Bernard Cleary, of Metairie, tells this "accent confusion" story:
"A generation ago, perhaps 1988, I was one of four instructors in photojournalism, doing my Naval Reserve active duty at the Defense Information School at Fort Ben Harrison, Indiana.
"We had classes of 30 or 60 reservists from all services, from all over the U.S., for one week's intensive instruction.
"As the instructor for the first class of the day on Wednesday, I asked the class if there were any non-classroom matters that needed our attention.
"A Coast Guard lady from Boston stood up, and I heard her ask, 'Yes, what about the potty?'
"My first thoughts were, 'We're in an old building; is the plumbing failing or do we have too few facilities for women?'
"Then she said, 'It's Wednesday and nobody has said where the class PAHTY will be held on Thursday night' (it was to be held after the final class and before the Friday graduation ceremony).
"I assured her that I would know by noon that day where the class party would be held…'"
Missing the moment
Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says, "Recent submissions by people who missed the 1959 Billy Cannon run for various reasons, including bathroom breaks, reminded me of the 1980 fight at the New Orleans Superdome between Roberto Duran II and Sugar Ray Leonard.
"The fight was highly anticipated due to the publicity and records of the two fighters.
"I had a great seat next to C.J. 'Judge' Russo, a well-known, now deceased, state legislator.
"Before the eighth round, I asked if he wanted a drink, and went to the concession area to get us a beer.
"I heard a lot of booing as I was waiting for service, and when I got back to my seat I had my first Spanish lesson — 'No más!' (no more)."
(Just before the end of the eighth round, Duran told that to the referee as he quit fighting — one of the oddest and most famous moments in boxing history.)
Says Tony: "Talk about controversy! And I missed it!"
J.B. Castagnos, of Donaldsonville, says a young lady who's a family member (he mentions her hair color, but never mind about that) "tried ginkgo biloba to improve her memory.
"She said she returned it for a refund, saying it wasn't working.
"I asked how she knew it wasn't working, and she said, 'I kept forgetting to take the pills.'"
Rare Tiger fan
Col. Henry Johnson confesses, "Just wanted to let you know that while I was in Baton Rouge at the time, I was NOT in Tiger Stadium to see Billy Cannon's run against Ole Miss on October 31, 1959."
(You must have been very lonesome that night, because evidently everybody else in Baton Rouge was there. Billy once told me that from the number of people who told him they saw his run, he figures Tiger Stadium must have held 250,000 for that game.)
Special People Dept.
Sweet and Murphy Blanchard, of Plaquemine, celebrate 65 years of marriage on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Algie Petrere addresses one of my pet peeves:
'We seem to be getting more and more unwanted telephone calls.
"Here are some suggested comebacks to unsolicited, persistent telephone sales callers:
"'I'm sorry, but I'm really busy right now. Give me your home number and I'll call you back later tonight.'
"In the middle of the caller's memorized sales pitch, interrupt with: 'What causes a hiccup?'
"To a phone company solicitor: 'That sounds GREAT! Wait, can you hold for a minute?' (Leave the phone off the hook until he/she hangs up.)
"And my personal favorite:
"Use your touch-tone phone to annoy the caller by playing 'Mary Had a Little Lamb:' 6-5-4-5; 6-6-6; 5-5-5, etc.
"Actually, I've always just hung up as soon as they begin, but I may re-think that strategy. These sound like fun."
Marsha R. adds to a recent column topic involving food and drink:
"I'm interested in how your other readers feast and celebrate, as referenced to the mustard greens and Champagne.
"My husband A.D. created a memorable evening that featured Champagne and boudin."