Our mention of lost drivers before GPS and Google maps brought this response from Mike Eldred, of Tylertown, Mississippi:

“I once found myself lost in Alabama, asking for directions.

“I was driving my brother’s New York-licensed car.

“The gas station attendant took one look and said, ‘Aw, son, you ain’t lost; ­you’re in the sunny South.’”

Do you speak Bama?

Another “lost in Alabama” story, this one from Dick Parish, of Amite:

“Your recent items about getting driving directions prior to GPS reminded me of an incident many years ago.

“Some colleagues and I were driving into a small town in Alabama to visit a manufacturing facility.

“We had no idea how to find the facility, but we saw an old gentlemen out at his mailbox and stopped to ask directions.

“I rolled down the window and asked him if he could direct us to the plant. He replied ‘Nope,’ so I thanked him anyway and we started to drive away.

“But then he added, ‘But I can tell you how to git there.’”

It’s sacrilege!

On Sunday afternoon, I was in the downtown Matherne’s supermarket picking up chicken wings and hot sauce when another customer starting lamenting the fact that the Great Cox-NBC Standoff was keeping Cox cable customers from watching the Vikings-Seahawks playoff game (by the way, it could do the same for Saturday’s Cardinals-Packers game).

“I didn’t care about a dispute between two big companies about which one is greedier; that’s just business,” he said.

“But now they’ve gone too far: they’ve started messing with FOOTBALL!”

Running joke

Paul Major, of Livonia, comments on Monday’s Advocate story about The Rev. Michael Alello’s plan to conduct a 26.2-minute Mass on Sunday at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge for Louisiana Marathon participants:

“This brings up an interesting question. Will some participants be able to attend a half-Mass?”

Only in Louisiana

A Carnival season story from Bennellon Poché Webb:

“Our 3-year-old great-grandson recently told his mother that he had ‘Baby Jesus’ in his shoe.

“He repeated his tale, then showed her, by pulling a king cake baby out of the shoe!”

Messy breakfast

Alex Chapman, of Ville Platte, adds to our nostalgia items about dining options in the past:

“You might have grown up in the ’60s if you actually tried to use a little cereal box from the Kellogg’s Variety Pack as a bowl. (You could open it and pour milk into the wax-paper-lined box.)

“Pretty messy, but an adventure.”

Fishy story

Gene Duke comments on our nostalgia items which mention shortages during World War II, when substitutes were common, such as Spam for meat, etc.:

“Cooking oil was one of the items that was often unavailable. A friend told me they quickly learned that you cannot fry catfish in Vaseline.”

Picky eater

Ricky Sizeler, of Destrehan, explains his aversion to a Southern breakfast staple:

“After getting married, I walked into the kitchen one morning to find my wife fixing grits. She asked me if I wanted some.

“I told her, ‘I don’t eat anything with the word GRIT in it.’”

Special People Dept.

Frankie Lofton, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 12. A native of Dry Prong, she moved to the Baton Rouge area from Ball four years ago.

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, John and Betty Rau, of Metairie, celebrate their 64th anniversary. A Korean War veteran, he is a World War II Museum volunteer, and she is active in fundraising for St. Michael’s Special School.

The defense rests

Pat Alba, of Metairie, adds to our insults list with one that masks as a defense of the insulted party:

“He said you ain’t fit to eat with the hogs, and I told him, ‘Yes he is!’”

A moving tale

Tom Miller, of Mandeville, says the comment about laziness in the Monday column spurred this remembrance:

“When I was a kid my dad said I was so lazy that he could drive a 2-by-4 stake in the ground next to me, and the stake would move before I did!”

Aging process

“Last week we had a couple of nice days, so I decided to mow my winter weeds,” says Harry Clark, of Lafayette. “I couldn’t get my lawn mower to start. I guess it is true that your motor skills deteriorate as you get older.”

Contacting Smiley

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.