Due to the proximity of my Spanish Town home to the lovely State Capitol grounds, I haven’t had to go to a shopping mall to get in my semi-daily walks.

But I’m familiar with the phenomenon, and on my rare visits to a mall notice people in walking shoes taking advantage of the smooth floors and enclosed space to get in some exercise.

But Marvin Borgmeyer issues a warning to mall-walking husbands:

“With all the wet weather we have been having, I have found it a little difficult to get in my daily walk.

“So my wife suggested we go to the mall for my walk. Big mistake!

“Not only did we not walk much (as we had to stop and take a quick look at this sale and that sale), but it turned out to be a rather expensive ‘walk.’

“So please warn other unsuspecting gentlemen that your wife may have ulterior motives when she suggests you take your walk at the mall!”

Dying to diet

“One of the more popular types of gifts this Christmas,” says Paul Major, “were the fitness/activity wrist bands; the ones that track the number of steps you take and the number of calories burned.

“Seeing that we’ve just exited the Christmas and New Year’s seasons and are about to blast full throttle into the Mardi Gras season — with all the king cakes that implies — I’m thinking that a calorie band that fits around your neck and shuts off any further intake when you reach your limit might be more appropriate for us here in south Louisiana.”

Joy in the morning

Our recollections of the “Dawnbusters” radio shows on New Orleans’ WWL brought a question from Dr. Henry D.H. Olinde:

“Can you tell me where I can obtain CDs or recordings of those Dawnbusters songs?”

He says this exchange between Pinky Vidacovich and Henry Dupre is one of his favorites:

Henry: “My son set the record for the most stolen bases in the league!”

Pinky: “My son set the record for the most stolen gloves!”

A Yat remembers

Keith Horcasitas says, “As we begin the New Year, us native Yats certainly have many fond memories of king cakes — such as the old-fashioned ‘coffee cake’ types from McKenzie’s.”

Keith also recalled the treats from the Schwegmann’s on Airline Highway and Labarre.

King cakes now come with a multitude of flavored stuffings and, as Keith notes, a variety of babies:

“In early December I ordered a king cake from Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge for co-worker Brittany’s surprise baby shower. How much fun it was to get many extra Mardi Gras-colored babies added by the bakery.

“And wouldn’t you know it, Brittany got the baby on her first piece!”

Highway heroes

“Lady in Distress” thanks the “Southern gentlemen” who pushed her car out of a deep ditch on Sharp Road one night.

She was trying to call a wrecker when “the men came to my window and said they would take over! I was out in five minutes. I assure you chivalry is not dead in the South.”

Nice People Dept.

“S.B.” thanks “the young lady with the baby at the Walmart on College Drive who gave me more than enough money to pay for my ‘chips.’

“This gesture overwhelmed me, and I wanted to let her know it will definitely be paid forward.

“What a thoughtful thing to do — a happy ending to the old year, and a bright outlook to the new one.”

Special People Dept.

Ralph H. Wilder celebrated his 94th birthday on Monday, Jan. 5. A World War II veteran, he served on the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier in the Pacific.

Wilbert Terry, of Slidell, celebrates his 92nd birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 6. He is a World War II veteran who served as an aviation engineer.

On Tuesday, Jan. 6, Camille Haase, of Williamsburg Retirement Community, celebrates her 90th birthday.

Nolan and Rosemary Graham celebrated their 60th anniversary on Friday, Jan. 2.

Thought for the Day

From Algie Petrere: “I have only one New Year’s resolution: to rediscover the difference between wants and needs. May I have all I need, and want all I have.”

A crimson face?

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, says, “Friday evening I was in a restaurant, where there was a young terror at an adjacent table. He spilled a drink, yelled and made a general disturbance.

“The mother picked him up and put him on her lap, where he started to throw a REAL fit.

“He was wailing and crying loud enough to attract everyone’s attention.

“One of the waiters, who is a big football fan, leaned down and quietly told me, ‘Sounds like an Alabama fan.’

“I would really liked to have shared that with the rest of the crowd, but being a gentleman I just kept quiet and decided to share it with you.”

Talk to 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.