Richard Fossey’s story is one that could no doubt be told about a lot of folks in south Louisiana:

“My parents-in-law, Ivy and Kitty Alford, once had a camp on Graveyard Island in Belle River near Pierre Part.

“During those years, Kitty and Ivy caught hundreds of fish: bass, catfish, sac-a-lait and bream.

“Ivy cleaned all the fish with an electric knife he bought at the Pierre Part Store. That knife had a six-month warranty that meant Ivy could take the knife back for a replacement if it wore out in less than six months.

“Kitty and Ivy knew all the great fishing holes around Belle River, and Ivy cleaned so many fish that he routinely wore out his electric knives in about three months.

“Since each worn-out knife was still under warranty, the folks at the Pierre Part Store would cheerfully give him a free replacement. But finally they had enough.

“One day when Ivy brought in a worn-out electric knife to get his free replacement, a store representative told him his knives were no longer under warranty.

“‘Mr. Ivy,’ the sales clerk told him in perfect Cajun diction, ‘We can’t do dat deal with you no more.’”

Eyes left!

Antonia Edgeworth says, “As you are probably aware, Thursday, Aug. 13, is International Left-handers’ Day.

“It turns out that you are not the only famous left-handed humorist. There are a few others whom you may have heard of: such as Dave Barry, Jon Stewart, David Letterman, and some guy named Jay Leno.

“As a matter of fact, history is full of famous left-handers: Julius Caesar, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon, Mozart, Babe Ruth, Joan of Arc, Jimi Hendrix, and of course, Jack the Ripper.

“As I always say, it’s OK to not always be Right.

“Now if you’ll excuse me, according to my left-handed watch, it’s about time for me to get out my left-handed can-opener and make dinner.”

The hunger game

Frank Fronczek, “My Boy Scout years early in a previous century featured marginally-planned, week-long canoe trips down some of the largely uncharted creeks, bayous and rivers of southwest Louisiana.

“Once, low on food, we cooked an unlucky armadillo over a pine wood fire.

“I don’t recommend this.”

Which reminds me

Years ago I went deer hunting with some buddies who had a camp bordering the Atchafalaya River north of Simmesport.

We were trudging through the woods when we came across a couple of “primitive campers” huddled around a campfire, cooking something in a pot that looked greasy and unappetizing.

They barely spoke when we came upon them, and seemed anxious for us to leave.

On our way past them, one of our guys noticed a tell-tale tail near their campsite, and told us they were dining on armadillo — and evidently were not proud of it.

“That’s ‘living off the land,’” he said with a chuckle as we hurried to camp and our pot of chicken fricassee.

Like “Muskrat Love?”

Fiddling Doc Chaney has this comment on our long-running seminar on the critters:

“How could any mention of armadillos be presented without some reference to ‘I Am An Armadillo,’ an armadillo love song rendered so lovingly by a local group, The Fugitive Poets?”

(Full disclosure: Fiddling Doc is a member of The Fugitive Poets.)

Special People Dept.

— Fellman and Agnes Bercegeay, of Gonzales, celebrate 65 years of marriage on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

— Richard and Sue Conran celebrate 54 years of marriage on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

Poems or songs?

— Lenore Banks’ entry in Smiley’s Poetry Contest would make an excellent country song:

“Why should I go to Nashville when I can be lonely in Baton Rouge?

Why spin in music circles like some crazy centrifuge?

Why take a chance on the mercies of some Ebenezer Scrooge?

Why should I go to Nashville — when I can cry in Baton Rouge?”

— Glenn Balentine, of Prairieville, pens a sweet children’s song:

“Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.

Everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

The lamb it went to school one day,

The cops they picked it up.

The chief and all the officers loved lamb chops very much.”

— Bob DuBos’ limerick continues the musical theme:

“There was a young girl named Veronica,

She played a magnificent harmonica.

She was much in demand

All over the land,

and she played for both Christmas and Hanukkah.”

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.