Lynne Marye says, “Your recent columns describing cooking mishaps reminded me of this:

“In my early years of marriage, I quickly became known for the challenges I had when it came to cooking.

“A family member gave me this poem, author unknown, which described the problem perfectly! It hung in my kitchen for years:

“I didn’t have potatoes

So I substituted rice.

I didn’t have paprika

So I used another spice.

I didn’t have tomato sauce,

I used tomato paste.

A whole can, not a half can,

I don’t believe in waste.

A friend gave me the recipe

She said you couldn’t beat it.

There must be something wrong with her,

I couldn’t even eat it!”

Dry, not fry

Cathy Hannaman Brouillette says, “Before the days of salad spinners, my mother-in-law, Nell Brouillette, passed along a helpful hint involving the use of a laundry appliance to help dry lettuce after rinsing it.

“I used the hint, but the lettuce turned out brown and wilted.

“I called her with the results, and she very nicely pointed out that she had told me to use the washing machine spin cycle — instead of the dryer.”

For the birds

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, says, “Something that is very noticeable when driving in the countryside is lack of road kill.

“Anything from the size of a turtle or squirrel to the size of a deer is removed within days by BUZZARDS.

“The city-parish could cut costs by having individuals and businesses adopt buzzards to be released instead of adopting highways to clean.

“Just a thought!”

Staying grounded

Joe F. Cannon says, “I see there is another announcement about a ‘flying auto’ in The Advocate.

“In the early 1950s, when I was a reporter in Tulsa, I had a note in my assignment box to go to the airport and interview a man with a ‘flying car.’

“After talking a while, he asked if I wanted to go up in it.

“We were sitting in it doing routine pre-flight check. He said, ‘See this lever; turn it and the wings come right off.’

“That was enough to convince me I didn’t need a ride!”

Sense of Yuma

Keith Horcasitas says when he was a grad student in social work at San Diego State, he would drive to his home in New Orleans and back:

“That I-10 trip was so long that it seemed it took forever to get out of Texas. So as we would get closer to California on our way from N’Awlins, passing through Arizona, it always helped to have a good ‘sense of Yuma’ to pass the time. Apparently, they like to give Yuma a hard time!”

Keith tells of a newspaper story that reported an interview with two people.

One mentioned that she had been in Yuma recently visiting, then noted, “You don’t like to spend a lot of time in Yuma.”

And the other added, “Neither do the people who live there!’”

Love dem guys!

Chick St. Germaine, of Harahan, says, “We know the Saints football team is loved throughout the U.S.

“This morning I saw an Oregon license plate: ‘HOO DAT.’”

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer: “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

Special People Dept.

Evelyn L. Vidacovich celebrates her 95th birthday on Thursday, March 26.

C.W. Doughty, of Walker, celebrates his 90th birthday on Thursday, March 26. He is a Navy veteran of World War II and a retired Baton Rouge Fire Department captain.

That’s corny!

“Seeing all the recent Schwegmann’s supermarket stories reminded me of one,” says Ernie Gremillion.

“When my mom had gotten a bit up in age, I used to play small jokes on her, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

“She loved shrimp and corn soup, and was able to get a restaurant’s recipe for her favorite.

“The recipe specifically called for shoepeg corn.

“Knowing I would pass by Schwegmann’s after golf, she asked me to see if they had the corn.

“She called about it when I got home, and I told her that Schwegmann’s didn’t have any corn-fed choupique.

“Thinking I was serious, she had quite a reaction to the apparent misunderstanding.”

Phone fighter

Doug Johnson, of Watson, tells how to fight back when phone solicitors disturb you:

“Recently I’ve received several calls telling me that the U.S. Treasury has selected me to receive $7,000 for being a good citizen.

“They tell me that all I need to do is give them information about my bank account or credit card to pay the $275 processing fee, and the money will be sent.

“I tell the speaker, ‘This is your lucky day! Just pay the $275 for me and send the $7,000. I will then repay your $275, and also send you $1,000 for your help.’

“So far, no takers.”

Contact 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.