Loretta Mattio-Hamilton says our tales of Hadacol tonic remind her of this true story about her late cousin, Dr. I.M. DeMatteo, of New Orleans:

“In the ’60s, he had a patient who was complaining about her fatigue and always asking for a ‘prescription’ so she could feel better.

“He finally wrote her a prescription for HTUOMREV.

“My husband was working for K&B at the time, and the woman presented the prescription to the pharmacist.

“Everyone was puzzled; no one ever heard of that drug.

“The pharmacist finally contacted Dr. DeMatteo, only to find out he should read the prescription backwards and give the woman VERMOUTH in a prescription bottle.

“Needless to say, on her visit the woman told the doc she couldn’t believe how much better she felt!”

Land of the bland

Pete Gremillion joins our discussion of Oregon crawfish with the observation that there’s a difference between simply HAVING crawfish and knowing what to do with them when you have them:

“In the 1980s, Louisiana had a large number of people working on the North Slope of Alaska in the oil patch.

“Food was always a big topic, and as Easter Sunday neared we were told that crawfish would be served at the evening meal at Prime Camp.

“Word got out, and Louisiana people from other camps converged on Prime to enjoy some of the tasty mudbugs.

“As it turned out, the crawfish, or in this case ‘crayfish,’ were the Oregon variety, steamed and not a drop of seasoning.

“We each ate four or five and that was it. Needless to say, there were some disappointed Cajun welders.”

Acquired taste

Terry Welch has another “taste of home” story:

“Back in 1968 when I was in Vietnam, I had my mother send me some Community Dark Roast coffee.

“At the time, I was with the 101st Airborne Division and worked in the message center.”

He says that when he returned from delivering paperwork to the outlying firebases, one of the guys met him at the door:

“Seems he ran out of his coffee and helped himself to mine, and it almost choked him.

“First time he had Louisiana coffee — and the last time too.”

Flying jewel

Larry and Norma Downing, of Baker, figure the sighting of their first ruby-throated hummingbird Saturday morning meant spring was indeed around the corner.

He was going back and forth from their red nectar feeder to a tiny dead twig, “the exact same twig in our tree above the feeder that he perched on last year and the year before.”

They’ve been keeping a bird journal for 16 years, noting that the ruby-throats arrive between March 7 and April 2.

Worthy causes

The Big Buddy Program and the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance benefit from proceeds from Saturday’s Providence Corporate Cup 5K run/walk.

The race starts at 9 a.m. in downtown Baton Rouge, with a “Future CEO Challenge” at 8 a.m. for the first 300 runners ages 7-14 who preregister.

Visit http://www.corporatecup.net or call (225) 768-5900.

Remembering Sarah

Friends of the late Sarah Whalen, longtime lobbyist in the Louisiana Legislature who retired to Destin, Fla., will hold a beach party at 1 p.m. Sunday in Destin “in celebration of her very lively life.”

Her Baton Rouge friends are invited. Call Jackie at (850) 865-6085.

Musical interlude

The Xavier University Alumni Association says a jazz brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at LSU’s Lod Cook Conference Center funds scholarships at the New Orleans school.

A $50 donation gets lunch, a chance for prizes from the silent auction and music by the Brian Murray Quartet.

Contact Vivian Guillory at (225) 205-1544 or vbg225@yahoo.com.

Special People Dept.

On Thursday, John DeLatin celebrates his 97th birthday with his coffee buddies at “their usual meeting place in the mall.”

Defining moments

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, came across this definitions:

Decafolon: The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Balderdash: A rapidly receding hairline.

Dead reckoning

OK, I know this one from Algie Petrere is silly. But it made me laugh:

A hunter walking through the jungle found a huge dead elephant with a Pygmy standing beside it.

Amazed, he asked: “Did you kill that?”

The Pygmy said, “Yes.”

The hunter asked, “How could a little bloke like you kill a huge beast like that?”

“I killed it with my club.”

The astonished hunter asked, “How big is your club?”

The Pygmy replied, “There’s about 60 of us.”

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.