With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s time for us (by “us” I mean guys) to start thinking about gifts for the ladies in our lives.

By chance I got two stories about gifts at the same time, and they clearly illustrate the wrong way and the right way to present a present to your spouse.

The wrong way is described by Buddy Abraham:

“The discussions on anniversary gifts reminds me of a gift I gave my wife a number of years ago.

“I had just returned home from a business trip when I realized it was our anniversary and I had no gift.

“My wife, a teacher, was due home any minute, so no time to go shopping.

“Then I was hit with an inspiration.

“I put a note on the table saying that her gift was on our bed.

“When she came to see the gift, there I was.

“Smiley, that was a very, very bad idea — and I am still paying for it after 60 years of marriage.”

Ina G. Navarre tells of the right way to please your lady:

“I have been following with interest the discussions of husbands’ gifts to wives.

“Every year around this time, my husband tells me the major topic of discussion with the ladies in his office centers on what they expect to get from their husbands for Valentine’s Day.

“Last year when he was asked by the ladies what he would be giving me for this occasion, he was very discreet, deflecting answers.

“This process went on for several days, and finally he could avoid giving an answer no longer.

“When pressed, he told them he was giving me the best gift possible in the world, one that is guaranteed to make me happy, and that any woman would love to get from her husband.

“He informed them that his gift to me was ‘100 percent direct deposit of payroll.’”

Tigers on the air

As I mentioned earlier, we’re winding down our stories about New Orleans’ WWL radio and its clear channel reach across the country and beyond.

Here are a couple about relying on the station to get LSU-Ole Miss football games:

Patsy Borie, of Baton Rouge: “All the recent stories of people listening to LSU football games far away remind me of my late husband’s favorite football story.

“On Halloween night, 1959, we were living in New Jersey with a 2-year-old and a month-old baby.

“Ned couldn’t pull up the LSU game on the house radio, so he went out to the car to listen. (Of course, I stayed in the house with the baby and toddler.)

“When he came back in, he couldn’t contain himself.

“He had been in the car all by himself screaming ‘Damn, damn!’ during the famous Billy Cannon run!

“Of course, every other LSU fan saw it in the stadium, or so they said later.”

Michael L. Vincent, DDS, of Baton Rouge: “In 1970 I was stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, about 60 miles west of Boston.

“Getting any Southern football up there was nigh impossible.

“I got help from a GI in radio and communications who rigged me up an antenna to hook to my radio.

“For two years I listened to the Tigers on WWL loud and clear.

“One game I remember very well is when we beat Ole Miss with Archie Manning playing with a cast on his arm.

“I went outside and played in the snow that was really coming down, and wrote, ‘Go to Hell Ole Miss’ in the snow on my car windows.

“Only a friend from Tennessee got the message.”

Fateful find

“Do you believe in fate?” asks JoAnn Tripoli, who tells this story:

“My husband delivers subpoenas for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“Last week when making a delivery, his eyes fell upon a stack of books. He noticed that one was a 1954 Jambalaya, Tulane’s yearbook.

“He mentioned to the gentleman that his brother-in-law, C.A. Wethern, had graduated in engineering from Tulane some time in the ’50s.

“The gentleman suggested he take a look — and sure enough, there was our brother-in-law in his cap and gown!

“The ironic part is that in 1954 my sister and brother-in-law had three very young children, he was attending Tulane on the GI Bill, and they had to scrimp and save just to buy his graduation ring. Therefore, no money for his yearbook.

“Now after 61 years he finally has his book, due to fate.”

Early-bird blues

Glenn Jones, of Prairieville, says, “I stopped by my church a few Saturdays ago. Our pastor was on the speaker phone complaining to the circulation department of The Advocate.

“‘Where is my Sunday paper?’ he wanted to know.

“‘Sir,’ replied the voice on the line, ‘your Sunday paper will be delivered tomorrow — which is Sunday. This is Saturday.’

“‘Oh,’ mumbled my preacher. ‘I guess that explains why there was no one at church this morning.’”

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.