David Day’s story illustrates how Southerners and Midwesterners are separated by a common language:

“My lovely wife, Nicole Larsen Day, from Neillsville, Wis., has been working hard to understand our dialect and colloquialisms and translate them to her parents, Dennis and Sandra Larsen, recently my in-laws (I have been trained to call them Denny and Sandy, against my upbringing).

“Nicole finally got comfortable with ‘Geaux Tigers’ after a long and detailed history of our Cajun immigrants.

“Now that we are into the playoffs, unfortunately without our beloved Saints, it reminds me of the translation she has come up with to teach her family what ‘Who Dat!’ means.

“To paraphrase slightly, she explains to them:

“‘Who is that? Who is that? Who is the person who is speaking negatively about the Saints of New Orleans? Who is that?’”

Which reminds me

In my encounters with folks from the Midwest, I have always been struck by just how NICE they are — they all come across like Marge Gunderson, the pregnant police chief in “Fargo,” a role that won Frances McDormand an Oscar. Even while running down bad guys, Marge was unfailingly polite and, well, NICE.

Lady Katherine, while visiting her mom in Winona, Minn., came across an example of this “don’t trouble yourself on my account” attitude.

In a restaurant she overheard two ladies ordering the breakfast special.

The server said, “Now, the special comes with orange juice or milk. Which would you ladies prefer?”

To which they both answered, “Either way …”

Needless to say, “Either way” has become a catch phrase around our house …

Fit for a king

Robert “King” King says Spanish Town Mardi Gras festivities get under way Sunday with the King’s Party at the Time Out Lounge on Old Hammond Highway.

Doors open at 2 p.m. and music starts at 3 p.m., featuring Chris LeBlanc, Big Luther Kent, Rae & The Second Line, etc. Pastalaya by Big Rick Barrios will be served. All this for a $10 cover charge.

Cream of the crop

“I see your contributors are on a nostalgia kick,” says Tom Toddy. “Here’s one topic I have not yet seen in your column:

“Back in 1947, there was no one at our home during the day. We left the back door unlocked, and the milkman would come in our house and put the milk in the ‘icebox’ (refrigerator for the younger set).

“I believe the milk company was Louisiana Creamery, and this was a standard service.”

Nice People Dept.

Casey Sommers thanks employees of the Fossil Brand Store in the Mall of Louisiana for help during the fights and resulting confusion that emptied the mall Saturday night:

“My husband and I were there with our 19-month-old daughter when we saw people stampeding away from the food court area.

“We ducked into the Fossil store along with some other mall patrons with young children and hid in the back.

“As soon as we were inside, an employee pulled the gate at the front of the store down and came over to ask if we were OK.

“We really appreciated his attentiveness during the situation, even though he knew we weren’t there to buy anything!

“We only waited there for a few minutes while things calmed down outside, but during that time while everyone else was panicking, it was so great of the Fossil store to help us feel a little bit safer.”

Special People Dept.

  • Mary Maxwell, of Liberty, Miss., celebrated her 94th birthday Dec. 29
  • On Friday Mae Chemin, of Central, celebrated her 93rd birthday.
  • Mattie Jarrell celebrated her 93rd birthday Dec. 25.

Sign language

James Allen, of Marrero, says when he and his wife went to Parrot Pete’s for breakfast one morning, he went into the men’s room to wash his hands.

There he discovered that some wag had evidently moved into that room the sign that normally sits at the entrance to the restaurant — the sign that says “See hostess for seating.”

“I paid no attention to the sign,” James tells us.

Lesser evil

Algie Petrere came across this tale that might not be true, but could be:

“Last summer Andy and I met a couple at a restaurant. After lunch, the women decided to go shopping and Andy invited the man to go sailing.

“While they were out on the water, a storm blew up. The tide had gone out, and they were downwind trying to work their way back through a narrow channel.

“At one point the boat grounded and they had to climb overboard and shove with all their might to get it back into deeper water.

“As his new friend stood there, ankle deep in muck, the wind blowing his hair wildly, rain streaming down his face, he grinned at Andy.

“With unmistakable sincerity, he said, ‘Sure beats shopping.’”

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.