Sue Sperry, of Metairie, joins our recently-launched seminar on memorable epitaphs:

“My mother was a clean freak.

“She always joked that when she died, she wanted the following on her tombstone: ‘Now that you’ve seen my eternal tomb, please go home and clean your room.’

“When Mom passed away, my sister was still living in our hometown, and was in charge of getting the bronze marker inscribed.

“Guess what — she put that silly phrase on Mom’s grave!

“Many in the family were gobsmacked.

“But there it is for all eternity, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Raytown, Mo.”

Not finger food

“Rum Dunnitt” tells what happens when a New Orleans lad encounters food in the outside world:

“Even as a youngster, I knew that ‘roast beef sammich’ meant a po-boy on French bread.

“Driving U.S. 90 from New Orleans to Los Angeles back around 1966 (I was 7 or 8 years old), we ate at a motel restaurant.

“I ordered an ‘open-faced’ roast beef sandwich. My dad giggled — I thought he and Mom were telling jokes.

“When our order came out, my plate was a mound of beef on a slice of toast.

“I asked the waitress, ‘Where’s my roast beef sammich? How am I supposed to pick it up and bite it?’

“She told me, ‘You eat open-faced sandwiches with a knife and fork.’

“I told her, ‘I’m from Avondale — what do we know about eating sammiches with knives and forks? We use two pieces of bread and pick them up to eat them like sammiches are meant to be eaten.’

“So, the waitress brought out another piece of bread. …

“Now they are all laughing, because they know there is no way to salvage THAT as a sammich.

“I tried to pick it up — yeah, more sammich on the floor than in my mouth.”

But, he says, his parents made it up to him:

“I ended up with my first restaurant T-bone that night.”

Make Mom’s day

I’ve heard some people say that the gifts mothers would enjoy most on Mother’s Day are signed copies of two books, “Best of Smiley,” and “Smiley! A Laughing Matter.”

Now, I don’t know if that’s true — I’m just telling you what I’ve heard some people say. …

While we’re on the subject, I’ll be signing the books from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Main Street Market.

There’s a possibility that your mother will be disappointed if she doesn’t get one or both books on her special day.

But, hey, that’s between you and your mom. …

Years of friendship

Frances Bennett says Friendship Force of Baton Rouge celebrates its 30th anniversary from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Woman’s Club on East Boulevard.

It’s free and open to the public. The group “promotes world peace and an increased understanding of other cultures by home visits of ordinary citizens.” Call Eveline Alleman, (225) 357-1770.

Party animals

  • Spay Baton Rouge benefits from “Raise the Woof — Comedy for a Cause 2014,” a three-comedian show, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday in the Hartley/Vey Theatres at the Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St. Go to
  • Yelp! BR’s second annual reunion is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the BREC Dog Park in the Burbank Soccer Complex. Email

Fun on the water

Bo Stepp says my mention of boats in the Wednesday column reminds him that on Friday and Saturday, “Blood River Landing hosts the annual Tickfaw 200 Poker Run. Over 300 of the finest powerboats from around the country will be here raising money for several water patrol agencies.”

Special People Dept.

  • Doris and Cecil Richardson celebrate their 60th anniversary on Thursday.
  • Jerry and Elsie Yarbrough, of White Castle, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Thursday.

Too much information

In the Wednesday column, “Olde Guy” recalled fondly the days before lawyers and prescription drugs were endlessly touted on TV.

Jim Gammel says, “Olde Guy could have added feminine hygiene products to his list of commercials not aired in ‘the good old days.’ ”

(Not to mention “male enhancement” products. …)

Thanks a lot, Doc!

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, tells how he discovered that his physician is also a comedian:

“I just finished my annual physical.

“After all the poking, jabbing, blood samples, other samples etc., I was sent into the doctor’s office.

“When all the results were in, I asked the doctor if he had any idea what would make me feel better.

“He said, ‘Maybe a telethon.’ ”

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.