It's amazing how shopping habits have changed over time.

When I was a kid and saw my mom in a dress, stockings, high heels, hat and gloves, I knew she was going to Third Street to visit the big department stores - Dalton's or Rosenfield's - or maybe Goudchaux's.

Today many shoppers (including a person to whom I am related by marriage) seldom darken the door of a brick-and-mortar store, but do their buying online.

It's a convenient way for a busy person to shop, but as Joel d'Aquin Thibodeaux warns us, the buyer should still beware.

"Recently, I ordered some window coverings from a very nice online shop.

"On their home page, they advertise FREE SHIPPING.

"However, when I was checking out, there was a ‘processing fee' of $4.95. A footnote explained the fee this way:

"'Due to the increasing cost of processing your order, we have implemented an industry standard order processing fee. This fee allows us to keep our prices low and continue to offer free shipping. Therefore, a $4.95 processing fee will apply to every order.'

"Go figure."

Dead reckoning

John Engelsman says, "I see that we have a contested race for coroner in East Baton Rouge Parish.

"Does this mean that we'll finally find out where the bodies are buried, and who's got skeletons in their closets?"

Colorful comment

Dudley Lehew says when he spoke to a group of LSU mass communication students recently, during a question-and-answer session, the topic of those wild Oregon and Maryland football uniforms came up:

"I joined in the laughter at those ridiculous new uniforms.

"But the next day, as I was reflecting on this, I suddenly thought:

"Wait a minute! What are WE laughing at? WE are the ones who EVERY YEAR cover ourselves with purple, gold and green makeup, weird clothing, sparkling pixie dust, flashing lights and 10 pounds of beads, invite the whole world to join us, and then stroll (or stagger) happily down Bourbon Street with big grins on our faces while waving wildly at national TV cameras?'

"I apologize to Oregon and Maryland. Amateurs!"

Colorful transportation

Dale Boyett's story indicates the different ways men and women view automobiles:

"In 1964, I was working in Monroe, and from time to time had to work out of town.

"My wife and I had been looking at new cars, and one day she called and said she had bought a car.

"I asked her what kind she bought and she said. ‘A green one.'

"Actually, it was a 1964 Chevy four-door hardtop.

"Didn't care for the color, but loved the car."

Looking for people

Susan Vincent, docent coordinator at the Old State Capitol, says so many folks have fond memories of the historic building that maybe they would like to share them.

One way is to tell their stories to me for this column.

Another way is to volunteer as a docent or exhibit guide and tell your stories to visitors.

Says Susan, "Docents learn about the colorful people and stories of the Old State Capitol as well as its architecture and place in Louisiana's political history.

They meet visitors and inform them about the exhibits and events held there."

Contact Susan at (225) 924-0573 or to learn about training sessions.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer: "The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."

Football's a religion

Algie Petrere came across this story just as football season got under way:

"A 3-year-old regularly watched football games with his father - so much so that he knew some of the signals the referee makes.

"One Sunday the 3-year-old attended church with the family.

"As the pastor raised his hands high to offer a blessing, the child interrupted the service by shouting ‘Touchdown!' "

The littlest literalist

Bertha Hinojosa was pre-testing one of her gifted kindergarten students at Glen Oaks Park Elementary regarding true or false statements.

The lad was shown a picture of a male cardinal with the caption, "I am red."

The boy nodded in agreement.

He was then shown a picture of a banana with the same caption.

He quickly responded, "Not only is that banana not red, it could not have made that statement, because it does not have a mouth!"