This column is finally getting some class — we’re featuring comments from noted authors (besides me, I mean...):

Sam Irwin, author of “Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean,” says, “Referencing the item about the scarcity of live crawfish in Seattle — the Louisiana red swamp crawfish is a bit of a bully, identified as a ‘keystone’ species by biologists, which means they can outcompete the indigenous species.

“Folks in Washington don’t want Louisiana crawfish in their waters because they’re afraid they’ll push out their native species, the signal crawfish, which is a larger crawfish.

“The crawfish is a Jurassic era creature, which leads me to conclude that the very wise and deliberate Cajun crustacean is bent on conquering the world one epicurean at a time — or by sheer numbers.’”

Darn those movies!

Marlene Penick, of Baton Rouge, comments on the story about running over an alligator:

“There is no end to alligator tales. Once at the TV station our sales manager was discussing Baton Rouge with a very naïve girl in our New York rep’s office.

“She asked if we had an airport. He responded, ‘We did, but the alligators crossing the runway were a hazard to the planes, so we had to close it.’

“Another girl in this same office said she had watched the movie ‘Southern Comfort,’ and was scared to death. She asked me, ‘What in the world are Cajuns?’”

Make father’s day

Since several readers complained that they missed my pre-Father’s Day book signing, I have another one Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Red Stick Farmer’s Market.

The book is “Smiley! A Laughing Matter.” This is how some readers describe it:

“It has a green cover...”

“It’s too small to make a good doorstop...”

“A Father’s Day gift? Well, I guess it’s better than nothing...”

Story additions

A couple of comments on tales in the Wednesday column:

— Jim Pitchford says this about Jabo, the ice cream man who drove a horse and wagon in Natchez, Mississippi, when I was a tot:

“I believe he went upscale around 1950 and was given a truck.”

— James Minton comments on the mention of “alligators,” a truckers’ term for tire treads left along the highway:

“I read somewhere that those large treads that peel off truck tires are appropriately called ‘road kill.’”

High-class smokes

T. Med Hogg comments on a mention of King Edward cigars:

“They used to be two for a nickel. We called them ‘twofers.’

Med says when he smoked he went for a more expensive cigar:

“I always preferred a Roi Tan, which cost 5 cents...”

Special People Dept.

— Justine Hoyer Brunson, of Gonzales, celebrates her 102nd birthday on Thursday, June 18. She was a teacher in Dutchtown and wife of Ascension Parish Superintendent of Schools Billy Brunson.

— Mary Tarver celebrates her 95th birthday on Thursday, June 18.

— On Thursday, June 18, John and Betty Sue Torbert, of Tioga, celebrate their 71st anniversary. Says John: “I saw Betty Sue graduate from college and we got married — all on a three-day pass!”

— Tom and Eva Jones, of Zachary, celebrate their 55th anniversary on Thursday, June 18. They met on a Fortier High band trip from New Orleans to Enid, Oklahoma.

Generous Earl

Ronnie Hotz, of Lafayette, adds to our stories generated by the death of Blaze Starr, the stripper and very good friend of Gov. Earl Long:

“The late Louie Roussel, president of the American Bank in New Orleans, summoned Blaze Starr to his office.

“He handed her a brown paper lunch sack and told her Uncle Earl had asked him to deliver it to her, so she would have something to take care of her in old age.

“She removed the contents and counted out $1,500.

“Yes, Uncle Earl Long had a soft heart and charitable soul.”

Divine intervention

Mike McNeese offers this classic golf story:

“Early one Sunday morning Bishop Anthony decided to sneak in a round of golf alone.

“In heaven, St. Peter observed this and called it to God’s attention.

“‘This is just shameful,’ Peter remarked. ‘You should punish him for abusing the Lord’s day in such a manner.’

“God nodded in seeming agreement.

“A short time later Bishop Anthony hit a 450-yard drive which rolled in a curve and landed in the cup.

“Peter was appalled: ‘I thought you were going to punish him. How could you let him get a hole-in-one? And not only that, you gave him an amazing drive to go with it. Are you trying to reward him for abusing your day?’

“God looked down at Peter with a bemused look and replied, ‘Who’s he gonna tell?’”

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.