“In a recent column you mentioned 150 proof rum,” says Ken Best, of Baton Rouge. “I’d like to share an experience with that elixer that may be of use to your highly educated readers.

“On a recent trip to my fishing camp at Leeville, a friend and his rather diminutive wife came to visit. They fished in their boat, me in mine.

“That afternoon I saw them motoring in slowly, the wife holding her arm in a vertical position.

“Embedded in her forearm was one of the tines of a treble hook. Any experienced fisherman will tell you that the only way to extract that from human flesh is to force it through the other side, cut off the tine and back out what remains of the hook.

“Our options were to take her to Lady of the Sea General Hospital or do the obvious.

“As you can imagine, this procedure is not without discomfort.

“I like to make Bananas Foster, thus the 150 proof rum. I had some limeade in my freezer, so I mixed equal parts of limeade with the rum and gave it to the victim.

“She soon asked for seconds.

“In no time at all her husband and I had the hook removed — and had no complaints from the patient.

“I hope this serves as a warning to your outdoors readers to always be prepared to perform surgery, and have the necessary ingredients on hand.”

Amphibian connections

Our mention of a “gumbo frog” in the Monday column drew some reactions:

Laura Robertson, of Pine Grove, says, “Smiley, your story about the frog in the gumbo reminds me of my son Daryl when he was about 4 years old.

“He loved pickles, and one day wanted to know if pickles were sliced frogs.”

Linda Dalferes says, “Your story of the frog in the gumbo reminded me of the time my teenage son, Craig, thought it might be funny to put a tree frog in Mama’s bathtub.

“He reconsidered, went back to retrieve it, and it was gone.

“That night, while I was relaxing in the tub, the little fella came swimming up out of the drain to get air.

“Mama has never moved so fast in her life.”

Linda adds, for those who may be wondering, “No, I didn’t kill him. He’s alive and well, and is an Episcopal priest in Houma.”

Play ball!

This story, from Les Fogleman, of Ponchatoula, shows that newlyweds’ cooking disasters aren’t limited to wives:

“My wife and I were married in 1968. Shortly thereafter she came down with a serious tonsil problem and only could swallow soft food.

“I decided to fix chicken and dumplings.

“All went well; looked good in the pot and smelled good.

“After dinner, the dumplings went with me to the backyard, where I practiced playing baseball with them.

“I had learned you don’t cook the dumplings too long!”

Spinach dessert

Speaking of kitchen mishaps, Mary Nell Barringer, of Baton Rouge, tells this sad tale:

“My son brought Spinach Madeleine to Thanksgiving dinner.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t know the difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk.

“We tried to fix it, but there was no disguising the overwhelming sweetness of the creamy spinach!”

A damp shame

Just as our recent monsoon ended, I received this somewhat poetic weather report from Charles R. Salemi, of Brusly:

“If April showers bring May flowers,

What do March floods bring?

Local crawfishermen say “Cha-ching!”

Business is good for these fellas,

The demand has grown for umbrellas.

It’s been wetter than a few baby diapers,

Happy are those selling windshield wipers.

Finally, all rain passes,

As sales pick up on sunglasses.”

Special People Dept.

Marie Hotard Sutton, of LaPlace, celebrated her 98th birthday on Monday. March 16.

Helen Papp Hano celebrated her 95th birthday on Saturday, March 14.

Margaret Barrett, formerly of LaPlace, now living in Metairie, celebrated her 94th birthday on Monday, March 16.

Bob and Betty Guchereau, of Lafayette, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Tuesday, March 17.

Not me!

“Is this one, from Stan Kegel, referring to you?,” asks Harriet St. Amant:

“A newspaper writer complains that he must repeatedly endure hearing his readers telling him the same anecdotes that appeared in his column.

“It’s the tale dogging the wag.”

(No, Harriet, at my age I’ve already forgotten the stories by the time they come out in the paper...)

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.