Bob Downing has this suggestion:

“When you put Tabasco on your food and someone, not from here, says, ‘Shouldn’t you taste it first,’ the correct response should be, ‘Why? I already know what Tabasco tastes like.’”

Aging process

Faye Talbot says, “You know you are getting old when you ask a friend to go to a New Year’s Eve party and their first question is, ‘You aren’t going to stay till midnight, are you?’”

Let there be light

Keith Horcasitas says he was taking his evening stroll on New Year’s Eve when he saw a neighbor using a light bulb changing pole with a long extender on a city street light:

“I had to chuckle to myself as I realized what was going on. Not long after Thanksgiving this neighbor had set up a neat Christmas light decoration synchronized to the great sound system he had blasting out Yuletide tunes.”

To keep the street light from competing with his light display, the guy had loosened the bulb.

He was reactivating his street light when Keith came by.

What memory?

A reader was telling his daughter about his mother, in her 80s, and her memory issues.

Seems his mother laughed about some items in this column, and read them to him three times without realizing her repetition.

The daughter told him of her own problems along this line:

“I swear, my memory is so bad I could plan my own surprise party!”

As the game changes

Roy Pitchford, of Monroe, who describes himself as a “retired journalist and pastor (an example of sacred and profane) has this to say about a pastime popular in these parts: “While watching pro football Sunday, I came up with a list of things we no longer see.

“1. Quarterbacks calling plays without looking to the sidelines for guidance.

“2. Players scoring a touchdown without celebrating.

“3. Defensive players making a sack without strutting.

“4. Benching players who draw stupid penalties.

“5. A kicker trying for a game-winning field goal without the opposing coach calling a time-out to ‘freeze’ him.

“I wonder what the old pros think about what the game has become.”

French connection

Maw Maw Betty, of French Settlement, says, “While waiting in line at Wal-Mart recently, I heard the two women behind me speaking French.

“When I turned around, I realized I knew the younger lady.

“She had come from France many years ago to teach French at French Settlement and had taught my sons.

“After talking with her for a while, we were walking away when Taylor said, ‘Maw Maw, I knew she was French.’

“I asked her how she knew that, thinking she recognized the French language.

“She said, ‘I saw the six loaves of French bread in her shopping cart.’”

Nostalgia Corner

Loretta Toussant says our mention of stage plank cookies reminded her of the Jack’s Cookies sold in the ’60s at the old Dreyfus Store in Livonia:

“There was always a huge jar of them next to the cash register. I think they were 1 cent each.

“One of those cookies with a slice of cheese and a slice of pepper sausage (aka salami) held me over after church until Sunday dinner.”

Worthy causes

Caroline O. Bourgeois says the food drive held by the Baton Rouge dentists in the Capital Study Club raised more than 2,000 pounds of food for the St. Vincent de Paul Shelter.

“We surpassed our goal!” Caroline says. “Everyone pulled together and the results were outstanding.”

Special People Dept.

  • Ralph H. Wilder, a World War II veteran, celebrates his 92nd birthday Saturday, possibly by going out dancing.
  • Aubrey and Elsie Graham of Kentwood celebrated their 70th anniversary Dec. 28 at Bible study with their fellow congregation members from Beulah Missionary Baptist Church.

No hot ice here

“Big Roy” Nesom says he saw this sign at a convenience store:

“ICE COLD ICE on sale.”

Thought for the Day

From Carl Spillman: “Watch the preacher after a wedding or funeral.

“If he hangs around, he either has not been paid or the food is going to be excellent.”

Dry humor

Danny Morvant says daughter Devaney complained on Facebook that her husband, Darrin, had the heat in their home turned up so high that she woke up all dry and dehydrated.

She added that when she sneezed, dust came out …

A Texan’s best friend

Malcolm Wright says, “Returning to Baton Rouge from Fort Worth recently, “Martha and I stopped at a public rest stop on Interstate 20 somewhere in the wilds of Texas.

“A tall Texan was reading a sign on the building wall that said, ‘No pets allowed. Service animals only.’

“He quoted the sign and then turned to us and said, ‘You reckon that includes my mule?’”

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.