Duane Smith, of Port Allen, says, “I am assuming that other families in this area have conversations similar to the one that my wife and I just had:

“Me: ‘Darn it! I just spilled salsa down the front of this shirt!’

“Her: ‘That’s OK. I’m washing a load of purple tomorrow.’ ”

The human touch

On a windy day at the downtown Baton Rouge post office, I was walking out with a handful of magazines and a form from the Social Security Administration when the form vanished — I assume I lost my grip on it and it blew away.

Since I needed it for my income tax preparation, as soon as possible I got on the phone and began trying to get a replacement.

I reached a pleasant male voice I thought of as Computerman.

When I voiced my problem to him, he politely told me that the form in question had been mailed to me.

“Yes, I know, and I got it,” I told him. “But then I lost it.”

Again, he told me that the form had been mailed to me, and again I told him I had lost it.

This went on until I found myself yelling at him — just as I yell at the cranky lady on my GPS when she tells me she has to “recalculate” because of my stupid driving.

Finally I gave up and decided to take my problem to a human being.

I went to the Social Security office, took a number, and before long I was talking to a very attractive young lady, who understood my problem (and my difficulty making Computerman understand it), and provided me with the duplicate copy I needed.

I left with a new respect for the folks in the federal government — the human ones, anyhow.

Take that, Computerman!

Spousal editing

Lady Katherine, after viewing the above item, asked me what the part about the Social Security lady being “very attractive” had to do with my tale.

I replied, “Hey, this is MY story, and I’ll tell it MY way!”

(Well, I didn’t actually SAY that, but I COULD have...)

Gridiron and gridlock

Judy Tuma’s idea should be welcomed by eastbound motorists on Baton Rouge’s Interstate 10 bridge during LSU football game days:

“They should have a radio station in sync with Tiger Stadium’s new south end zone video screens.

“This way, while you are sitting in traffic on the new bridge, you can watch the screens and hear the sounds — but remember to move when the traffic starts flowing.”

Blues in the news

Dr. Joe Ricapito says, “Baton Rouge hit the big time on Thursday, Jan. 15, in the New York Times’ Travel Section, with the article ‘In Baton Rouge, they’s still singing the blues.’”

The article, by Jack Barlow, tells of the history of blues in Baton Rouge, and mentions the late lamented Tabby’s Blues Box, plus existing blues venues Phil Brady’s, the Blues Room and Teddy’s Juke Joint in Zachary.

Dining and music places such as Chelsea’s Cafe and the Chimes are included in the story, along with the downtown Hilton as a place to stay when making a blues tour of the city.

Local hero

“Just can’t help but brag on a Catholic High and LSU alum once again!” says Lesley Guillot.

“Bradley Furnish is editor of ‘The Dam Keeper,’ nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short!

“You can bet we’ll be cheering him and ‘the team’ come Feb. 22!”

Special People Dept.

Lorena Guilbeau “Ti-Moon” Guillot, of Carencro, celebrated her 104th birthday on Monday, Jan. 19.

Carroll Gromer, of Village Woods Retirement Community, celebrated her 94th birthday on Dec. 25.

Sweet revenge

This advice, from Alex “Sonny” Chapman, of Ville Platte, ties into the story above about my problem with Computerman:

“Want to get back at computers? Punch in an address on your talking travel device using the words ‘Atchafalaya’ or ‘Chataigner.’ It ties Siri’s tongue.”

Pay (back) day

Karl Denino comments on the mention of Fishhook Frank, the guy with the slow draw when the tab came around:

“We had a guy similar to him.

“Years ago four of us would go to a local pub after work for a few drinks.

“It seemed every time we would ask for the check, this guy would have to go to the restroom. He always came out right after the bill was paid.

“He did this a few times, then one day I told the other guys we were going to all go to the restroom at the same time, and tell the waitress to bring him the check.

“We waited till he paid the check. For some reason he never came out with us again.”

Talk to Smiley

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.