Thanks to Norman Ferachi for jogging my memory about a story from the past.

Norman says my recent ode to the homegrown tomato reminded him of our fellow LSU journalism grad, Tom Boyd, and his misfiring prank.

Back when Tom lived in Baker, he and his next-door neighbor planted tomatoes at about the same time.

Tom knew his gardening, and his tomatoes did fine, but the neighbor overfertilized and got huge plants but no tomatoes.

Sensing that the neighbor was becoming increasingly frustrated by his nonbearing plants, Tom went to the store and bought some monster tomatoes.

When no one was looking, he tied the tomatoes to his neighbor’s plants with fishing line.

That afternoon the neighbor went out to check his plants, saw the giant tomatoes, and yelled for his wife to come see.

Alarmed at his yelling, she dashed out, leaving a pot of oil for frying fish bubbling on the stove.

The oil caught on fire.

When the neighbor saw the flames, he ran in, grabbed the pot and ran out the front door with it.

In the process he spilled boiling oil on their new white carpet — and their little yappy dog yapped like never before when the oil hit his rump.

The neighbor quickly figured out who was behind the tomato gag.

Things were mighty tense between the two houses for a very long time.

No-growth situation

I suppose my mention of homegrown tomatoes misled Beanie, because I got this note:

“I was wondering if you ever helped your parents working in the family vegetable garden.

“I am sure you have stored back in your memory bank some wonderful gardening techniques of the day, which I am quite sure are still useful today.

“Why not add these to your column?”

Well, since the answer to the first paragraph is “No, never! Not ever!” the answer to the rest of Beanie’s request is pretty obvious. …

No-win situation

The rapid departure of Patrick Murphy from his new post as coach of the LSU softball team (I think leaving after three days can be termed a “rapid departure”) gave me an idea for this absolutely true sports story:

“LSU softball coach Patrick Murphy departed from the university after his team did not win a single game during his tenure as coach.”

Ancient language

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, says when he heard a TV commercial using “bee’s knees,” he wondered how many viewers had heard of that expression from the 1920s, meaning “a superb person or thing.”

Here are a few more from that era that he recalls:

CAT’S MEOW: Anything wonderful.

RITZY: Elegant, swanky.

SPIFFY: Elegantly fashionable.

COPACETIC: Excellent.

HEEBIE-JEEBIES: The jitters.

APPLESAUCE: Baloney, nonsense.

SHEBA: Young woman with sex appeal.

SHEIK: Young man with sex appeal.

HOOCH: Bootleg liquor.

BRONX CHEER: A loud derisive noise.

Thank-you note

Kenneth W. Pietri and his family thank those who helped with the garage sale and jambalaya to raise funds to save his home from foreclosure:

“Living with cerebral palsy isn’t easy, but knowing people care and are concerned during a crisis like this makes things a little easier.

“We are grateful to have met so many wonderful people.”

Special People Dept.

Millie Barrilleaux Broussard celebrates her 92nd birthday Wednesday.

Dean and Willie Ellerbee Freneaux celebrate their 54th anniversary Wednesday.

Thought for the Day

From Harriet St. Amant: “Christopher Columbus is a politician’s dream.

“He didn’t know where he was going, when he got there he didn’t know where he was, when he got back home he didn’t know where he’d been, and he managed to do it all with government money.”

Audience of one

Carl Spillman tells of the elderly man who was stopped by the police when he was seen walking about 1 a.m.

The police officer asked him where he was going at that time of night.

The gent replied, “I am going to a lecture about the evils of alcohol.”

The incredulous officer asked, “Really? Who is giving that lecture at this time of night?”

The man replied, “My wife.”