Katie Nachod, of New Orleans, says the obituary for Earl W. Duvernay Jr. in The Advocate "brought back fond memories" of a man she knew as "Earl the Pearl."

He was a driver on the Nashville Express bus in the 1980s, she says.

"I lived on State Street, and I took the Nashville Express every morning to my job downtown at the New Orleans Public Library.

"If I was lucky, Earl was my driver in the morning and the evening. He was a very special person who loved his job, and made us all laugh.

"In the morning, if one of his regulars was not at the bus stop, he would ask if we minded waiting for a moment. We always said no. Sure enough, a minute later someone would come flying down the block and clamber on the bus.

"In the evening, he would intone in his beautiful voice, 'Don't be nervous; this is Public Service! You gotta get on if you wanna go home.'

"He sang and laughed his way through his entire route, and we commuters joined right in. It was like traveling on a summer camp bus, and every rider exited in a better mood."

Return to sender

Sybil, of New Orleans, says her friend Margie Allen, of Mamou, "was delighted when she felt well enough to address a batch of Christmas cards, walk to the mailbox and deposit them in time for pick up.

"She was careful to raise the box's little flag to alert the mailman.

"Imagine her confusion the next day when she saw the same batch of cards stacked neatly on the kitchen counter.

"A few phone calls and a little sleuthing revealed that her 9-year-old great-granddaughter had noticed the flag and 'delivered' the cards."

Curse the darkness

Coleen Wheeler Robinson, of Baton Rouge, says her nephew's son, Daylan "Bud" Spears, 5 years old, is a big Spider-Man fan. She tells just how big:

"Last week, in the adult class, our Sunday school teacher compared spiritual light/darkness with physical light/darkness.

"He illustrated this lesson by turning off the lights to our classroom area.

"A voice from the darkness spoke: 'Hey, turn the lights back on, I can't see! I need to finish drawing my Spider-Man!'

"We all knew that it wasn't the voice of God, but that of Bud!'"

Verse or worse

Tim Palmer, of Lafayette, offers this unenthusiastic haiku:

"Five syllables here

Seven in the middle line 

Haiku are too odd"

And Jim Banes, of Watson, uses the haiku form to offer us this language lesson:

"Plural of haiku

As reported by Webster

Is haiku, no s"

Sex Education 101

Richard Kaplan, of Baton Rouge, says, "An article in the Dec. 26 Advocate (while you were on your Well-Deserved Vacation) discusses the problems caused by feral hogs.

"Describing how prolific they are, it says, 'It's been estimated that one pig can turn into 300 in just three years' time.'

"Now, I'm not an expert, but wouldn't you have to start with at least two?"

Wild hogs like a 'cockroach:' Officials hope poison can help control widespread problem

Trouble ahead

Laura Robertson continues our seminar on old sayings:

"When my mother would see someone marrying and she thought she didn't have a very bright future, she'd say, 'I'm afraid she's leading her ducks to a dry pond.'"

Life imitates ads

Remember the Allstate insurance commercial where the guy portraying "Mayhem" is a Christmas tree that comes untied, falls off the top of a car, and causes a wreck? 

Kevin Guice can identify with that:

"Special thanks to the driver behind us when our Christmas tree went flying off the top of our vehicle, where we had it tied.

"My boys wanted some hot Mary Lee doughnuts, so we were heading down Florida Boulevard when the tree flew off and landed behind us in the middle of Florida.

"Lucky for us the driver behind us stopped before hitting the tree and was nice enough to get out of his vehicle and pull our tree safely to the median. We made a U-turn, retrieved our tree unharmed and headed for our doughnuts."

Louisiana Haiku

Wall to wall bowl games

Even die-hard fans wear out

So which team won what? 

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.