Dear Smiley: Grocer Rod Daugereaux and I have an unusual greeting when we see each other: “Been killing any worms lately?”

This exchange stems from a story that supposedly happened years ago in the greater Church Point area.

Pa Pop, an elderly widower in his late 80s, liked to drink.

One of his granddaughters, fearing for his health, finally persuaded the old man to see a doctor, a young man in Lafayette.

The young doctor welcomed the old man into his office and sat him in front of a large table.

He retrieved two glasses and set them in front of Pa Pop.

The doctor filled one of the glasses with water and the other with whiskey.

He went to a cabinet and came back with a jar of worms. He dug one of them out and placed it in the glass of water. The worm swam around freely.

Then he took the worm out of the water and dropped it into the glass filled with whiskey. The worm immediately stiffened and died.

“Now, Pa Pop,” the doctor said, “a lesson has been taught here today. Have you learned anything from all this?”

The old man nodded. “Yes I have, Doc. I learned that as long as I keep drinking whiskey I’ll never have to worry about having worms.”


Church Point

Meals and wheels

Dear Smiley: We had to say goodbye to an institution recently.

I’m talking about Brunet’s Cajun Restaurant and all of the many people affected by the restaurant/bar/dancehall.

When my mother, Helen C. Hudgins, relocated to Baton Rouge, some of our most fond memories were of her dancing at Brunet’s to the mellow sounds of Rocky Saxon, or listening to the band Reunion with other regulars.

Bob Brunet’s restaurant was one of a kind. To many of us, it was a second home, and a place to go, unwind and listen to good music and meet our friends.

Similarly, Walter Scarborough, who remained steadfast and in business at Aids to Living, recently closed his doors.

Mr. Scarborough’s business, like many others, was service-oriented.

He sold and repaired all kinds of wheelchairs, mobility devices and medical needs for many years.

Thank you, Walter, for your many years of service to the Baton Rouge community. We will miss you very much!

Without you, my mom would not have had a seat at Brunet’s!


Baton Rouge

A girl thing

Dear Smiley: My 5-year-old grandson, Miller Mccants, was spending the day with me.

I told him about our Boston Terrier, Rocky, catching a baby possum.

First, he wanted to know what a possum looked like.

Then he asked, “Was it wearing a bow, because if it was, that meant it was a girl!”


Denham Springs

Test of faith

Dear Smiley: Dr. Harry Kellerman’s story about New Orleans at the turn of the century made me think of this one:

One Sunday afternoon a nun, dressed in full religious attire, prepared to visit and minister to the sick at the local hospital.

As she reached the carriage step, the horse spooked and she slipped into the muddy gutter.

As she wiped the mud from her starched garments she looked skyward and exclaimed, “If this is the way you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few of them.”


New Roads

Roffles with syrup

Dear Smiley: My baby sister Charlotte, like Camille in your recent story, said “wabbit” for rabbit.

We, her brothers and sisters, being the sweet, considerate kids that we were, teased her unmercifully about it.

We danced around singing “The wabbit in wed!” and doing Elmer Fudd imitations.

One day we were having waffles for breakfast. Charlotte asked what they were, and we answered, “Waffles.”

She burst into tears, certain that we were making fun of her again.

It took quite a bit of reassurance to get her to believe that they really were called “waffles,” not “roffles.”



Machine age

Dear Smiley: I’ve just been to the gym, and found exactly the kind of machine you, our buddies and I have been looking for!

It’s a new machine, but I only used it for half an hour because I started to feel sick.

It’s great, though! Does everything — Kit Kats, Mars Bars, Snickers, Baby Ruth, everything!


Denham Springs