Once a year Louisiana politicians pause from their job of wrecking the state to allow us to laugh at them — in public.

The venerable Capitol Correspondents Association puts on its 62nd annual Gridiron Show March 22-23 at the Nicholson Post American Legion Hall on South Wooddale Boulevard.

You might not think that these professional journalists can sing and dance and act. And, for the most part, they can’t.

But they make a valiant effort to entertain you, and there’s certainly been enough going on in the past year to give them material for some satire.

As director, Ronnie Stutes is responsible for herding this bunch of cats, and each year manages to whip up a show that makes the audience laugh, gasp and, often, cry as they relive the antics of our officials.

I have a couple of cameos in the show, but come on out anyway — proceeds go to journalism scholarships and other worthy endeavors.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the curtain rises at 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $25 for either night, and you can bring your own party food. But if you need hydration, use the Legion’s bar.

If you have questions, email Marjy Hasten at gridironshowbr@yahoo.com.

Eating high on the camel

“MawMaw Betty,” of French Settlement, adds to our “taste of home” series:

“In 1992 my husband was working in Saudi Arabia, and son Jeremy, 14, went with us.

“We would come home on vacation twice a year. Before going back I would pack a suitcase with things we couldn’t live without — Community Coffee, Camellia red beans, Tony’s seasoning and grits.

“One day as Jeremy watched me pack my suitcase, he asked, ‘Mom, why don’t you just buy that stuff over there?’

“Little did he know that you could barely find this stuff out of the state of Louisiana.

“While we were there, I cooked for people from all over the world — India, England, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, etc. — and never met anyone who didn’t love Cajun food.

“I met a lady from Lake Charles who cooked a roast with camel meat, and it was delicious. Tasted just like beef.

“I always say that I could make gumbo with an old boot if I had the right seasoning!”

Historic attire

J.A. “Bud” Oliver says when he attended the ceremony at Baton Rouge High for presentation of a plaque honoring football great Jimmy Taylor, Jimmy wasn’t the only one getting attention:

“I also attended BRHS, and lettered in football in 1940. I brought my letter jacket to the ceremony and it received a lot of attention. I am 90 years old, and have had the jacket for 73 years!”

(But Bud, does it still fit?)

Right place, right time

Julie Bellue Reames tells of “the positive experience I had with Pop-A-Lock.

“My low fuel light blinked on as I was headed down U.S. 61, so I turned off on Harding Boulevard, fueled up — and somehow managed to lock myself out of my truck.”

She says this has happened to her before, but this was the first time “a Pop-A-Lock tech was parked directly in front of me.”

Hug a teacher

Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, reminds us that Wednesday is “Retired Teachers Day.”

She suggests contacting “at least one retired teacher who had a profound impact on your life and career.”

She says teachers who influenced her were: at Lutcher High, science teacher Claude Boudreaux; at Nicholls State, English professor Dr. Maxwell Quertermous, and at LSU, Dr. Fred Smith, education dean.

Read a book

A “Books Are Fun” Book Fair will be held Thursday and Friday by the Lane Regional Medical Center Auxiliary from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. Proceeds go toward future projects and scholarships. Call (225) 658-4309.

Get a dog

Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge has dog adoptions from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mall of Louisiana Boulevard and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Orvis in Perkins Rowe.

Or a cat

“Painting and Pinot” will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to benefit Cat Haven’s rescue and adoption work. The event is at 7248 Perkins Road, Suite B. Cost is $35. Go to http://www.paintingnpinot.com/event-registration.

Special People Dept.

Marie Merrill celebrated her March 3 90th birthday with family at Mansur’s.

Funny fortunes

Hal W. Gould comments on my discussion of the wisdom of fortune cookie writers:

“Sometimes those fortune cookie guys just have days when the creative juices are not flowing.

“Two I have received (and this is absolutely true) are: ‘You will read this and think, “Geez, I could have written a better fortune than that” ’ and ‘Pass the bill to the person on your left.’ ”

Hal says he was out with his family when he got that second message:

“When I attempted to follow the instructions, my daughter declined to accept it.”

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.