(While Smiley is on his Well-Deserved Vacation, he’s left behind these old tales.)

Last laugh

In grocer and comedian Pete Romano’s final show before his death, he told of the rich guy who tried to bribe a politician by offering him a new Cadillac.

“I can’t accept a gift like that,” the politician protested.

“All right,” said the wealthy man, “I’ll sell it to you for $10.”

“In that case, I’ll take two.”

Holland holidays

Peter Huysmans says that on Independence Day a friend asked him where he was from originally.

“I’m from the Netherlands,” Peter told him.

“Do they have a Fourth of July over there?” asked the friend.

“Yes, we do,” said Peter. “We just don’t celebrate it.”

Biting wit

Mervin Medine says our mention of the first Tarzan movie, filmed in Louisiana swamps, reminds him of the story about Tarzan’s yell:

“The yell originated in Louisiana, when he swung out too low over an alligator.”

Job security

Gerald Hubenak overheard this remark at a rest stop in Vinton, while returning from a trip to Houston:

“I don’t understand those Cajuns. When their football team is losing, they stay away from the games and demand the coach be fired. When they elect a lousy politician, they flock to the polls and re-elect him.”

Ups and downs

George Spillman says that when Baton Rouge’s football Hall of Famer Jim Taylor went to New York for the awarding of the 1993 Heisman Trophy, he had quite an adventure.

Jim was the lone passenger in an elevator that got stuck just past the 18th floor at the Downtown Athletic Club.

He was imprisoned

for an hour and a half, until workers got a ladder

into the elevator and rescued him.

Gee, Jim must have really slowed down — in his playing days with the Green Bay Packers, he would have just torn the top off the elevator and leaped out.

Political geography

Zachary Mayor John Womack reports that his office “has been inundated with calls” suggesting changing the name of the city from Zachary to Hillary.

“Because,” says His Honor, “everyone knows that you must go through Hillary to get to Clinton.”

Give him a hand

When then-state Rep. Robert Adley (a Benton Republican who is now a state senator) spoke to the Press Club, he alluded to his unpopularity with Edwards administration supporters in the Legislature.

“It’s nice to be somewhere,” he told the reporters, “where people wave at me with all five fingers.”