Every few years Jess Walker visits Grass Valley, Calif., and brings us back reports from the local paper’s “Police Blotter”:

The reports by local law enforcement agencies indicate that things are a lot more exciting there than they are here:

“10:53 p.m. — A caller reported two men beating up a woman with flashlights. It was a verbal dispute only.” (“Sounds pretty physical to me,” says Jess.)

“8:08 p.m. — A caller reported promiscuous shooting; it was quiet when deputies arrived.” (“I wonder what California’s definition of the word ‘promiscuous’ could be.”)

“2:51 p.m. — A caller reported a man acting bizarre, who thinks he is Gen. Mac-Arthur.”

“6:22 p.m. — A woman reported a man flipping out, screaming, throwing and breaking items. She said there was no drinking or drugs; he flips out every time there is a full moon.”

Herbs, anyone?

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, is acting as the unpaid (I assume) ambassador for nearby Sunset.

He says the annual Sunset Herb Fest is Saturday.

He adds, “While you’re there, don’t miss Jerilyn’s Glass Studio or the seafood buffet at the Beau Chene Truck Stop restaurant.”

Which reminds me

The mention of truck stop eateries brings to mind the Sunday years ago when Lady Katherine had a hankering for cherry pie.

“Let’s go to a truck stop,” she said. “They always have good pie.”

So we headed out on the highway, looking for a big slab of truck stop pie, which we imagined would be served by a substantial lady in a white uniform and hair net, who called everybody “Honey.”

We pulled into a truck stop that looked like a good place to find pie.

The waitress was skinny and surly, and told us they didn’t have any pie, of any kind.

To satisfy our sweet teeth, we ordered pancakes.

I often make pancakes on Sunday mornings, so I know that it’s really hard to screw them up.

But this establishment managed it.

We left the pancakes mostly uneaten and went out the door laughing at ourselves for believing that piece of folk wisdom about truck stops.

And ever since, whenever we pass a truck stop, one of us is sure to say, “I bet they have good pie…” and we cackle uproariously.

Fighting hunger

Joe Macaluso, not normally given to hyperbole, is waxing eloquent about “Festiva Italiano,” the Italian booth at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church Festival Friday through Sunday

He promises, “the best meatballs and spaghetti in town Sunday, the best meatball po-boy in the South on Saturday and Sunday, and the most delicious muffuletta anywhere in the five Gulf states.”

Cajun cuisine and American classics are also featured, plus rides, games, auctions, plant sales, etc.

Tell us a story

For Mother’s Day the People section of The Advocate wants stories from moms for a feature to run May 12. Photos are welcomed and will be returned. Send stories of one page or less to Mothers, The Advocate People section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or email to people@theadvocate.com. Include name, address and daytime phone number. Deadline is 10 a.m. Monday.

Cat bowling

Don’t worry, this is bowling FOR cats, not WITH cats.

A “Cinco de Meow” bowling tournament will be held from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Circle Bowl by Cat Haven.

The $27.50 charge includes pizza, soft drinks and raffles.

Go to http://cathaven.org or call (225) 639-2680.

Special People Dept.

  • On Saturday Elba Bay celebrates his 99th birthday.
  • Leonard “Uncle Boy” Gautreaux, of Gonzales, celebrates his 92nd birthday Saturday.
  • Clarence J. Roberts Jr. celebrates his 92nd birthday Sunday. He was a resident of Baton Rouge and New Orleans before moving in Bastrop. He’s an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II.
  • U.B. and Opal Simoneaux, of Plattenville, celebrate their 66th anniversary Saturday.

The littlest cleric

Lindsie tells this story about her great-granddaughter Sterling Marie, 1½ years old:

“Every day I rock her when I put her down for a nap.

“She has been sick the past two weeks, so one evening I was rocking her and told her how much I love her, how much her mommy and daddy love her, and how much Jesus loves her.

“I told her I was so thankful that Jesus made her all better and took the sickness away.

“She cuddled up close to me, sat up and took her ‘nu-nu’ out her mouth, looked at me and said ‘Amen!’ ”

For novice sinners

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, says Mike Humble’s complaint about express lane abuse “reminded me of one of my all-time favorite cartoons.

“It featured people in a church going to confession.

“One confessional had a sign in front of it that read ‘Three sins or less.’ ”

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.