"Kids DO say the funniest things!," says Carolyn Marse, of Labadieville:

"We were babysitting 4-year-old Elizabeth a few years ago, and had to take her to a funeral of our dear friend.

"When we entered the church, there were three Knights of Columbus members wearing their feathered hats and capes.

"Elizabeth was staring intently at them, and asked me, 'Nana, what are those pirates doing here in church?'

"Hardly able to keep from laughing, I explained to her, 'No, baby, these are not pirates, they are really nice men.'

"We sat down in a pew, Elizabeth on the end, and the procession of the Knights, about 10 of them, some carrying swords, began walking up the aisle.

"Elizabeth, eyes wide, said to me, 'Nana, are you SURE these are nice men?'"

Seasons change

Thom Lieb, of Covington, offers us a timely haiku:

Christmas tree undressed 

Mardi Gras tree in its place

Great way to start year

Not a fan

Surprisingly, not everyone is enchanted by our recent rash of haiku.

Writes Gene Dartez, of Baton Rouge:

Haiku not for me

I just do not understand

So bring back the puns

Henry's way

Ed Benedick has more on Henry Ford's use of Louisiana Spanish moss to stuff car seats in the early 1900s:    

"I read that Ford once rejected a large order of moss because it was not shipped to them in the exact long flat wood boxes the specs indicated.

"When asked why the shipping containers were so important, it was explained that the boxes became running board frames. Henry wasted nothing!"

Couples dining

"Hoofit" Hodges Mercer, of Slidell, provides a romantic answer to a reader's question about why some couples sit across from each other in restaurants while others sit side by side:

"When I started dating my wife 22 years ago, I always liked to sit across from her so I could see her pretty face. To this day, I sit across so that I can still see her pretty face."

—Jan Traylor, of White Castle, offers a similar reason:

"My husband says he likes to sit across from me when we are out to eat so that he can see my face.

"This makes me happy to think that he is not tired of looking at me."

—Sally Seltzer, of Covington, says, "My husband says he likes to sit across from me so he can look at me. He is left handed though, and I'm right handed. So maybe there's more to it. But there is always a smile on his face."

Some readers told of more practical reasons for seating:

— Lyn Doucet, of Maurice, says she and her husband were dining in a booth, sitting across from each other.

"Suddenly my husband moved to my side. In typical romantic fashion of folks married almost 50 years, I said, 'What are you doing?'

"He replied, 'That seat is hard and I am cold.' At that point I put my head on his shoulder and warmed him up. After all, we do file jointly."

— Judy S. Collins also has a practical answer: "My husband and I used to sit across from each other so we could lovingly look in each other’s eyes as we talked. After 43 years, we now sit side by side so we can talk into each other’s 'good' ear."

— Anne H. Wong used a haiku to explain: 

We sit side by side

Easier to sample foods

From each other’s plates!

Special People Dept.

  • Inez "Nez" Landry, of Magnolia Assisted Living in Gonzales, celebrates her 98th birthday on Thursday, Jan. 11.
  • Elie Leonard, of Marrero and Pierre Part, celebrated his 90th birthday on Monday, Jan. 8.

Weather report

Paula King, of Gretna, adds to our collection of bad Cajuns jokes with this classic:

"Boudreaux and his wife Clotelle were asleep. The phone rang about midnight and Boudreaux answered.

"He said, 'How would I know dat? Dat's more than 500 miles from here!' Then he hung up the phone.

"Clotelle asked, 'Who was dat, Boo?' He said, 'Dat was some fool asking me if the coast was clear!'"

Louisiana Haiku

Office king cake days

Workers eat slices with care

Avoid that baby!

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.