When I started reading Bruce Dyson’s story, I thought he’d given me the scoop of the century.

But, alas, it was not to be...

He said, “When I arrived home in northern Ascension Parish on Tuesday night, it was very dark, just a little foggy, still and quiet.

“After unlocking the back door, I went back out to my pickup truck to retrieve a few items.

“I heard a strange sound: sort of like a few big Clydesdale horses stomping down the street.

“I took a quick glance out to the roadway — and my brain quickly processed that two aliens from outer space were invading Ascension Parish and swiftly shuffling down my street. YIKES!

“They were short and bulky-looking, with big feet and some sort of air hoses connected to their odd space helmets.

“That jolt of fear was quite pronounced, but it quickly faded as I realized that the ‘aliens’ were a couple of volunteer firefighters who were heading back to the fire station at the front of our subdivision after a training run in full gear.

“I guess I shouldn’t have watched so many episodes of ‘Lost in Space’ and ‘Star Trek’ when I was a little kid...”

The baby dodger

Joan W. Barre, of Metairie, says, “The stories about ‘Fishhook Frank’ with the slow draw, and the guy who went to the restroom when the tab came, remind me of the ‘king cake baby dodger’ I worked with years ago.

“Once a week an employee brought a king cake to work. Whoever found the plastic baby in his piece purchased the king cake the following week.

“We cut the cake first thing in the morning, with all employees gathered around — except the secretary.

“She always managed to emerge from her office about an hour later, asking if anyone had gotten the baby yet. She took a piece of the cake only if someone had gotten the baby.

“This went on until Mardi Gras, when king cake time came to an end.”

Fine as wine

“During the 1960s,” says Matt Yates, “I could only pick up two radio stations late at night on the AM radio in my 1957 Chevy as I drove the 15 miles west from Stephen F. Austin College in Nacogdoches, Texas, to my home in the country.

“One was a Spanish-speaking station out of Laredo, Texas. The other station, of course, was out of New Orleans. I didn’t speak Spanish, so I listened to WWL.

“My favorite memory is the late-night commercials for a wine named ‘Tiger 186,’ which I expect was very, very inexpensive.

“The announcer would end the commercial with ‘Go get you some of that Tiger 186; it’ll make you cats want to climb trees!’ There was a great deal of emphasis on the ‘want to climb trees!’”

Which reminds me

During my college days, the cheapest wines around were Night Train and Gypsy Rose (don’t ask me how I know).

As I recall, the radio commercial for Gypsy Rose went like this:

“EVERYBODY goes for Gypsy Rose!

“What’s the price?

“Sixty twice!

“What’s the reason?

“Grapes in season!”

Blot it!

Bob Downing addresses the problem Danny Heitman mentioned in his Sunday column on fountain pens — ink on his shirt sleeves:

“It appears he does not remember blotters, or does not know they still make them.”

Bob, after extensive research, found that blotters are still available at nostalgicimpressions.com.

OMV Santa

“Over Christmas I had my wallet stolen,” says Carol, “so I needed to get a new driver’s license. I also needed to cash a check (they got the credit cards too). I think the bank will not cash a check without my ID, so I went to the Office of Motor Vehicles first.

“When the clerk said it would be $13 for my license, I didn’t have the money, because I hadn’t been to the bank. Duh!

“Right then this gentleman came up to me, gave me $15 and said, ‘Merry Christmas!’

“I found my Santa at the OMV. Thank you!”

Special People Dept.

Lewis Guidry celebrates his 96th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 24. He is a World War II veteran and an Exxon retiree.

Celebrating her 91st birthday on Saturday, Jan. 24, is Mary Kendrick, of Pride.

Perfect ending

Keith Horcasitas tells this sad story:

“One day a guy and his friend were sitting in a cafe, drinking tea and talking about life and love. “His friend asked him, ‘How come you never married?’

“‘Well,’ he said, ‘to tell you the truth, I spent my youth looking for the perfect woman. Then one day I met her — beautiful, intelligent, generous and kind. She was perfect!’

“‘What happened?’ asked the friend. ‘Why didn’t you marry her?’

“The guy sipped his tea reflectively.

“‘Well,’ he replied, ‘it seemed she was looking for the perfect man...’”

Talk to Smiley

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.