Dear Smiley: Visiting friends in Illinois, I was introduced to a gentleman who exclaimed, “I once met the U.S. ambassador to Louisiana!”

(He could have been a bit more diplomatic.)

PAT ALBA

Metairie

Running of the ’dillo

Dear Smiley: Reading the stories about armadillos got me laughing about the time we had an armadillo in our yard in River Ridge, where I grew up.

I was about 12 at the time. We discovered a hole in the ground but had no idea what lived there.

It happened to be in a somewhat tight space between a fence and the backyard utility shed.

My dad, having been raised in West Feliciana, knew exactly what lived there and how to get him out.

You run a water hose into the hole, and in a few minutes, the armadillo is going to come out.

You have to imagine the scene. Within 15 minutes of announcing we were going to get an armadillo out of its hole, word spread, and every kid with a bicycle and any who could walk or run had gathered in a 4-foot-wide space between the fence and the shed.

Well, you can only guess as to the panicked stampede that took place when the critter emerged.

It looked like an exit from a World Cup soccer event.

We were only lucky no one ended up in the hospital with permanent damage. And we never did catch the thing.

Z. DAVID DELOACH

St. Francisville

Childspeak revisited

Dear Smiley: About 10 years ago, while I was cleaning catfish at my daughter’s house, my grandson, Bryant Prothro, was watching with interest.

After skinning the fish, he asked me if I was going to use his dad’s “chop hammer” to remove their heads.

I asked him what that was, and he pointed to a hatchet hanging on a rafter by two nails.

I wondered at his choice of name, and it came to me that he was correct!

I have chopped things and I have hammered things, but I have yet to hatchet anything!

WILLIE STRANGE

Simmesport

Surprise “gift”

Dear Smiley: Having just celebrated my mother-in-law Hazel Roy’s 100th birthday, I am reminded of a favorite story about her.

Recently, I ordered an item from Amazon for her and had it shipped directly to her.

Shortly after, I also ordered an expensive pair of golf sunglasses for me.

After the glasses hadn’t arrived in a reasonable time, I happened to be visiting Hazel — who showed me these great sunglasses that one of her grandchildren must have bought for her from Amazon.

Apparently, Amazon shipped to the address of my last order instead of my address.

After I agonized as to how I was to explain the mix-up to her, my wife intervened, suggesting that those were the same kind of sunglasses I had ordered for myself.

Hazel picked up on this and gracefully gave them to me.

ERNIE GREMILLION

Baton Rouge

Eternal Carnival

Dear Smiley: Have you noticed that a very large proportion of all movies, TV programs and commercials filmed in New Orleans occur during Mardi Gras?

That explains why it is so crowded in the Big Easy prior to Lent.

KENNY GREIG

New Iberia

Attention, idiots

Dear Smiley: On my first day at Southeastern, driving around campus, I got pulled over by a campus police officer for going the wrong way down a one-way street.

I looked around and saw no signs or cars but did spot a stop sign some 25 feet in front of me — facing me.

I asked the officer, “If this is a one-way street, why is there a stop sign facing this way?”

He looked at me, scratched his head, thought about it and replied, “That’s for idiots like you going the wrong way down a one-way street!”

I didn’t get the ticket.

DOUG LEE

Prairieville

That’s a promise!

Dear Smiley: The legendary Texas defense attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes tells the story about a client he defended, who was found not guilty of all charges after jury deliberation.

Haynes asked his client to stand up and address the judge and jury.

The client said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank each and every one of you. And I promise you that I will never, ever do it again.”

TONY FALTERMAN

Napoleonville

Poetic license revoked!

For your Poetry Contest:

“Roses are red,

violets are blue;

Smiley has a column

that is written by you.”

DAN BURKHALTER

Carencro

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.