A seasonal tale from Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher:

"When schools closed because of snow, I babysat my two granddaughters: Kenley, 3, and Kennison, 6 months.

"Kenley excitedly showed me the family's new Nativity set.

"Taking advantage of the opportunity to make this an educational experience, I introduced each wise man by name and explained the gifts each brought to the baby Jesus: Melchior, gold; Gasper, frankincense, and Balthazar, myrrh.

"I was feeling rather proud of myself as I rambled on, until Kenley stopped me in mid-sentence and asked, 'And what was their LAST names?'"

Mixed emotions

Jim Burke says this story is about seeing ourselves as others see us. It illustrates how a gesture meant to be helpful can have a negative impact on the recipient:

"Like I think a lot of guys in their 80s do, I was walking down the aisle of Wal-Mart the other day with my wife’s note in hand.

"I needed only a bottle of minced onions to complete my duty. The spice display case went from about 6 feet high all the way to the floor.

"I was stooped over looking when I felt a hand on my arm.

"A lady asked, 'Sir, what are you looking for?'

"She was an employee, probably in her 40s, healthy looking.

“'Minced onions,' I told her.

"'I'll get them for you!,' she told me. 'Don't go any lower! If you get stuck down there I won't be able to help you back up!'

"I’m thinking, what kind of vibes am I putting out? It might take me a little longer, but I can still get up!

"I’m gonna have to up my game before I come back. Or maybe let my wife do the shopping."

Fisherman's lament

Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, has a haiku for our collection:

Specks, reds, flounder, Bud

Fishin', drinkin' in my boat

I feel funny…THUD!

Winter haiku

James Clary Jr. offers a seasonal image:

Snowy Christmas moon

Nestles in live oak branches

Lighting silent night

Bah! Humbug!

Not everyone thinks haikus are as much fun as I do. H. Mark Levy posted this poetic request:

Excruciating

Your loyal readers agree

Dear Smiley, please stop

Quoting Uncle Earl

Audrey F. Schilling, of Baton Rouge, says our "back in the day" sayings have been enjoyable, and reminded her of "my Uncle Tom, who hosted Gov. Earl K. Long when he had rallies in our part of St. Landry Parish.

"When Uncle Tom heard of some public official caught with his hand in the till, he used one of Earl's comments: 'Well, it's sure a poor hog that won't eat corn thrown at him!'"

Dangerous distraction

Keith Horcasitas says our tale of the newspaper delivery guy rescuing an injured youngster who got blood on his papers reminded him of the early '70s, when he was a 13-year-old paper boy:

"I used to deliver newspapers on my bike, and once got distracted by some pretty college girls walking near Tulane University as I pedaled down Freret Street. 

"Some of those States-Item papers were delivered with a few bright reds spots on them as a result of the fall I had after too much 'rubbernecking!'"

Special People Dept.

Gerald Amacker, of Denham Springs, celebrates his 93rd birthday on Friday, Dec. 15.

Growth industry

Sydney Griffin says, "When we took our young family on a Sunday drive, we stopped for hamburgers in Goodbee.

"The waitress noticed our 4-year-old, Sidney, putting the sesame seeds in his pocket.

"When she asked him why he was saving them, he said to give to his Aunt 'Te' to plant a hamburger tree.

"The waitress said, 'Here’s my phone number; if they take, call me — we will be rich.'"

Taking the hint 

Marsha R.'s story reinforces my belief that reading labels will only lead to disillusionment on the part of consumers:

"Reading the label of a very good 'peach mango' fruit drink.

"It contains 'the juice of 3¼ sweet potatoes, 1¼ apples, ¼ yellow carrot, ¾ carrot, hint of peach, hint of mango.'

"Do you wonder why they didn't call it 'sweet potato carrot?' Do you need a hint?"

Louisiana Haiku

Cajun Christmas feast

Roast pig, rice dressing, sweet yams

So who needs turkey

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.