"I’ve got a 'spider' story," says Stuart Clark, of Lafayette:

"When I was much younger, with small kids, I got up one morning to fix a cup a coffee.

"I was walking barefoot on the tile floor going to kitchen when I looked down and saw an object on the floor in front of me.

"I was without my glasses, so I bent over a little to get a better look. I determined it was a very large spider in my path.

"Thinking I needed to act quickly before the spider made a run for it, I raised my right foot high off the ground so that when I brought it forcefully down upon the large spider, there would be no doubt of his fate.

"Down came my foot on the spider with all the strength I could muster. Immediately a sharp pain shot up from my bare foot to my brain.

"I tried not to yell too loudly. I quickly sat on the floor and looked at the bottom of my foot. There, imbedded deeply in my right heel, was not a dead spider — but one of my little daughter’s metal jacks she had been playing with the day before.

"From that day forward I made sure to wear bedroom slippers when I walked around the house in the morning."

Rescue memories

Herman "Dutch" Prager, of Mandeville, says when he watched former President George H.W. Bush at the Super Bowl, he was reminded of his World War II Navy service, on the submarine USS Kingfish:

"As a Navy pilot, Lt. j.g. Bush was rescued by our fellow submarine USS Finback. Our submarine, the Kingfish, patrolling off Iwo Jima and the Bonin Islands, rescued four British aviators."

Bush, at one time the Navy's youngest pilot, was shot down on Sept. 2, 1944, over the Bonin Islands. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals.

On seeing the Finback coming to his rescue, Bush said, "I was never so glad to see anything in my life."

Know your cave

Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, says a comment about algebra being useless in real life reminds him of this:

"In basic science courses we learned that in caverns, formations that came from the floor were stalagmites, and the ones that came from the ceilings were stalactites.

"Has anyone ever used that data in real life, except maybe during trivia games?"

Special People Dept.

—Dot Mayer celebrates her 96th birthday on Sunday, Feb. 19.

—Edmond Labat celebrated his 94th birthday on Thursday, Feb. 16, by "dancing the night away."

Family karma

"My younger brother by three years, Allen, was a terrible kid growing up in New Orleans in the late 1940s.

"When he was in kindergarten through second grade at McDonogh No. 1, I had to leave my classroom at Laurel School half a block away to sit with him at lunch so he would behave and not cause a ruckus.

"When he had a son, the acorn fell right next to the big oak. My nephew was just as bad growing up as his dad. We call him 'Payback.'"

Perfect Name Dept.

"I was reading in your column about appropriate names," says Terry Grundmann.

"I ran across a grammar school classmate when I attended a wedding at St. Joseph Abby in Covington.

"What an appropriate name for someone who became a monk — his first name is Chip!"

(He'll no doubt be assigned to work at the monastery with the French friar…)

Bloody shame!

Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, says, "After good buddies Glen Duncan and Curtis Vann said in your Wednesday column that the official Louisiana flag sports a white pelican with three drops of blood on its breast, I became curious as to the the symbolism of the blood drops.

"So I undertook some lengthy research at Joe's Donut Shop, and discovered that the blood drops predict future traumatic moments moments when our flag will fly at half-staff:

—Drew Brees' retirement.

—The Tabasco recipe disappears.

—Bubba's Exxon, Motel & Bait Shop in Back Brusly is closed by a SWAT team."

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.