From our “Bah! Humbug!” Dept. comes this message from Rob Payer:

“Smiley, out of frustration, I’ve come up with a new form of online social networking for folks addicted to their computers, cellphones and iPads.

“Instead of Twitter, I call it ‘Fritter.’

“What you do is write about all the meaningful things you COULD be doing with your life if you weren’t so busy spending time on the Internet.

“If that takes off, I’m working on ‘Get-Out-Of-My-Facebook.’ ”

Racing religiously

Eleanor Howes comments on my story about downtown Baton Rouge churches and the old Third Street Picadilly:

“I grew up attending First Baptist Church (and still do so).

“Sunday lunch at the Piccadilly was, indeed, a family tradition.

“As I recall, we never worried about the St. James congregation (I guess we saw you racing ahead of us down Convention Street).

“Our concern was always to get out of church in time to beat the Methodists to the Piccadilly!”

Flaming out

Tom Cagley says when he shops with his wife in Baton Rouge, “I get bored, so I look for things to do.”

This often involves striking up a conversation with other shoppers.

He tried this at a gift shop in New Orleans:

“I left Jackie to her own skills and walked around.

“I saw a woman coming toward me carrying a large candlestick with a candle in it.

“It being hurricane season, I said, ‘I have a feeling you’re walking around in the dark here getting ready for hurricane season.’

“She smiled and looked straight at me, and said, ‘I definitely am. I am.’

“Then she held the candlestick out toward me, smiled, and said, ‘Do you want to light my fire?’ ”

Tom said he learned a lesson from the encounter: “You can say some things to strangers at home that you can’t say elsewhere, especially The Big Easy.”

Where’s the beef?

Continuing our search for hot roast beef sandwiches:

Joanne Cowgill says, “My husband, Phil, believes you’ve definitely been away from downtown too long.

“Poor Boy Lloyd’s has one of THE BEST open-faced roast beef sandwich plates anywhere!

“And when you check out, Fred is always happy to discuss sports or politics with you!”

Jim McCurry says, “Y’all must not crave open-faced roast beef sandwiches very much if you don’t know where to get them. I get mine at Frank’s.

“But if you ask at any restaurant that serves roast beef poor boys, I’m sure they will make you an open-faced roast beef sandwich with gravy.

“I like putting gravy on my French fries too.”

Another reader says Mabil’s in LaPlace is a great source for roast beef and gravy.

Stumped ya!

You might recall that in the Friday column Ronnie Stutes, our unpaid political trivia expert, asked what Republican nominee for president, a former Democrat, declared, “I did not leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”

Your answers are in — and they’re all wrong.

The hint that should have given it away was, “He was endorsed by The New York Times in his bid to oust the Democratic incumbent.”

Everyone who responded said it was Ronald Reagan, who wasn’t endorsed by the Times either time he ran.

Says Ronnie: “The answer is Wendell Willkie. The quote appears in his 1940 campaign biography, appropriately titled ‘This is Wendell Willkie,’ on page 30.”

Slim pickings

Mike Gauthier says, “I was at the famous Red Goose Bar and Lounge in beautiful downtown Thibodaux recently when Boudreaux walked in and offered to buy cold root beers for all present.

“He told me he was celebrating a new job as the foreman in charge of a group of lemon pickers.

“Said he got the job when the boss asked him if he had ever picked lemons before.

“His answer was yes and that he was actually very good at it.

“He has been divorced three times!”

Nice People Dept.

Amy Jones says, “My son Spc. Justin Jones was here on leave from the Army, dressed in his dress blues and took his fiancée, Madison Brown, for a special dinner to Texas De Brazil on Sunday evening.

“After they completed their meal, the waitress tells them someone has taken care of the bill and says ‘Thank you!’

“To whoever did this, thank YOU! I often hear of stories of gratitude to our servicemen; now it’s time for us to pay it forward.”

Special People Dept.

  • Audrey and Lloyd Schroeder, originally from Harahan, now living in Gonzales, celebrate 68 years of marriage on Wednesday.
  • Rita and Emile Sander III, of Slidell, celebrated their 58th anniversary on Tuesday
  • Conrad and Beverly Joffrion celebrate 53 years of marriage on Wednesday.

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.