After driving from Baton Rouge to New Orleans for dinner Wednesday night (Port of Call cheeseburgers, in case you were wondering), I find myself agreeing with Patrick Hughes, who sent over a list titled “It’s a Louisiana thing.”
A number of the “Louisiana things” involve our highway manners, such as:
“Never use turn signals — where I am going next is none of your business.”
“If the other vehicle is stopped at the four-way intersection, that’s enough. You are free to zoom through.”
“Eighty mph on an interstate is normal. Don’t block the damn road!”
“The Atchafalaya I-10 bridge is now built on tractor-trailer carcasses.”
“Logging trucks rule the road. Learn it or die!”
“The only rock in the state is gravel, distributed onto the highways by the guys who replace windshields.”
“The cars stuck in the median slid off during our daily rain squalls — happens every time; no one learns anything.”
“Normally, the road from New Orleans to Houma is 12 inches above sea level. Don’t swerve if you can’t swim.”
“There is absolutely no place on Earth through which a Cajun cannot drive a pickup truck.”
And my favorite, his suggestion for a city motto: “Baton Rouge: The National Road Block.”
Name that team
After Perry Snyder proposed some names for the New Orleans Zephyrs pro baseball team, we heard from other readers (who obviously have way too much idle time):
Alison Schenk, of Metairie, has a culinary suggestion: “How about the Crawfish Batters?”
Frank Fronczek, of Baton Rouge, says, “In honor of their pitchers, I suggest the ‘New Orleans Statues.’ They just stand in the circle waiting to be removed.”
Glenn Balentine says we should consider the “New Orleans Next Years.” He explains: “It is so natural to cheer, ‘Next year, we’ll beat you!’ ‘Wait for next year!’ ‘Watch out when we take the field next year!’ The theme song could be ‘In the Year 2525.’ ”
Perry Snyder, mentioned above as starting the whole sordid business, has one more suggestion: “The New Orleans Tchoupitoulas, to confuse visiting nines.”
Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, says, “I see our creative lawmakers are approving first-in-the-nation legislation that will allow citizens to download a cellphone app that will give drivers the option of showing an electronic version of your driver’s license when requested by law enforcement officers. Cool idea.
“But I guarantee you that LSU student software whiz-guys are at work today developing a program showing underage kids how to fabricate a fake driver’s license ID that will get them into bars.”
Criss Morgan, of Port Allen, says a photo in the Wednesday Advocate showed a purple martin house but with a starling poking its head out of one of the holes:
Criss says starlings shouldn’t be getting the publicity:
“It is an invasive species, not native to North America, and it should be forcibly ejected from the martin house or, even better, trapped and destroyed. The owner of the martin house should have removed all the door plugs in January so martins could have moved in once they returned from South America.”
About those rules
Leila Pitchford-English, of The Advocate, says a writing rule Cindy Bouchie and I learned at LSU Journalism School (mentioned in the Thursday column) no longer applies.
We were once told that “more than” is preferred to “over.”
But Leila says, “Two years ago, The Associated Press changed its rule. According to the Stylebook, we are allowed to use the terms ‘more than’ and ‘over’ interchangeably. They are termed ‘acceptable in all uses to indicate greater numerical value. Salaries went up more than $20 a week. Salaries went up over $20 a week.’ ”
And Nobey Benoit says about another grammar discussion in recent columns, “The misuse of fewer/less is the least of my worries. I worry more about fewer wins by Les. Less losses means fewer headaches. More or less.”
Special People Dept.
Jerry and Elsie Yarbrough, of White Castle, celebrate their 61st anniversary on Sunday.
Francis Celino, “The Metairie Miscreant,” offers these church definitions:
“Choir: a group of people who can sing two octaves higher than anyone else.
“Pew: a bench that sits nine people.
“Usher: a person who can cram 12 people into a pew.”
Hide and seek
Mary Kay Cowen, of Marrero, says, “When putting something new away, the question should not be ‘Where can I put this?’ It should be ‘Where is the first place I will look for this?’ ”
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.