Faye Melancon, of Baton Rouge, needs a support group:

“We have two new kittens, to which most would say, ‘So?’

“It’s more complicated than that. An example:

“A friend called the other day, and asked how I was doing.

“‘OK, except I have a cat on my head, and now there’s a tail dangling down on my face!’

“See what I mean? I can’t sit in my recliner anymore, read The Advocate at my leisure, do the crossword puzzle and have a second cup of coffee (they’ve spilled it twice).

“My doilies on the coffee table have heavy rocks instead of knickknacks; my wastebasket is a step-on garbage can.

“They dart about, getting under people’s feet, they ‘die of starvation’ several times a day, they fall into water-filled bathtubs (with bubble bath); right now I’m fighting for possession of my keyboard. On and on.

“Is there a support group? Anybody else out there?

“Oh, and I love them, too.”

Swing time

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says, “The Saturday column about placing the cold paten (plate) against communicants’ throats and startling them reminded me of my days as an altar boy.

“Because I was taller than most of the altar servers, it was my job to swing the thurible (incense holder) during benediction and other ceremonies.

“Since I became very easily bored, I learned to swing it through a full circle, which made for great entertainment for the other altar servers and SOME worshippers, but didn’t impress my mother or the monsignor, when he turned at a time his back should have been to me!

“I lost my job to a shorter server who had to hold the chain further down so that the thurible wouldn’t hit the floor.”

A chilling tale

Terry Maderson says our recent story about a honeymoon with a bottle of wine but no corkscrew reminds him of this experience:

“Barbie and I married in 1956 and went to Fontana Village in North Carolina for our honeymoon.

“We brought champagne with us to toast a long and happy marriage.

“This was before they had mini-fridges in their cabins (for that matter, no hotel or motel rooms had them at that time either).

“We didn’t need a corkscrew; what we needed was ice to chill the champagne.

“I assessed the problem, and improvised by placing the champagne in front of the air conditioner. We had a cool stream of about 50-degree air over the bottle.

“Finally, at about 3 a.m., it was chilled enough to toast our marriage.

“We fell in love with the mountains, and have been back to the Smokies about 50 times since then.”

The Poorhouse Fare

Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, sends over a couple of recipes I thought of sending to our eatplaylive section.

But I doubt if they would make the cut...

She says, “One of my favorite ways of enjoying Vienna sausage as a child was in ‘Poor Man’s Stew,’ as we called it.

“Make a roux, add cubed potatoes and smother until potatoes are tender. Add a little water and Vienna sausage and allow to cook about 15 minutes. Serve over rice. The stew could also be made using wieners.

“Potted meat was mixed with boiled eggs and mayonnaise and spread between two slices of bread. That was school lunch back in the ’40s (‘The War Years’).

“And how did Vienna sausage get its name?”

(From someone who was mad at Vienna, I suppose...)

Reason to quit

Sam Raney adds to our stories about old cigarettes with a description of addiction:

“While I was at Phù Cát, Vietnam, we ran out of cigarettes. We were leaving that base soon, but for the last few weeks, no cigarettes.

“We began smoking ‘long shorts’ out of the butt cans — whatever was left from the previous smoker.

“Then we found some K-rations, and each one had a pack of four dry, quick-burning Pall Malls or Lucky Strikes.

“Burned our lungs — but, unfortunately, when you are smoker, most anything will do. Thankfully, I quit about 38 years ago.”

Special People Dept.

Bob and Betty Edwards Guchereau, of Lafayette, celebrate their 60th anniversary on Thursday, March 17.

Pitt stop

David Hart, of Baton Rouge, says, “I have a 17-year-old son who is fairly observant, and I am sometimes amused at how he sizes up the world around him.

“He has named a particular pothole on Tiger Bend Road ‘Brad Pitt,’ and since its formal naming he and I have had a good time talking about Brad and looking for his return each time he has been patched.

“In the past couple of years, Brad has gone away but has never been forgotten, as he always makes his way back.

“With our spring rains, I was informed Brad has come back and is as robust as ever.

“Where else can you go to see Brad Pitt any time you like but in our beloved Baton Rouge?”

Contacting 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.