Dear Smiley: At the risk of starting a new subject for your readers (men who never ask for directions):

I recently traveled from Florida to New Orleans and stopped at the Alabama welcome station to stretch my legs. At the map/information desk was an elderly man talking to the young lady working the desk.

As I passed by, I heard him say to her, “I’ve never been lost, but I’ve been confused for a week or two.”

I couldn’t stop laughing.

CAROLYN ZANDER

Metairie

The Orange Horseman

Dear Smiley: The Advocate story about LSU linebacker Kendall Beckwith and his horses reminded me of an elk hunting trip in Colorado. Our lodge was high in the mountains, and in order to get to the hunting area, we had to ride horses (I usually do not ride anything not powered by gasoline).

At about 3 a.m., we were instructed to go to the barn to get our horses. When I got to the barn, the guide pointed to a really big white horse and told me that would be my horse, named Buttermilk. He then pointed to another room and said it was the “tack” room and I would find Buttermilk’s “tack” there.

I asked, “Does Buttermilk know how to put this tack on? Because I don’t have a clue!”

He told us to put fluorescent orange tape on our horses so we would not be mistaken for elk and possibly shot.

When I left that barn, I looked like a Spanish Town Mardi Gras float. I had enough bright orange tape on ol’ Buttermilk to cover most of the end zone at Tiger Stadium!

We didn’t get any elk — but no one mistook us for one either!

TONY FALTERMAN

Napoleonville

Hand ban

Dear Smiley: I enjoyed stories of trying to get left-handed people to change to the right hand. Rapping a ruler on the knuckles is benign compared with what my mother did to me.

She didn’t like the looks of how left-handed people wrote. Since I was left-handed, she jammed my left hand in my left pocket and shut it up with safety pins to prevent my left hand from writing.

They say that when you do that, you can develop a speech defect, and I did — I talk too darn much.

DR. JOE RICAPITO

Baton Rouge

God knows

Dear Smiley: I consider myself a member of the “mixed color shoes club.” When I lived at the Catholic Woman’s Club in New Orleans, I attended Mass every Friday at Jesuit Church on Baronne Street.

I did not turn any lights on while dressing, to not wake my roommate. While walking to church, I noticed I was wearing one brown and one blue shoe. Fortunately, they were of the same style. I think only God was aware of my mistake.

JOAN WAGUESPACK BARRE

Metairie

Meeting his match

Dear Smiley: Reading your “mismatched shoes” stories reminds me of my Navy submarine days in the early ’70s, when pranks were common on patrols.

We, as NCOs (non-commissioned officers), had only one color shoes, black. The commissioned officers had two colors, brown and black.

On one patrol, a newly assigned commissioned officer had to wear one brown and one black shoe throughout the ship in the presence of the crew while underway for a couple of weeks — until his matching shoes mysteriously appeared again.

He never left his stateroom unlocked again after that embarrassment.

DON NEISLER

Brusly

Tom said dryly…

Dear Smiley: Your column wherein a contributor discusses Hollyweird’s strange propensity to overdramatize via actors throwing empty firearms brings to mind something my sainted father used to rail about while watching his favorite genre, Westerns.

One favorite plot line in mid-20th-century flicks was the desert segment with the hero struggling through the sand with little water, dramatically throwing away the canteen as far as possible after draining the last drop.

Of course, what is the poor guy to do when he comes across water in the next scene and drops face-down to slake his thirst in the tepid pool of muddy liquid?

But he always makes it out of the desert after that — must be camel training in the Army that got him through the rest of the desert with no more water.

TOM PARKER

Lafayette

Pantry poetry

Dear Smiley: Your poetry contest reminded me of a submission to The Advocate about 35 years ago.

A woman had written what she called a humorous poem and asked the newspaper to publish it:

“Meat loaf sitting on my bread,

meat of brown, sauce of red.

I’d like to sit and talk with thee,

but I’ve got to eat. Can’t you see?”

For some reason, the paper didn’t publish it, but it did make the bulletin board.

ROY PITCHFORD

Monroe

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.