His idea is not such a trashy one

Who says this column doesn’t deal with Major Issues?

Earl C. Johnson offers this economic theory:

“For a great many years following our marriage, we put one garbage can on the street.

“Then I noticed that we had graduated to two cans. I took this to mean at least a little increase in prosperity.

“I realized this is what The Advocate’s business section calls a ‘leading economic indicator.’

“I believe my ‘garbage can theory’ has potential:

“The nation’s garbage truck drivers could make a daily count of cans on the street, and government computers could crunch the numbers.

“After factoring out population change, the results are clean and simple: as the number of cans go up, the U.S. economy is growing.

“In contrast, as the number of cans falls, our economy is in decline.

“No doubt the Ph.D.’s in economics will scoff at the ‘garbage can theory,’ but perhaps it deserves consideration.”

What was that Thing?

Marsha R. says, “How come we don’t have novelty songs that sweep the country any more? The last one I remember was ‘The Macarena.’

“And the last regional one was ‘Don’t Mess With My Toot Toot.’

“The first one I remember (as a kid, I promise) was ‘The Thing.’

“You remember: ‘While I was walking on the beach one bright and sunny day… I discovered a (clap, clap, clap) right before my eyes…’

“A local radio station even ran a contest for people to show what ‘The Thing’ was. I especially remember the entry of a mummified monkey finger.”

Follow the smoke …

… to Ville Platte for the 19th annual Smoked Meat Festival (Le Festival de la Viande Boucanée) on Saturday.

The featured attraction of the festival, originated by the Evangeline Area Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, is the World Championship Smoked Meat Cookery Contest.

Contest chairmen Greg and Sharon Fontenot promise “great food, toe-tapping music and warm hospitality.”

Judging is at 11:45 a.m. at the Ville Platte Civic Center.

Call (337) 363-6700.

The $2 nickel

James F. Coerver responds to a recent article in The Advocate about World War II metal shortages:

“During the war year 1943 penny coins were minted of zinc-coated steel rather than the usual bronze because of a temporary shortage of copper.

“Five-cent pieces, minted of 25 percent nickel and no silver prior to and after World War II, were made of 35 percent silver during 1942-1945 to save nickel needed for the war effort.

“World War II silver 5-cent coins are easy to distinguish from others, because silver tarnishes more rapidly than nickel alloy.

“They are seldom found in circulation today because of intrinsic value.

“Each was minted with 0.05626 ounce of pure silver, worth about $2 at recent market prices.

“During World War II, the Morning Advocate and State-Times each sold for 5 cents. A smart vendor should be delighted to sell The Advocate today for a World War II ‘nickel.’ ”

Looking for people

Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge needs volunteers to answer phones and greet visitors.

Contact Cindi Tramonte at (225) 927-2273, ext. 310, or ctramonte@cancerservices.org.

Special People Dept.

  •  Floyd Simon, of Lutcher, celebrates his 92nd birthday Saturday at Hymel’s restaurant in Convent.
  •  Carroll and Margaret Fletcher celebrated their 70th anniversary Tuesday.
  •  Stanley and Louise Dardenne, of Livonia, celebrate 60 years of marriage Friday.
  •  Neal and Ethel Lee Felker celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday. They will renew their wedding vows at Oakcrest Baptist Church.
  •  Angelo and Merle Borruano celebrate their 50th anniversary Friday.

Grin and bare it

The above-mentioned Marsha R. says, “OK, I’ve found one good thing about growing old:

“You don’t even have to think about whitening your teeth — since folks would just assume they were false.”

Speaking country

Steve Babin dedicates this one to all of us who “speak a little country” and especially his late mother:

“Ever since we were kids my mom talked about her Aunt Reburr.

“When Reba McEntire came along, I finally figured out that my mom’s aunt was actually Aunt Reba.

“It was as if I had encrypted a foreign language.”