Lucy Sloan tells how she almost got into a heap of trouble — and gives another good reason to take the train:

“My daughter and I recently flew out of New Orleans to visit relatives in Greensboro, N.C.

“Two weeks later we made the return trip, flying out of Greensboro back to New Orleans.

“When I reached home and started to unpack, I discovered I had inadvertently left my cutlery set in my purse throughout the entire trip.

“It was a stainless steel dinner fork, spoon and an 8-inch steak knife.

“My purse, a normal-size fabric bag, went through security both in New Orleans and Greensboro without detection.

“The agent did remove a small bottle of hand lotion and two small jars of jelly, but never saw the knife.

“I can just imagine the headlines: ‘Great-Granny Jailed as Possible Terrorist.’

“Does that make you feel safer about flying?”

Mostly cloudy

Billy Gibson says he was in Orange Beach, Ala., on vacation when he came across a radio talk show called “Bubba and Rick.”

It appears that even by the low standards of “hate radio” this show was extreme.

Says Billy: “The two vociferously and passionately described how our great country was being dragged down to its very knees; how America wasn’t as good as it was, say, back during the Jim Crow era.

“They outlined all the ills of society — welfare cheats, illegal immigrants, tolerance toward followers of Islam, moral decay etc.

“They also welcomed callers who served up more of the same angry, disgusted vitriol.

“I was taken aback, though, when just before I was about to change stations, Bubba cut to a commercial break and a cheerful announcer chimed in, ‘You’re listening to SUNNY 105.7.’ ”

Sniff and scratch

Vernon Yielding says a recent news story about foot odors attracting mosquitoes solved a mystery:

“Now I know why so many mosquitoes were attacking us when we were kids.

“It was those high-top tennis shoes we wore and never washed.”

The Staring story

Ward Bond gives some history of Staring Lane for the reader who wondered why it’s pronounced “Starring.”

It’s because that was how Joseph Staring’s name was pronounced.

Says Ward, “Joseph Staring bought Chatsworth Plantation in 1920, and ran it until he was murdered by a neighbor 10 years later.

“Chatsworth was a 2,000-acre plantation that ran from Highland Road to the river, and from Gardere Lane upriver for a couple of miles.

“It was built by members of the Duplantier clan of Magnolia Mound, starting a year before ‘The Wawah.’

“An architectural painting of it hangs in Magnolia Mound visitors center.”

Grannies go north

Dudley Lehew offers a “small world” story from his vacation in Alaska:

“Mary and I and her granddaughter Cassidy were walking down the streets of Skagway when someone called out Cassidy’s name.

“It was her OTHER grandmother, Brenda Meisel, of New Orleans.

“She also was on an Alaska cruise, but on another ship!”

Special People Dept.

• Norma Staley celebrates her 94th birthday Saturday.

• Elna Bergeron celebrates her 91st birthday Friday.

Get the red out

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, tells of the time Boudreaux called his local fire department and said, “Get out here right away, my barn’s on fire!”

The firefighter asks, “How do we get there?”

After a long pause Boudreaux says, “Don’t you still have those big red trucks?”

Sorry, senior

When Ernie Gremillion got a notice for jury duty, he showed up at the appointed time and place for the briefing.

He was told by the person in charge that he could be exempted from duty due to his age.

“However,” says Ernie, “the briefer explained that they would still like to have me on the jury pool, and that many seniors who served on juries found that experience very rewarding.

“I offered to stay on two conditions: that I get two additional bathroom breaks, and someone picks me up at the parking garage each morning.

“This was quickly met by the person in charge with ‘You’re excused.’ ”