T.W. tells of an animal encounter:

"We once had an adventurous squirrel come down the chimney and hide in our TV equipment cabinet. Realizing what prime digs he had found, he would not be coaxed out of his new cave for fruit, nuts or other treats.

"So, being the brain trust that we are, it was hypothesized that if we used the shop vac we might suck him out and safely kick his squirrel butt to the curb!

"Needless to say, that squirrel was much smarter than our shop vac idea, and held fast to his position.

"The next plan was to create a gauntlet of couch cushions leading to the door, and annoy him enough with a stick that he would run back outside.

"The annoyance part went as planned, but as he was making his way to the door, with me and my stick close behind, he jumped three feet in the air and karate kicked me dead in the crotch — three times!

"He will be forever remembered, with respect, as Ninja Squirrel!"

"yPhone" needed

Jim Ehrlicher says, "I've had it with my iPhone. Autocorrect changes everything I type, and Siri doesn't understand my accent.

"I sure wish someone would develop a YatPhone!"

Rough translation

Speaking of language barriers, Vince Caruso says, "Your recent stories about finding a bathroom in Paris reminded me of the first time I was in Rome, in uniform, back in '59.

"Needing a rest room, and being of Sicilian descent on both sides, I turned to an Italian soldier next to me, and asked in my best Italian, 'Dove (where) bah-cows-sa (phonetic)?'

"He had no idea what I was saying. I wrote it off as possibly just being a different dialect.

"Many years later, I was relating this to someone, and she laughed at me, then asked if I knew what language I was speaking. I replied, 'Italian?'

"She informed me I was speaking English. The old Italians were saying, 'back house' (outhouse, or house out back), but with their heavy accent it came out as 'bah-cows-sa.'

"To this day, Italians in the New Orleans area still refer to the bathroom as bah-cows-sa, and will swear that is the Italian word for bathroom."

Finishing touch 

Oneal Isaac says, "Lately, I have become obsessed with having a great cup of coffee after eating at a fine restaurant.

"My gold standard is the coffee once served at Chalet Brandt (Baton Rouge's outstanding continental restaurant — now, sadly, no more).

"Does anybody know where I can find a great cup of coffee? Or at the very least, how to make a cup of coffee like they made at Chalet Brandt?

"My friend Maxine Crump once told me about how she interviewed a famous chef and asked him about how to tell a great restaurant.

"He told her, 'Coffee is the cheapest item on the menu, but it is the last thing you remember having at that restaurant. It is your last impression. You want to make a great impression!.'"

Special People Dept.

  • Ray Matherne, of French Settlement, celebrates his 96th birthday on Monday, Oct. 2.
  • Carolyn "Punkin" and Michael Landaiche celebrate their 69th anniversary on Monday, Oct. 2.

Grammar 101

John R. Baker asks, "As I read your discussion of grammatical concerns, I was struck by two questions.

"If an inmate is granted a conjugal visit, are he and his visitor allowed to conjugate?

"And if the inmate's request for such a visit is declined, is that a declension?"

Thought for the Day

From Chet Siemion, of Denham Springs: "Love is such a useless commodity. You can't even give it away. People always return it."

Just you wait

Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, says, "Dining with friends, the subject of women living longer than men became the topic.

"Reasons offered included the obvious: survival of the fittest, better genes, healthier life style, focus on nutrition and exercise.

"After exhausting the list, a fellow diner, Albert Laiche, known for his humor, leaned back in his chair and exclaimed: 'Because when God calls a woman, she yells, "Wait! I'm not finished dressing!"'"

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.