Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, says, “The picture in the June 10 Advocate, showing weird things kids ingest, reminded me of a harrowing experience I had while driving on the Causeway bridge from Covington to Metairie with my granddaughters.

“My then 4-year-old granddaughter Kelly and her sister Samantha, 7, were seated in the back of the car.

“Suddenly Kelly began crying and screaming uncontrollably, ‘Am I going to die?’ ‘Am I going to die?’

“I had to stop my car in the emergency lane to console her.

“When I asked Samantha why was she crying, she told me Kelly had swallowed the little battery behind her ear holding her magnetic earring in place. She had removed the earring from her ear and was attempting to fasten it to her tooth by placing the battery behind her tooth.

“I explained to Kelly that it was small and would not hurt her.

“After things calmed down and we were again on our way, Samantha said to her sister, ‘Just think, Kelly, you will have a lot of energy.’

“I am sure the ‘Energizer Bunny’ battery commercial on TV gave her that bright idea.

“I did check with the doctor when I arrived home.”

Proud to “fledge”

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, told us this tale a couple of years ago, but it’s worth repeating on this holiday:

“My favorite Fourth of July story involves my sister, Barbara, and her little girl, Carrie.

“Carrie’s first grade teacher phoned Barbara to report that Carrie was refusing to pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag.

“Puzzled, Barbara asked Carrie about it. Carrie declared that a ‘fledge’ was a Very Important Promise. Since she, Carrie, did not understand one word of it, she would not be fledging. (No signing of blank checks for this kid!)

“So Barbara explained what all of the big words meant.

“The next day Carrie stood up with the rest of the class and, hand over her honest little heart, fledged allegiance to our flag.”

Nobody's safe

Ray Schell, of Prairieville, says, “Your readers’ recent comments on hurricanes reminded me of an error I had made in 2008.

“When we started to get reports of Hurricane Gustav in the Gulf, I did not get alarmed, as I had the false belief that as we were over 100 miles from the Gulf, a hurricane would not have a major effect on us.

“That was until the middle of the night, when I was awakened by the noise, looked outside and saw the severe winds and rain.

“As it turned out, a spin-off of Gustav came directly down our street on Manchac Lane and did some serious damage, though luckily for me it mainly hit the opposite side of the street.

“The winds took down three trees on our one-block-long street, with one hitting the front of the house directly across the street from mine, and another hitting next door to that, falling on a bedroom wing — luckily the daughter had just moved out. The third was a short block away.

“I gave up my false belief in a 100-mile safety zone.”

Nice People Dept.

Gail Wright says, “One recent Saturday evening our little group of nine had dinner at Monjuni’s. We do this at a chosen restaurant every Saturday. Much to our surprise, when we asked for the check the waitress said it had been taken care of.

“We all looked around and did not see a single person we knew. So we decided we could say ‘Thank you so very much for such an unbelievably kind act’ through your column.”

Special People Dept.

— Donald and Gayle Begnaud, of Lafayette, celebrate their 59th anniversary on Monday, July 4.

— Sandy and Sindee Roppolo celebrate their 55th anniversary on Monday, July 4.

Hot off the pad

“I thought it was pretty hot,” says Patrick R. Hughes, “but when the iPhone itself told me I couldn’t use it because the temperature was too high, things are getting pretty weird.”

Off on holiday

I’ll be extending the Fourth of July holiday out for a few more days, so I won’t be back in this spot until next week.

As usual, Lady Katherine and I will hole up at Bubba’s Exxon, Motel & Bait Shop in Back Brusly, our hole away from home.

Bubba says we were lucky to get a room, since the big Carp Festival is going on that week.

But we’re a bit apprehensive — Bubba told us “I’m pretty sure the air conditioner in your room will be working by the time you get here.”

He explained that T-Boy, the main squeeze of Large Marge, chef at his All You Dare to Eat Buffet, has just completed a two-week correspondence course in air conditioner repair and was on the job.

He said the buffet was now featuring Large Marge’s latest creation, the Spam & Velveeta Surprise, along with an array of Jell-O salads and desserts.

“Come hungry,” Bubba told us.

So bye, y’all — and try to behave while I’m gone…


Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.

Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.