Fritz McCameron, of Baton Rouge, says the dramatic discovery by LIGO scientists about the nature of the universe “gives credence to certain phenomena which we Maturista have suspected for quite some time:

GRAVITY:Some days its pull is so strong that we can barely get out of bed. Fragile items, firmly held, are suddenly snatched away and smash to the floor.

BLACK HOLES:They lurk everywhere, waiting to grab valuable items such as keys and eyeglasses. A carried object, such as a book, can disappear without a trace. While some reappear in unlikely places such as freezers, many vanish forever.

DISTANCE:Why, in our mature years, is the ground so much farther away than it once was? This makes acts as simple as picking up the newspaper well-nigh impossible.

LENGTH:Why have my belts shrunk, and the lost inches added to my pants legs?

LOCATION:How can a car, parked in one mall spot, be finally located in another part of the lot altogether?

“I could cite more subjects needing study, but I feel a nap coming on...”

Our own UFO

Darron Sanchez asks, “I wonder how many people in Baton Rouge remember the Great UFO Caper of 1957, as reported by the great Baton Rouge teenage radio station, WLCS.

“The station was called about 6 in the evening, and the caller reported the landing of a UFO in the backyard of a Mr. Marston on Charles Street in north Baton Rouge.

“In a short time many cars and teens had gathered on Charles Street, creating a large traffic jam. Everyone was listening to WLCS on their car radios.

“An eyewitness told the radio station’s reporter that a large piece of metal came flying through the air, making an eerie sound like a UFO, and buried itself about 3 feet into the ground, smoldering and hissing steam.

“The police arrived, and informed the crowd a report would be issued the next day to solve the mystery.

“Look in Smiley’s column tomorrow for the conclusion of the Great Baton Rouge 1957 UFO Caper.”

(Oh, so now I’m running serials, Darron?)

Ways to communicate

Anne Cummings adds to our language items with two memories:

“One of our daughters had a bad habit in high school of starting a sentence with ‘So.’

“We finally asked her to just tell us what she wanted to without using that opening.

“She tried, and couldn’t!

“She finally figured out how to stop, and now we have normal conversations (20 years later).

“The other memory concerns the use of hands.

“We had gone to visit an uncle in the hospital.

“During the visit he turned to his wife and said, ‘I bet if you held her hands, she couldn’t talk!’

“He was right; it is difficult for me to talk without my hands.”

Beers of past years

Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, who earlier reported having Falstaff and Regal church keys, says she’s found another one “among the tools in my late husband’s workshop, marked ‘Drink JAX beer.’”

This means she has openers for three New Orleans-brewed beers that are no longer with us.

They might even interest collectors — especially the Regal one, since that beer has been gone a very, very long time — so long that I don’t recall it being around when I reached beer-drinking age. (I was a Jax guy, something my dad, a Falstaff guy, couldn’t understand.)

Joan adds, “I am sure you have determined that I am quite a collector. My daughter-in-law told me, ‘Joanie, when you pass away we will open your house as a museum and charge admission.’”

Looking for stuff

Della Stout, former Baton Rougean now in Green Cove Springs, Florida, says, “My daughter, Camille Winningham, works with young adults in a drug rehab hospital. They would appreciate the donation of old magazines for therapy art projects.”

The address is Cenikor Foundation, c/o Clinical Department, 2414 Bunker Hill Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

False alarm

I’m not sure why Joe Ricapito thought this story was worth sending in — it’s happened to me several times.

Anyhow, here it is:

“An elderly Floridian called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car has been broken into.

“She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher: ‘They’ve stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!’

“The dispatcher said, ‘Stay calm. An officer is on the way.’

“A few minutes later, the officer radios in.

“‘Disregard,’ he says. ‘She got in the back seat by mistake.’”

Contacting 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.