“Slow Slow” says, “Some years ago my two children, Stephen and Kathy, went from Lafayette to St. Louis to see their Uncle Bob.

“He was showing off his new hi-fi sound system, the top of the line at that time, playing great classic recordings of songs.

“He asked them to hold up their hands when they heard one they knew.

“No hands up until they heard the song from the picture ‘Bridge on the River Kawi,’ then their hands went up.

“He asked the name of it, and both of them said ‘Three minutes to post time!’ (the race track had recently opened in Lafayette).”

Grammar police

Doug Johnson, of Watson, agrees with John Stein, who wrote in the Saturday column about being taught the difference between “less” and “fewer” — “If you can count it, it’s fewer, not less.”

Says Doug, “I think about the different uses of the words every time I see a sign at a check-out line that says ‘20 Items or Less.’

“The people in these lines also make me think that our schools do a poor job of teaching how to count.”

Colorful word

Current Advocate food editor Cheramie Sonnier says former food editor Tommy Simmons has the distinction of being mentioned in Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day” for Monday, March 2.

The Word of the Day is “chatoyant,” which means “having a changeable luster or color with an undulating narrow band of white light.”

In her “Table Talk” column for Sept. 2, 2010, Tommy, writing about her Ladies at Lunch group, wrote, “They had interesting rocks, everything from Texas Hill Country caliche and an agate found in a gravel parking lot to a trilobite fossil and slice of chatoyant tiger’s eye from Colorado.”

Early earworm

Shooter Mullins says songs that get stuck in your head were a topic dealt with by Mark Twain:

“Mark Twain tells a great story about a little verse that went, ‘Punch, Brother, punch with care …’

“It kept the narrator awake and would not let him think of anything else — until he passed it along to another man, who then had the same affliction.”

Censoring Jimmie

Jo Anne Le Rose, of Kenner, says our mention of Jimmie Davis’ “You Are My Sunshine” reminded her that it was sung every day at her elementary school’s general assembly — until a teacher “decided its lyrics were too ‘risque’ for us little ones.”

But she says she’s always loved the song, and “rocked my babies to sleep” singing it.

Not quite beer

“Anonymous” says the reader complaining about the scarcity of non-alcoholic beer in area bars “might want to know that non-alcoholic beer is not truly non-alcoholic, but just has less than 0.5 percent alcohol.

“This means it would take about eight beers to get the same amount of alcohol as in one normal beer.”

Worthy causes

Donna Canezaro says her son Richard collects used tennis balls and delivers them to nursing homes so that they can be recycled and used on walkers. Call (225) 761-1288 if you have some old tennis balls that can be used in his project.

Looking for stuff

Mitch Landry, of Greenwell Springs, says, “My grandfather was a rice and bean farmer, and also had a small amount of cattle near Iota.

“Growing up, it seems we had rice and gravy of some sort almost every day.

“I have had an envie lately for beef gravy steak with a bone.

“Butchers and meat markets tell me the cuts they receive do not include bone-in seven steaks or round steaks anymore. Where’s the beef?

“I believe you have the power to find out such things for your loyal readers.”

The West Baton Rouge Museum in Port Allen is holding its annual summer camp for two weeks in June, and needs gourds — “any size, any kind.” Call Jeannie Luckett or Linda Collins at (225) 336-2422, ext. 17.

Looking for people

Maxine Givens, of Chicago, seeks Baton Rouge relatives of her late husband, Mannie Givens, who died in 1977. Call (312) 661-2123.

Special People Dept.

Elgie and Alice Fisher, of Clinton, celebrated their 55th anniversary on Friday, Feb. 27.

Defining moment

Marvin Borgmeyer offers this definition:

Fibula: A small lie.

Clarity needed

Two items I received recently deal with the perils of unclear writing:

“Jimmy Chap” tells of a newspaper ad he saw back in the ’50s in a Shreveport paper:

The ad was for a dog for sale. It read “ … 3 year old mixed breed for sale. Eats anything. Very fond of children.”

And Mike Patterson tells of seeing this sign in Baton Rouge’s venerable Patio Lounge:

“Let’s eat Grandma.

Let’s eat, Grandma.

Commas save lives.”

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.