Lisa Disney’s report of a spoonerism also serves to remind us of the days before instant communications:

“My dad was a boilermaker, working at one of the plants south of us. He had to catch the ferry to get to the plant.

“On my way to work, I heard on the radio that the ferry had gone down.

“I called Mom, who had people showing up at the house trying to find out if Dad made it — no cell phones in the ’70s.

“We did find out that Dad had missed the ferry and was OK and at the plant.

“When I asked Mom, who was obviously shaken up, if she was OK, she said, ‘I’m a little kneak in the wees, but I’m OK.’

“We still use her quote when something upsetting is going on and anxiety has set in, but ends up OK.”

Still speeding?

Paul Duffy says Richard Fossey’s story in the Tuesday column about his stepdaughter Elizabeth Duffy getting out of a speeding ticket “was actually quite timely.

“Elizabeth, who happens to be my daughter-in-law, drove to Atlanta last weekend to help my daughter, whose husband is having some medical challenges.

“She left Thursday afternoon after work and arrived at my daughter’s house, which is northeast of Atlanta, around 11:30 p.m. Eastern time.

“I was afraid to do the math. Let’s just say she made very, very good time! No tickets that I’ve heard about. Some things never change.”

The sin patrol

After hearing from ladies about Louisiana’s collegiate dress codes and curfew hours for them in the ’50s and ’60s, we got some similar tales from those who went to school in Texas:

Carol Stutzenbecker, of Kenner, says, “I attended Baylor University in the late ’60s, and coeds were not allowed to wear shorts on campus. If you had to walk across campus to attend gym class, you were required to wear a raincoat over your shorts.

“Also, in the late ’60s, I was a teacher at a Texas public school, where female teachers were not allowed to wear pants to work.”

Kay Harrison says, “In the late ’50s at the University of Texas, we could not leave the dormitory wearing (gasp!) shorts!

“So one left wearing a skirt, and at the curb dropped the skirt and continued on in shorts. This, of course, was entirely proper and not shocking at all!

“And we had hours. I think 12:45 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 8:30 p.m. weeknights.

“I remember a friend commenting, ‘Did they not think sin could occur before either 12:45 or 8:30?’

“But that’s for other columns!”

Shell game

Bill Huey addresses my question in the Thursday column about oysters having eyes. (This was in connection with my mention of the Biloxi, Mississippi, Shuckers baseball team’s logo.):

“In fact, there is a team called the Pascagoula/Ocean Springs Ersters, and their band plays, ‘Eye of the Oyster.’

“But seriously, I think those are pearls.”

Good Samaritans Dept.

Ann George says she and her husband arrived home one day to find that a large dead ligustrum limb had fallen over their fence and was lying in their yard:

“My husband went out and sawed off as much as he could and carried the pieces to the street. There was still the main part remaining, and it was too thick to cut with the bow saw he was using and too heavy for us to drag to the street.

“Just as we were wondering how we were going to deal with the problem, four men came to our aid. They were members of the crew working on our street installing new sewer pipes.

“They picked up the limb and carried it to the street. They were a real blessing to us, and we are deeply grateful for their help. I don’t know their names, but to us they are angels.”

Who gives a flip?

Well, I do, or at least I’ll be trying to give a flip to pancakes at the Kiwanis Pancake Festival on Saturday at the LSU Assembly Center. The event is from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and I’ll be there bright and early at 9 a.m. (which is as bright and as early as you’ll get from me on Saturdays).

I’ll be ably assisted by Lou Hudson of the AAA (Awesome Advocate Advertising) staff, and we plan on having a fine time at the event, which has raised funds for youth and community activities for 66 years.

Come on out and join us, but don’t complain about the quality of your breakfast — hey, it’s not like I’m Jay Ducote...

Halloween groaner

Algie Petrere’s ghost story rates a hearty “Boooo!” (and not the scary kind, either):

A photographer goes to a haunted castle determined to get a picture of a ghost on Halloween.

The ghost he encounters turns out to be friendly and poses for a snapshot.

The happy photographer later downloads his photos and finds that the photos are underexposed and completely blank.

Moral to the story: The spirit is willing, but the flash is weak.

Contacting Smiley

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