The news about Baton Rouge police launching an attack on the city's latest crime wave — people walking down Third Street with drinks in plastic cups — reminds me of an event years ago that illustrates how prevalent the practice is in other Louisiana communities:

I was in Destin, Florida, having grouper sandwiches at a beachfront bar with some folks from New Roads, a renowned party city.

As we paid our tabs and got up to leave, a youthful employee of the bar met us at the door and said, "You folks are from Louisiana, aren't you?"

Since we weren't wearing LSU or Saints gear, or crawfish-themed T-shirts, we were surprised. We congratulated the young man on his insight, and asked how he knew we were from Louisiana.

He replied, "Well, first, you asked for Tabasco when you got your sandwiches.

"And second, you're trying to walk out of here with drinks — please drop them in that barrel by the front door before you leave."

Contrary to appearance

Edwin Bishop says, "When we lived in Missoula, Montana, my mother, who grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, (not noted for mountains or accumulations of snow), flew up to visit her new grandson.

"I asked how she enjoyed the flight, and she said, 'Fine, but I was surprised to see all the sand on top of the mountains, and wondered how it got there.'

"One spring my brother (who should have known better) flew into New Orleans and commented on the tremendous number of egrets he'd seen flying over the forests. We soon figured out he'd been seeing magnolias in bloom."

Thanks, Birthday Man

"Mr. and Mrs. CCC," of Thibodaux, tell this story about generosity:

"When our son, Randy, turned 50 three years ago, his older sister, Robbin, had a surprise birthday supper at a real Cajun restaurant, The Balcony, in south Lafourche.

"After a great meal and conversations with about 20 family members, co-workers and friends, we went to pay our meal tabs. The cashier told us that all bills had already been paid.

"Of course we were surprised, and curious as to who had paid the bills! We wanted to thank the person or persons.

"After much discussion, an employee told us it was the Birthday Man — our son Randy — who paid the entire tab.

"This shows how Cajuns do love their family and friends!"

Ready to help

"Since retirement," says Craig Cearnal, "I probably spend too much time in front of my TV during the daytime.

"I've noticed that accidents resulting in personal injuries seem to have reached epidemic proportions. I'm almost afraid to leave the house!

"Thankfully, there's no shortage of attorneys who would like to help, with just one call, encouraging me to get it done before I become a victim twice.

"On a related note, my car insurance just went up 29 percent, with no accidents or violations! Wonder if there's a connection…"

Special People Dept.

  • Hershel Tidwell, of Summit, Mississippi, celebrates his 98th birthday on Monday, June 19. A World War II veteran, he is a native of Deport, Texas, and a former Plaquemine resident. 
  • Harding Bossier celebrates his 97th birthday on Monday, June 19. He's a World War II veteran, an LSU graduate and an Exxon retiree.
  • Juanita Nesbit Metz, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 93rd birthday on Sunday, June 18. She has degrees from LSU.
  • On Sunday, June 18, John and Betty Sue Torbert celebrated their 73rd anniversary. (John says the marriage was during World War II, so after it "we didn't see each other for a good while.")

True Southern priest

Keith Horcasitas passes along this story about the late Father Harold Cohen, a Jesuit priest he knew in New Orleans:

"Father Harold's parents told him his first word wasn't 'Ma-Ma' or 'Da-Da' — it was 'More!' And what he wanted more of was GRITS!"

Sign language

Frances Fair says, "My two most favorite highway signs were seen on a trip to Michigan to help relocate a friend's parents to the South:"

1. "Used cows for sale."

2. "Tattoos while you wait."

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.