Dear Smiley: As a 71-year-old grandparent and former minister of music and youth, I have chosen to volunteer and assist with the children’s worship service, which includes kindergarten through third-grade boys and girls.

Feeling (over) confident that my computer skills would allow me to at least know more than them, I took my iPad with me, after downloading some songs and skits from YouTube that I was going to use with them that morning.

Timmy, one of the younger boys (but definitely very advanced for his age), casually turned to me and asked, “Is that an iPad?”

Then, “Is it an iPad 2?”

Feeling good about my knowledge, I said it was, and told him I knew his mother also had an iPad.

He looked at me with a look that only a 3-year-old could conjure up and said, “Yes, but hers is only an iPad 1.”

Yes, I still plan on helping, but am considering moving down to the nursery. …


Columbia, Tenn.

Aren’t they precious?

Dear Smiley: Of course (as you said) most of your “cute kid” tales come from grandparents, not parents.

In the relationship between parent and child, the cuteness is expended mostly to ensure the child makes it through the early years — as in, through gritted teeth, “Oh, how cute! Junior just washed the remote in the toilet.”


Baton Rouge

Privatize this!

Dear Smiley: I read in the newspaper that Gov. Jindal has endorsed Gov. Perry, of Texas, in his run for the Republican nomination for president (who in my personal opinion is a good and viable candidate).

By reading the article, it seems that our governor and the Texas governor must have a lot in common and think alike.

So, Smiley, when is the Alamo going up for sale?


Church Point

The word killers

Dear Smiley: As a journalist, you might appreciate that we have witnessed a murder in our time:

The word “awesome” was slaughtered.

It has been totally devitalized by overuse, emptied of any of the force it used to have.

It can never again be used effectively by literate people in speech or writing.

And when encountering it in older books, you have to make a mental shift to place it in the perspective of the time it was written.

Don’t get me started on “issues.”


Baton Rouge

The geisha look

Dear Smiley: Recently I was rolling my hair for the first time in over 20 years.

I was trying my hand at the giant purple Velcro rollers, working on getting the hair twisted just right so that they would stay affixed to my head while I prepared breakfast for the kids.

My oldest, Robb, came to ask me where he would find his shoes.

Having never seen rollers in my hair before, I can certainly understand his confused expression when he rounded the corner.

When my eyes made contact with his in the mirror, I could see the wheels turning in his head, so I quickly turned, put my hands on my hips and said, “So, what do you think?”

He looked up at me, cocked his head a little to one side, smiled sweetly and said, (with as much sincerity as he could muster), “Yep, but I think you should put some of those chopsticks in too.”


Baton Rouge

Skin deep

Dear Smiley: A beauty product ad that pops up on my computer screen shows a picture of a woman with the caption “Dermatologists hate her.”

It seems unfair that doctors would hate this person just because she found a cheap way to remove wrinkles.

I’ve e-mailed the company asking them to name a couple of these haters.

No word back yet.

Perhaps some of your readers are dermatologists who can enlighten us.



Fast and furious

Dear Smiley: Your recent story of the wife buying the green car reminds me of the woman who told her husband he had been choosing the family car for years, but this was going to change.

She told him she wanted something that would go from zero to 200 in four seconds or less.

So he bought her a bathroom scale.

I understand his funeral services were held two days later.