Dear Smiley: Here’s some encouragement for the driver whose car was damaged by a “flying alligator” (as reported in the Wednesday column) and your concern about whether her auto insurance will cover repairs.

I once spent the night with a friend who lived in the Ozark Mountains.

I had parked my new car outside the fence that surrounded his home.

When I left the next day, we noticed several large, wide, long and unusual scratches on my car’s hood.

It seems my friend’s pet mules (yes, there’s a big world of “mule fanciers” out there and he was one) had wandered up, seen their reflections in the hood and attacked what they thought were rival mules.

My insurance covered the repairs, but I always wondered how they reacted to my claim that simply said, “Bitten by mules!”


Denham Springs

Hungry in Seattle

Dear Smiley: Had an interesting call from daughter Emily out in Seattle.

She and two other Louisiana friends out there were hungry for boiled crawfish. So she called two different fish markets after hearing that Louisiana crawfish were indeed available in Seattle.

Being leery of “Cajun” food of any sort outside of Louisiana, she asked how they cooked them.

After quite a bit of banter and questioning, she found out that they are boiled in a mystery brine and later given a dry-rub treatment and served with “sauces.”

Neither could sell her live crawfish because, get this, they are purged before shipping and they all arrive dead in the Pacific Northwest.

Apparently it’s been illegal to import live crawfish for 10 years in Washington State.

Needless to say, she passed after having visions of a plate full of straight-tailed crawfish at $9 a pound. The craving continues...


Denham Springs

Dear Linda: When I Googled this to check it out, several people commented on the ban, pointing out that in Washington state marijuana is legal but live red swamp crawfish aren’t.

A kid goes bad

Dear Smiley: I grew up in Big BR, and proudly display LSU emblems on both vehicles.

Our daughter met her husband while both were graduate assistants at LSU, and both are ardent LSU fans. However, when they taught at Ole Miss, it was agonizing to hear her cheer for the Rebels.

Our son Mark is an alumnus of LSU and LSU Medical School in New Orleans. His son Andrew graduated from high school in May, and Mark spoke at the honors supper.

While he did not speak the formal name of the university Andrew opted to attend, he took a deep breath, swallowed, apologized and ended with a one-time “Go, Irish!”


Columbia, Tennessee

Making scents

Dear Smiley: I hope you can accept another nicotine memory. Here goes:

Poppa Eddie’s favorite pastime, especially during the winter, was to sit in his favorite chair and puff on those fat King Edward cigars.

I enjoyed that smell, but on cold winter days when he would take me to school, that smell would cause a bit of classroom excitement.

When I entered Mr. Roy B. Givens’ class one morning, somebody said, “Oh, I can smell Barbara’s tobacco, and look how red her cheeks are!”

I think it was Mr. Givens who suggested I stay outside for a while in the mornings and fluff my arms up and down so the cold wind could take away most of that strong King Edward smell.

I was so happy when we eventually built a house within close walking distance of my school!

Many years have gone by, but it makes me happy to think of Poppa Eddie contentedly puffing away on his King Edwards!



Hazardous material

Dear Smiley: Uncle George Lorio owned a large beautiful multi-story home on Star Plantation in St. Charles Parish.

He cured perique tobacco in the attic.

One day when the sun shone through a stained glass window, the tobacco caught fire and burned down the house. It was never rebuilt.


New Orleans

Living dangerously

Dear Smiley: I heard a woman say the other day that every time she told her husband that she loved him, all he said was “Ditto.”

I think if that ever happened to me I’d probably be writing this from behind bars somewhere.



New shock jock?

Dear Smiley: You should have a daily radio show — just people calling in talking for a few minutes each.

You have the looks for radio!



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.