Those of us who remember things like typewriters, film cameras and black-and-white TVs are often called on to explain them to the young.

For instance, “Granny Julie” tells this story:

“The other day I was looking for something I needed, but of course it was not where I thought I had put it.

“My 6-year-old grandson, Collin Spouse, following me as I searched, spotted my typewriter sitting on a desk.

“‘What’s that?’ he asked.

“I laughingly answered, ‘It’s a typewriter,’ and told him it was what Granny used to write letters before computers.

“He sat down and started pecking on the keys, and I left the room, still searching.

“Suddenly I hear him coming down the hall yelling to me, ‘Granny, where is the send button?’

“It took all I had to keep from laughing as I told him, ‘First you put a sheet of paper in, then you type what you want to say. When you are finished you remove the paper, fold it, put it in an envelope, address the envelope, put a stamp on it and put it in the mail.’

“Confused, he responded, ‘Wouldn’t it be easier just to have a send button?’ And walked off.”

On a related note …

Algie Petrere came across this story meant as a joke,

but says, “Unfortunately, this could probably be a true conversation:”

Teacher: “There will be an eclipse of the moon tonight. Perhaps your parents will let you stay up to watch it.”

Pupil: “What channel is it on?”

Doggone close call

John Morgan, commenting on our horror stories about birds attacking humans, warns that small pets are also in danger:

“When I was a teenager our house stood on the edge of the city limits.

“With two large oak trees and a line of pines in our yard, birds were a common sight, including many predator types. My dad became quite adept at calling Mississippi kites to the area.

“One evening at dusk we were in the backyard playing with our dogs, a schipperke and a very hairy toy poodle.

“The poodle, Mitzi, was running circles around us when all of a sudden she yelped and went tumbling.

“It took a moment to sink in that a large winged-shaped shadow had glided in and grabbed for her.

“We believe it was a large owl. If it hadn’t been for Mitzi’s coat, more than double her body size, she would have been dinner.

“Mitzi didn’t go outside after dusk for a long time after that, and when she did it was next to a human who could defend her.

“I’ll have to tell you about the squirrels harassing the schipperke another day.”

The eagle has landed

Audrey F. Schilling says a young eagle has staked out the area near her home off Greenwell Springs Road as his territory and can be seen dining on tree rats and feral cats:

“He eats his meals in the middle of the street, daring a mere car to disturb him.”

Worthy causes

For National Mental Illness Awareness Week, the Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge holds its third annual Arts for Wellness art show, “Painting a Brighter Future,” on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at Brew Ha Ha, 711 Jefferson Highway, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The free show showcases the art of clients in the Alliance House Drop In Center’s Arts for Wellness program. The center is a day program for adults with chronic mental illness. Proceeds from the sale of the art benefits the MHA and participating artists.

For information, contact Jenny Ridge at or (225) 266–2697.

(Full disclosure: Katherine Anders, who teaches Arts for Wellness classes, is related to me by marriage.)

Special People Dept.

  • Ernest Keller celebrates his 96th birthday on Monday, Oct. 6. He is retired from the Air Force.
  • Bernice Bellum Lammert, of Denham Springs, celebrates her 90th birthday on Monday, Oct. 6. She now works for Franklin Press in Baton Rouge, but during World War II she was a “Rosie the Riveter,” building airplanes at Consolidated Aircraft in New Orleans.

Wretched excess

Cindy Bouchie, of Pineville, says, “The all-you-can-eat stories reminded me of what a friend of mine told me several years ago.

“At the time he owned a restaurant here in Pineville and decided to try an all-you-can-eat crawfish night.

“A couple with hefty appetites sat in his restaurant for hours eating platter after platter of crawfish.

“At closing time the couple asked the waitress if they could come back the next night, because they hadn’t eaten all that they could.

“He stopped offering the all-you-can-eat crawfish nights …”

Fair warning

Paul Major comments on those warnings in car commercials that show stunt drivers doing amazing things:

“Wouldn’t it be great if they would replace all the variations of ‘Professional driver. Closed course. Do not attempt’ with ‘We take no responsibility whatsoever if you’re stupid enough to try this.’”

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.