I’m guessing many of us have had experiences with vehicles like this:

Steven J. Koehler, of Metairie, says, “Concerning inspection stickers referred to as ‘brake tags,’ I recall a car I had when I was younger that often had a ‘broke tag’ on it — the mechanic’s work order stuffed under the windshield wiper.

“Then, after I paid for all the repairs to that lemon, I had a ‘broke tag’ on me— my bank statement.”

Lucky guy

Allen Crochet, of Baton Rouge, adds to our collection of vehicle disaster stories:

“Years ago I was driving our Dodge van on a beautiful, cloudless day when a sudden impact knocked me off the road.

“A huge, rotten oak tree limb (must have weighed 200 pounds) had landed atop our van!

“We placed the van in a repair shop for repairs they said would take two weeks — the top was totaled.

“The van top was somehow lost on a loading dock ‘up nawth,’ delaying repairs another two weeks.

“Then Hurricane Katrina arrived, and the repair shop had no power for two weeks more!”

Al says he was able to keep calm about the problems because “I considered myself to be very fortunate that God wasn’t ready for me.”

Initial reaction

Celeste says in a recent column someone referred to an “ATM machine.”

She says, “This is redundant. The ‘M’ stands for ‘machine’ (Automated Teller Machine). Happens all the time!”

Making an enemy

A final “strong tobacco” story:

Ray Dodson, of River Ridge, says, “In 1970 I had just migrated from the oil fields of Oklahoma to Westwego, and was working for Fishing Tools Inc. in Harvey.

“Leaving a drilling rig in southwest Alabama on my way home early in the morning, I stopped near the Mississippi-Louisiana line for gasoline and smokes. The only cigarettes the station had were Picayunes.

“I smoked one, knew this was not for me, and put the pack in my fishing tackle box.

“Six months later, while I was fishing on Toledo Bend, another fisherman asked if he could borrow a smoke. I offered him the entire package of Picayunes.

“He took a long pull, turned red, sputtered, gave me a look and moved away, saying things I couldn’t hear well.

“I tried that night in the fish cleaning shed to talk to this fellow. He just looked at me like I might be dangerous...”

Cutting remarks

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says our mention of old-time barber shops reminded him of this:

“When I was a small boy, one of four in the family, we had a barber, Mr. Goon, whose shop was in a lean-to on a little country grocery store.

“The shop had wooden windows and no screens. Mr. Goon constantly chewed Beech-Nut tobacco, and spit it out the window.

“He cut our hair for 25 cents — but when he joined the barbers’ union the price doubled to 50 cents!

“My mother then found a family friend who cut our hair. We pretty much all had the same style — Moe of the Three Stooges — from a cut with a bowl on the head.

“Mom saved $2 a month, and paid the friend in milk and eggs from the farm!”

Stars over Louisiana

Frances Bennett says “Starring Louisiana” will be the theme of the “Night at the Capitol Park Museum” on Saturday, June 6, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Full disclosure: I’ll be one of the “stars” at the event.)

In addition to actors, the gala features music by Phat Hat, a silent auction, and an Heirloom Cuisine buffet. You can buy tickets at natcpm2015.eventbrite.com or at the museum.

Fighting back

Readers continue to offers way to deal with unsolicited sales calls:

— Buddy Knox tells of receiving calls from people offering to fix his computer if he’ll just give them information.

“One morning, when I received another of these calls, I told the caller I was having trouble understanding him, but that I was not having trouble with my windows.

“I told him my home is air conditioned, and my windows are always closed.

“There was a moment of silence, then a very loud click.”

— Loretta Toussant says, “My dad, Albert Toussant, received a phone call from someone telling him he’d won a new Corvette. All he had to do was meet the caller at Walgreen’s with a Green Dot money card for $200.

“My dad said, ‘That’s great! I’ll meet you there — and a Baton Rouge City Police officer will meet us there with your money card.’

Loretta didn’t tell us the rest of the story, but I’ll bet Albert’s not driving around in a Corvette...

A damp shame

Kelly Ward, of St. Francisville, says with all our recent rain, “web sites” might soon mean inspection stations to check to see if we’re getting webbed feet.

Contact Smiley

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.