One of the joys of this job is passing along tales about children and all the funny things they do and say. (Parents sometimes take a little longer to find the humor in their kids’ antics.)

Some tales about kids that got a chuckle out of me:

— From Penny Schulin, of Baton Rouge: “My grandson Cooper, age 6, saw a gift the other day and asked who it was for.

“I told him it was for Father’s Day, and I had one for Mother’s Day.

“He thought about it for a while and asked me, ‘When is it going to be Son’s Day?’”

— From Pat Alba, of Metairie: “I was raised without video games or even television, but not without distractions.

“My mother always preached, ‘Do as I say WHEN I say!’

“Once she made an exception, when her 4-year-old responded, ‘Wait a minute, Mama. I’m telling myself a story, and I want to see how it turns out.’”

— From Billie Roman, of Baton Rouge: “Your stories about kids locking themselves in bathrooms brought back a recent memory.

“I have always told my grandchildren not to lock the bathroom door, because we can’t open it from outside.

“My 5-year-old grandson Drew said, ‘Yes, you can open it, Ma Maw. Give me a penny and I’ll show you.’

“And he did. It worked beautifully.

“Even at 80 it’s not too late to learn something useful.”

Calm kids

One feature of our “left behind” stories is the composure shown by the kids left behind — it’s the parents who panic.

— Edna Meyers, of Central, tells of “one of our frequent trips with our five youngsters to visit my husband’s Cajun relatives in Abbeville.

“After crossing the ‘old bridge’ in Baton Rouge we stopped for gas, and did not notice when one of our four sons slipped out of our big station wagon.

“After we got back on Highway 190, but before reaching the elevated spillway, we started counting heads in the back and asked, ‘Where’s Eric?’

“Voices chimed in, ‘Who’s Eric?’

“We turned around and drove back to the service station — where we found him engrossed in the conversation of two men there.

“His siblings enjoy recounting this story at every family gathering!”

— Jeannie Bueche says, “In 1986, we went on a camping vacation with my sister and family (four adults and seven children) to Washington, D.C.

“We were pulling popup campers. We would set them up, then pile into our van for sightseeing trips.

“One morning we were all in the van, and stopped at the camp office to pay up. The two men got out to pay, and the boys got out to look in the camp store. They got back in, and off we went into D.C.

“As we headed down the freeway, I heard one of the kids say, ‘Where’s Corey?’ After a head count, 9-year-old Corey was missing.

“You can’t just turn around on a freeway, so it was a harrowing ride back to the campground.

“He was not at the camp store, so back to our campers we went.

“There he sat on the table, knowing eventually we would come back for him.

“His siblings still kid him about it.”

Burning issue

Dave Goldsmith says, “Your mention of Picayunes and perique tobacco reminded me of the 1969 Boy Scout National Jamboree (and Troop 178 at Broadmoor Methodist Church, with trip leader Eugene Calvert).

“We brought various Louisiana items for cultural exchange purposes, including Tabasco, sugar cane, perique tobacco leaves, etc.

“One night we were paired with a troop from Chicago. I’ll always remember how they ran around lighting the leaves to smoke what they called ‘freak’ tobacco!”

Still a reporter

After we ran the note from former Advocate reporter Annabelle Armstrong thanking some folks for helping her after a fall, we heard from fellow writer Anne Butler, of St. Francisville:

“Isn’t that just like an old hand at newspaper writing: the wonderful Annabelle Armstrong falls and bashes her face in the Wal-Mart parking lot, and STILL has her wits about her enough to get the full correct names of everybody who rushed to help her!”

Check the cushions!

Mary Michel says, “It seems every year the Legislature mysteriously ‘finds’ money it didn’t know we had.

“Last week they looked under a ‘financial cushion’ and found $179 million that will be used to cover a shortfall in the budget.

“I’ve looked under every cushion in my house, and I haven’t even found a penny.

“Perhaps I should be looking under the cushions at the State Capitol!”

And don’t forget to floss

Francis Celino, the Metairie Miscreant, found this extraordinary warning in the manual for a window air conditioner with a battery-operated remote control:

“If you eat the liquid from the battery, brush your teeth and see doctor. Do not use the remote if the battery has leaked.”

Contact 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.