This tale, from Val Garon, made me laugh out loud and almost spill my morning Ovaltine:

“Back in the ’70s, Bobby Dugas, Henry Landry and I, on a camping trip at Lake Verret, visited a barroom on Belle River.

“One of the patrons, a diminutive Cajun barfly called Lue-lue, was playing air guitar while the real band was playing.

“He was really going at it, matching his strokes to the music and making all the gyrations of a real guitar player.

“He even ended their song with a ‘grand stroke.’

“The band leader announced that their next number would be that old Cajun favorite, Jolie Blon.

“Lue-lue asked in a loud voice, ‘Mais, in what key?’ ”

Yat attack

Our “You might be a Yat if …” contest resumes, with some readers questioning the proper pronunciation of that New Orleans favorite, Blue Plate Mayonnaise.

After a reader suggested “my-o-nass,” Patsy Borie, among others, told us, “It’s ‘mynez.’ There’s even a boutique on Magazine Street that sells T-shirts and jewelry with pictures of jars with ‘mynez’ on them.”

Speaking of food, Linda Germany says, “You might be a Yat if you ever ordered a french fry po-boy at the Steer Inn on Elysian by da Lake.”

And Carl Spillman says you might be a Yat if “you married a New Orleans girl, moved away for whatever reason and suddenly realized that you are moving back.

“Ask any New Orleans couple that has tried it if further explanation is needed. …”

Instant replay

Walt Eldredge tells this “fun with words” story:

“This began on a backpacking trip to Costa Rica, while we were boiling leftovers in a pot for dinner. Someone commented he was having ‘déjà stew,’ defined as ‘the feeling that I’ve eaten this before.’

“This led to déjà pugh, the feeling that I’ve smelled this before. Or alternatively, déjà pew, the feeling that I’ve heard this sermon before.

“Déjà roux is the feeling that I’ve cooked gumbo before; déjà brew is the feeling that I’ve had this brand of beer before; déjà you is the feeling that I have met you before … but you get the idea. I’ll leave it to others to lengthen the list.

“Oh, one contribution from my granddaughter Alexis — déjà new is the feeling that I haven’t experienced this before.”

Nice People Dept.

Patricia Tomancik thanks the folks at Rotolo’s Pizzeria on Millerville for the kindness when she had car trouble in their parking lot.

Two young ladies going into the corporate office pointed out that her transmission was leaking (the pan had been punctured by a sharp object on the Interstate 12 exit ramp).

She went inside to wait for the tow truck, and the employees gave her cold water during her wait.

When she ordered a wrap for lunch, the counter lady, Ashley, paid for it, saying someone had bought her lunch recently and she was returning the favor.

She says the general manager, Brennan, was gracious despite all the oil she had spilled on the driveway.

She adds, “Many thanks, Rotolo’s!”

Special People Dept.

  • Tony Sziber, of Livingston, celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday.
  • Vergie Hamilton celebrates her 98th birthday on Tuesday.

    On Saturday, Rhea Landry celebrated her 98th birthday. She is the oldest member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.

    Kenneth V. Ward, a native of New Orleans now at Ollie Steele Burden Manor, celebrated his 95th birthday on Wednesday. He is a World War II veteran.

    Louis “Pete” Eleser, of Hammond, celebrated his 92nd birthday on Aug. 17. He is a Marine veteran of World War II.

    Olivia Young Delane, of Bayou Goula, celebrated her 91st birthday on Aug. 12.

    Elwood Schexnayder celebrated his 90th birthday on Monday. He is a World War II veteran.

    Darrell and Leta Bowden celebrated their 66th anniversary on Wednesday.

    Carl and Nell Meriwether celebrated their 62nd anniversary on Friday.

    Ben and Anne Byland, of Port Hudson, married 60 years on Thursday, celebrated the event on Aug. 16.

Sew true

When I spoke to folks at Williamsburg Retirement Community recently, a gent handed me a note that I didn’t get to read until I got back to the office.

I thought it would be a joke, but it’s a bittersweet one:

“You know you need a new wardrobe when you get dressed in the morning and all the labels read ‘Made in USA.’ ”

Graham crack

After the “No Fun League” fined Saints tight end Jimmy Graham and banned Slap Ya Mama seasoning ads, I heard from Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville:

“I think they should come out with an NFL-specific seasoning and call it ‘Slap Ya Tight End.’ ”

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.