I’ve been running several stories lately proving that our grandchildren are cuter than we are.

Ray Schell, of Prairieville, has a tale indicating that they’re smarter, too:

Ray says that when he realized that an owner’s manual he needed had been inadvertently thrown into the bottom of the recycling bin, he leaned way over into the bin to retrieve it when he felt a rib snap.

He was explaining to granddaughter Lucy, 6, how he broke his rib on the bin when she asked him, “Papa, why didn’t you just tip it over?”

Make Dad’s day

For Father’s Day (June 15), you COULD get Dad a new rod and reel, or a new set of golf clubs.

But why not be different, and give him something he doesn’t expect?

Maybe something like, say, a BOOK? Or two?

As it happens, I’ll be signing copies of “Smiley! A Laughing Matter” and “Best of Smiley” from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Main Street Market.

Dad will probably thank you — and I know I will. …

Well shod, well fed

Continuing my exclusive coverage of Baton Rouge’s Miss USA events:

At last week’s karaoke contest for the Miss USA contestants at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s, a guy seated next to me at the bar saw the sponsor’s signs and wondered how a Chinese laundry got involved in the event.

He was obviously not as well-versed in ladies’ fashions as I am, so I informed him that Chinese Laundry is a brand of shoes and accessories, and providers of the official shoes of the Miss USA pageant.

And Myrtle Forbes, of Baker, thanks Tony’s Seafood for having the Miss USA ladies over for oysters and other Louisiana seafood delicacies — and Miss Mississippi for graciously posing with her for a picture.

It must have been a shock to Tony’s customers to see all the beauty queens from around the country bravely confronting raw oysters and boiled crawfish, etc.

Where’s the beef?

We’ve been discussing food a great deal lately — everything from pizza to eels — but Daniel Ligon, of Ethel, poses a food question that stumps me.

He says the last open-faced roast beef sandwich he had in a restaurant was in the ’70s and wonders where one of those could be found today.

I can’t recall having one in years, either.

But I’m sure they still exist, and I’m counting on you to tell me — and Daniel — just where.

Which reminds me

When I was growing up in Natchez, Mississippi, a Saturday night treat was dinner at Top’s Grill.

My mom and dad and I would walk the few blocks (we didn’t have a car) and dine on the same thing every time — hot roast beef sandwiches. The sandwich consisted of a pile of thin-sliced beef on a piece of toast, slathered with a dark brown gravy and served with french fries and a lettuce-and-tomato salad.

Looking back, I realize that it was one of the cheapest dinners on the menu, and my folks no doubt ordered it for that reason.

After dinner, we’d walk by the newsstand, where my dad would buy the Sunday New York Daily News.

It was evidently printed well in advance, and contained the kind of lurid stories that defined tabloid journalism. The comics were wrapped around the paper, and I got first crack at them when we got home.

Sometimes we’d stop by an ice cream shop and have nickel cones for dessert, munching on them as we strolled back to our apartment on Washington Street.

It never occurred to me that my folks didn’t have much money — on those nights we seemed rich. …

Worthy causes

Animal Rescue New Orleans benefits from the annual “Ball Crawl” of the 610 Stompers at 1 p.m. Saturday, starting at Grit’s Bar.

Visit www.610stompers.com.

Special People Dept.

  • J.C. Cormier celebrated his 94th birthday Wednesday.
  • Russell and Eloise Mayeur, of Metairie, celebrated their 69th anniversary on Tuesday. He is a World War II veteran and a member of the Washington Artillery Veterans Association.

    Beulah and Lawrence Kluka, of Ponchatoula, celebrate 65 years of marriage on Thursday.

    Ronald and Hazel Scioneaux, of St. James, celebrate their 60th anniversary on Thursday.

    Emmett and Virgie LeBlanc, of Plaquemine, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Thursday.

Horsing around

Sue, a friend of Algie Petrere, tells of driving in Pennsylvania and catching up to an Amish carriage:

“The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand-printed sign: ‘Energy-efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust.’ ”

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.