“All of Baton Rouge is talking about the ‘Rally Possum’ at LSU baseball games,” says Susan Lipsey. “It’s a frenzy I’ve never seen before.

“I was at a bridge luncheon, and many friends told me they saw me on TV swinging my stuffed possum by the tail to rally the team.

“Several friends told me the funniest possum stories that had happened to them; I was really hysterical laughing.

“My suggestion is that you ask your readers to send you their funny possum stories. I know they have some.”

(OK, Susan, but only if you think possums are funnier than crawfish or nutria, the critters usually featured in the column.)

Mystery case

Fritz McCameron says there was quite a bit of excitement on Baton Rouge’s Rodney Drive after a big storm a week or so ago:

“We lost our electricity on a Thursday night to a giant tree which fell across our street about half a mile away from our house.

“Linemen, tree cutters and others had our power back on at 1:05 p.m. Saturday. Those guys work really, really hard in a rough, dangerous job. Thanks and respect to them.”

Fritz says after the storm, he and Kyle, an LSU student helping him, were out checking the damage and found in a drainage ditch behind the house what appeared to be a casket.

He says there was quite a bit of excited speculation about how the casket got there and what it might contain, but “saner inspection disclosed the object as a large metal chest, which Kyle identified as the tool chest such as goes in the bed of a pickup.

“We (meaning Kyle) dragged the thing out of the ditch. Then we ate ice cream and wondered what to do.

“I deduced that our ‘casket’ had floated down after Thursday’s downpour, so I went ‘upstream’ and asked a neighbor who had owned a pickup until it was demolished in a wreck.

“Yes, he had removed his tool chest, and it was no longer where it belonged. And he was happy to have it back, even without a pickup to put it in.

“And some think retirement isn’t exciting!”

Triple tough

Our mention of college exam blue books in the Tuesday column brought this response from Adele Berthelot, of Gramercy, which explains why I never had an invertebrate paleontology class in college:

“I, too, used blue books for my college exams. In fact, all of my geology courses at Nicholls State required blue books for exams.

“I remember my invertebrate paleontology course requiring the most; three blue books for one exam. Those were the days.”

Tea time

Francis Celino, The Metairie Miscreant, adds this faux pas to our “kitchen mishaps” series:

“My daughter made a basting sauce for some hamburgers. I got it and grilled them, basting away with the dark brown sauce.

“She then asked me why I didn’t use the sauce she had made.

“I showed her what I was using, and she said it was her tea.

“Tea doesn’t add much flavor to hamburgers.”

Getting medieval

The final comments in this long-running series have gotten extremely weird:

Shooter Mullins says the new name for the New Orleans Zephyrs baseball time should be “The Sinners.” (You could find a mascot pretty much anywhere on Bourbon Street.)

And Lee Faucette comments on Gerald Guarisco’s suggestion (in the Tuesday column):

“I like Gerald’s ‘The Purgatorians.’ (Since New Orleans already has Saints.)

“For the mascot, Smiley in a hair shirt from the Medieval Period.

“Instead of pom-poms, a self-flagellating whip tossed over one’s right shoulder to work the crowd into a frenzy.

“On a special day, old guys on motorcycles (Purgatory’s Angels) could bring their Harleys to the game.”

Special People Dept.

Lurline and the Rev. Joel Hilbun celebrate 65 years of marriage on Thursday, May 26.

Al and Joseann Venseret, of Denham Springs, celebrate their 60th anniversary on Thursday, May 26.

Slogan of the week

From Algie Petrere: “Ban pre-shredded cheese...make America grate again!”

Key to survival

Evelyn Boutte takes note of the fact that during the daily editing process, the second part of my column is sometimes jumped to a page which also contains obituaries:

“Glad you haven’t been on the obit page lately, but would like to know how you keep coming back.

“Most people on the obit page are never heard from again, but there you are next day, back in good shape.

“You really must share the secret. Lots of people would like to know.”

(My secret, Evelyn, is clean living and moderation in all things...oh, and lying...)

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.