Nobey Benoit responds to the Wednesday story about cockroach-racing in a bar:

"Years ago, at Rene's Bar in Thibodaux, before gambling became 'gaming,' we would find just about anything to bet on.

"When one of these little German cockroaches would venture out onto the bar, someone would yell 'Roach!' and turn the nearest ashtray over on the roach.

"We would then gather around and place a quarter at the exit holes of the upside-down ashtray. The owner of the quarter at the hole that the roach exited from won all of the quarters.

"The ashtray would then be flipped back over over the roach and bets would again be placed. This went on until the edge of the ashtray would smash the roach, thus ending the game until the next roach appeared."

Nobey says the roaches vanished when video poker machines were introduced, but he's not sure about the connection…

Which reminds me

In my long and often misspent life, I've found myself in bars judging hermit crab races (I still have a card certifying me as a member of the U.S. Crab Racing Team) and crawfish races.

These races always involved betting — and beer. And the results were hotly disputed, to the point that judging could become a risky business. 

I've also judged frog jumping contests at the Rayne Frog Festival, and probably others I've forgotten.

But my favorite contest was the "chicken drop" event at the old Chris' Bar on North Street in Baton Rouge.

A chicken is placed in a board surrounded by chicken wire. The board has numbered squares, and participants bet on a certain number.

Then you wait while the chicken wanders around the board, until doing what chickens do. If it's done on your numbered square, you win the pot.

Disgusting, but fun…

Vanishing river

Linda H. Whitman, of Denham Springs, say, "Mention of the map reader in Monday’s column reminded me of a trip we made to Minnesota.

"We were at Lake Itasca State Park, the headwaters of the Mississippi River. I actually walked across the Mississippi on stones.

"They had a huge topographical map of the Mississippi on display. Only problem was the Atchafalaya River was nowhere to be found on this map.

"Husband Herb informed them of the missing Atchafalaya, but they had never heard of it, nor cared…"

Baby talk

After hearing about my Major Injury caused by falling out of bed, Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, offered this helpful suggestion:

"I would like to suggest a gift idea to Lady Katherine. At this point in your life maybe you need the metal railings that can be attached to your bed.

"In the meantime you can do what my mother used to do when a baby visited our house. She would push the bed against the wall and line the other side with our dining room chairs. After all, they were only used for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas."

Special People Dept.

  • Eldine Guidry Colligan, of St. James Place in Baton Rouge, celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
  • Faye Hawkins, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 94th birthday on Thursday, Oct. 26.
  • Clifford J. Loudon celebrates his 93rd birthday on Thursday, Oct. 26. He served in the Army Air Corps in Europe during World War II, and was a professional rodeo cowboy.

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, poses this question:

"If drinking and driving are illegal, why do most bars have parking lots?'

Flying with class

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, tells of the time Thibodeaux, an old Cajun from Amelia, boarded a commercial airliner and settled down in a first class seat.

After the flight attendant couldn't get him to move to the coach section, she went to the pilot, Capt. Boudreaux, for help.

Boudreaux went back and talked to Thibodeaux, who quietly got up and moved back to his seat in coach.

When the pilot returned to the cockpit, the attendant asked him what he had told the passenger.

Boudreaux replied, "I just told him that first class didn't go to Lafayette." 

Write Smiley at 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.