in church had heard, and I was so frightened I couldn’t get the numbers of the commandments straight in my mind!

“I had to start my confession all over again and said I used a ‘curse word’ instead of relying on my not-so-good knowledge of the order of the commandments!”

Party on!

Recent stories in The Advocate’s entertainment pages about Louisiana’s fall festivals and other fun events reminded Pat Alba, of Metairie, of a long-gone but great TV comedy:

“I’m reminded of ‘Sgt. Bilko,’ in which there was always an excuse for a party.

“My favorite line from that show was, ‘This week we celebrate “Goodbye April, Hello May Day” and “Forgive and Forget Benedict Arnold Day”.’ ”

Cowboys on parade

Speaking of festive occasions, former Baton Rougean Dot Garlow writes from Bandera, Texas, “The Cowboy Capital of the World,” about “the very large Mardi Gras parade held annually.

“The same floats are used for every parade, but for Mardi Gras, the cowboys do wear the standard Mardi Gras colors, and they throw some beads.

“I feel at home here, having adjusted to my grass being brown and crackly much of the year due to the drought.

“I can recommend Bandera as a place to visit if you are in Texas. There is a restaurant in town where, if you want to sit at the bar, you will be sitting in a western saddle. It is different.”

Winged fish

Vivian Rodrigue says this about Dru Trahan’s story of poule d’eau ducks being classified by priests as seafood during Lent:

“He must have known my mama. As a child growing up on Grande Bois, many meals came home in Daddy’s hunting sack, and all Fridays were meatless.

“Mama made poule d’eau gumbo on Fridays, declaring it had so many little bones in it that it was the same as fish.

“Mama said it — and around our house, that was gospel.”

What’s new?

Robert Hebert adds to our discussion of the “new” Mississippi River bridge between Baton Rouge and Port Allen, which dates from 1968:

“The oldest standing bridge across the Seine in Paris today is called Pont Neuf (‘New Bridge’). It was opened in 1604 and completed in 1606.

“Maybe it’s a French tradition!”

Special People Dept.

Hilda Larcade Melancon celebrates her 96th birthday on Wednesday.

John Yarwood, of Walker, celebrates his 93rd birthday on Wednesday. He retired as a Navy commander after 30 years service.

Francis E. Kinchen is 90 on Wednesday, an event to be celebrated with family on Friday. A World War II Marine veteran, he served in the South Pacific. An LSU graduate, he was an usher in Tiger Stadium for many years.

Thunderous opening

Speaking of Tiger Stadium, Ronnie Abboud says, “My grandson, Ryan Michael Abboud, of Houma, is an LSU freshman and drummer in the ‘Golden Band.’

“Ryan and the band entered Tiger Stadium the night of Sept. 5, and the heavens opened with a symphony of lightning and thunder — a ‘once in 100 years’ event.

“As a member of the LSU Tiger drum line, his debut was truly memorable.”

Hi yo — ouch!

Gail Kohl, of New Orleans, says our mention of cowboy stars and their horses brings back this traumatic memory:

“I personally was nipped by the Lone Ranger’s Silver when he was stabled at my uncle’s barn in Sarasota, Florida, back in the ’50s. Always preferred Trigger after that!”

Getting technical

Our seminar on computer illiterates continues with this one from Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon:

User: “I have a problem with my printer.”

IT: “Are you running it under Windows?”

User: “No, my desk is next to the door. But that’s a good point. The man in the next cubicle is under a window, and his is working fine.”

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.