The precautions taken by banks and businesses to avoid identity theft have led to some interesting situations, as readers have pointed out:

Doug Johnson, of Watson, tells this tale:

“Several years ago, I used the ATM at my bank in Baker to make a withdrawal of $100.

“Apparently, two of the new 20s stuck together, giving me $20 too much.

“I pulled around to the auto line and put the extra bill in the air chute capsule and sent it back, explaining to the teller over the mic what had happened.

“She then demanded to know my account number!

“At first I refused, telling her to just forget it and give me back the $20.

“Finally, I relented and gave her the information but decided that if it ever happened again, I would not put the bank to so much trouble by returning their money.

“No, it hasn’t happened again.”

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, has an even odder story:

“I went in for a scheduled colonoscopy, and at the front desk, the nurse asked for a picture ID.”

Tony wonders how many imposters there are seeking this procedure — and doubts there are very many.

Stuffed with fudge?

Kathy Bookter says my mention of dual careers (veterinarians who are also optometrists or taxidermists) reminded her:

“On my trip to Pinehurst, North Carolina, to visit friends and attend the U.S. Open golf championships, we drove a few miles out to the neighboring town of Southern Pines and found ourselves at Grandma’s Fudge Shop, Christian Bookstore and Taxidermy Hall of Fame.

“I couldn’t resist offering my find as a place that ‘takes the cake’ — or fudge, as it were.”

Miracle cure

“I suppose one can learn many things from watching the recent soccer matches, other than it’s very hard to score,” says Frank Carney.

“The medical profession might start by noting the incredible resuscitation power of a yellow card.

“Players can be down in unbelievable pain, revive and start running immediately when the referee pulls out a yellow card against their opponents.

“For my next doctor or hospital visit, I’ll check to see if they have discovered the power of the yellow card.”

Pet peeves

I’m still hearing from readers about misuses of words:

Gail Stephenson tells of reading a quote from a lawsuit reported in The Advocate, maintaining that someone “drowned to death.”

She says, “As drown means to die by submersion in liquid, ‘drown to death’ is redundant.”

Noralee Patton, of Central, says her peeve is “sports announcers who say a player ‘flew out’ when he/she hit a fly ball.

“I don’t think those players grew wings and flew, do you? They hit a fly ball, therefore they flied out.”

Nostalgia Corner

Joe B. Stoma Jr., of Crowley, says, “In the late ’30s and early ’40s, I attended LSU, and within walking distance of campus were two watering holes, The Cotton Club and the Kwiturkiken. I wonder if any of your readers remember them.”

The Cotton Club was still around 20 or so years later when I was at LSU. As a poverty-stricken student, I discovered that one night a week it offered a whole flounder, broiled or fried, with all the trimmings, for a buck.

Later, I found that the Cotton Club bar was a source of legal advice from the many attorneys and judges who hung out there.

Sadly, most of the advice was useless, and some of it was disastrously wrong, as I discovered. …

As for Kwiturkiken, despite its great name, it was no doubt gone by the ’50s, or I would have surely discovered it.

Heroes all

Daphne Crawford says the story sent in by a reader about 12 U.S. fighting men killed in Afghanistan recently wasn’t entirely correct.

They were not all Marines — only two, Justus S. Bartelt and Dave Santos, were Marines.

One of them, Brett Linley, was a British soldier.

The others were in the U.S. Army: Justin B. Allen, Matthew W. Weikert, Chase Stanley, Jesse D. Reed, Matthew J. Johnson, Zachary M. Fisher, Brandon M. King, Christopher Goeke and Sheldon L. Tate.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer: “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”

Grin and bare it

“I know some guys who can relate to this,” says Pete Blanchard, of Plaquemine:

“Our two grandsons were over here last week visiting.

“I showed them a DVD of their dad, at 18 months old, jumping on the bed.

“The boys were very puzzled, trying to figure out who this little boy was.

“I told them it was their dad. Then on the video I came into the picture, playing with him.

“Wyatt goes, ‘Hey, that’s Paw-Paw!’

“Jacob then exclaims, ‘Paw-Paw, you had HAIR?’ ”

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.