I can’t wrap up Mardi Gras without this one from Gerald Wray, of Pride:

“I was down in Nawlins this weekend for Mardi Gras, so I stopped in at Rouse’s on Barrone to let my friend Keith, who is the market manager there, know I would be riding in the Krewe of Thoth parade.

“After a few pleasantries like ‘How’s your mom and dem?’, I asked where he would be for the parade and he said St. Charles.

“He then asked the age-old question — ‘You on the house side or the neutral ground side?’

“Only in New Orleans!”

Days of wine and garlic

Speaking of winding up Mardi Gras:

Suzanne Orr, of Denham Springs, says, “Tuesday night my grandson Chris came over to help me make a jambalaya for his last night home before he headed back to school at Louisiana Tech.

“He had been telling us about the great time he had at the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade Saturday.

“I was browning the meat and putting in the wine and garlic as he leaned over and took a deep whiff of the pot.

“ ‘Oh Granny,’ he says, ‘that smells wonderful! It smells just like the Spanish Town parade!’ ”

Recruiting trip?

This just in:

Jeremy White reports that the Vatican jet has been seen at the Tuscaloosa, Ala., airport.

(Well, Nick IS Catholic…)

Inquiring Minds Dept.

In our continuing coverage of papal news, here’s a comment from L.P. Miller:

“This College of Cardinals … What kinda football program do they have? Been to any bowls?”

Gumbo weather

If it’s a Friday in Lent, it’s time for a gumbo lunch at St. James Episcopal Church, North Fourth at Florida.

Starting Friday, shrimp or chicken and sausage gumbo lunches will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $10.

You can also have boxed lunches or quarts (or pints) of gumbo, plus rice, coleslaw, desserts and/or bread brought to your car.

For to-go and drive-through orders, call (225) 387-5141 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Friday.

Watery grave

After I mentioned ships of the Civil War years, I heard from Francisco P. Lomas with the story of the CSS Hunley, a submarine built in Mobile, Ala., by the Confederates that in 1864 rammed the USS Housatonic, a Union blockade vessel, in Charleston, S.C., harbor.

Both vessels wound up sinking, and Francisco says that in 2004 he attended a funeral in Charleston for the Hunley’s eight-man crew.

Cooking for causes

  • From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, St. Francisville celebrities will cook pancakes and waffles to benefit the Arts for All organization, which supports the arts in West Feliciana Parish.

Among the amateur chefs cooking at Birdman Coffee and Books Café are St. Francisville Mayor Billy D’Aquilla and Country Roads editor James Fox-Smith. Breakfast costs $10 for adults and $5 for children.

  • On Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Port Allen Lions Club has an “all you can eat” pancake breakfast at the KC hall on Sixth Street in Port Allen.

Cost is $5 each or $15 for a family of four.

Net profits help two Lions statewide projects, the Eye Foundation and Children’s Camp, and local charities.

Nice People Dept.

A lady who describes herself as “a nonagenarian” says she was at the Bennington post office and asked for a pack of the new tiger stamps.

The clerk told her it would be $11, and she only had $10.

“At that point, the pretty blonde lady at the next window handed me a dollar bill so I could buy the beautiful stamps.”

Special People Dept.

  • Sidney B. Boudreaux, of Morgan City, celebrated his 98th birthday Monday — by going dancing.
  • Mamie Moore, of Hammond, celebrated her 90th birthday Tuesday.
  • On Thursday Tommy and Joyce Overton, of Clinton, celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer: “Hard work spotlights the character of people. Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”

Bless you anyhow

Lolan and Faye Melancon offer this timely tale:

“A couple of years ago, our 5-year-old granddaughter, Margaux, went to her ‘school’ on Ash Wednesday and was blessed by the priest, with the requisite ashes on her forehead, for the first time.

“That afternoon, when she got into the car with son Mike to head for home, he was puzzled that she didn’t mention anything about the event.

“So he asked, ‘Margaux, did you get blessed by the priest today?’

“He realized she was NOT happy. She reared back with a very angry expression on her face, and yelled loudly, ‘I NOT SNEEZE!’

“She had also cleaned her forehead.

“We use that expression still when things aren’t going well.”

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.