I got this response from Frank Fronczek to my Monday item about a survey showing that New Orleans and Baton Rouge phone users are harder on their phones than users in other parts of the country:

“The tendency to destroy iPhones apparently moves with Louisiana natives when they go elsewhere.

“Our son Chris, now living in Tucson, Ariz., dropped his iPhone into a gumbo he was cooking.

“Probably a first in that fair city, not well known for its Cajun food.

“He reports that it did not improve the flavor.”

How do they do that?

I’ve always believed that the people who write the messages in fortune cookies have special insights denied to the rest of us.

For instance:

On Thursday, I was in Zachary to speak to the Newcomers Club, and when we wound up around noon I thought I would drop by a Chinese restaurant there and pick up some hot and sour soup for my son-in-law, who was home recovering from pneumonia. (I have found that hot and sour soup is good for pretty much anything that ails you.)

While there, I got a lunch to go, with a fortune cookie.

With all this, I found myself running late by the time I got back to the office.

After a quick lunch, I feverishly started work on the Friday column, expecting to hear from my editors any minute, asking when the column would be ready.

As I typed away, I paused long enough to munch on my fortune cookie.

Inside I found this message:

“Let’s finish this up now, someone is waiting for you on that.”

Dining in style

Patsy Borie says when she and Ned visit their daughter in Oregon in April they won’t be going empty-handed:

“She already has put her order in for Manda’s sausage and hog head cheese, Zatarain’s Creole mustard (my husband has ordered a case of this), pecans, Camellia red beans and Peychaud’s bitters (so her favorite bartender can make Sazeracs).

“I’m sure she’ll think of other things before we leave. She has really turned all of her Oregon friends onto Louisiana foods.

“There will be a crawfish boil while we are there. The crawfish are being shipped from Natchitoches and will be boiled by displaced Louisianians and served at a winery belonging to friends of our daughter.

“We will be eating Louisiana crawfish on a hillside overlooking vineyards, with Mount Hood in the background.

“The best of both worlds.”

Bells were ringing

Charlotte Lachicotte comments on our tales of the CSS Hunley, the Confederate submarine that sank outside Charleston, S.C., harbor after sinking a Union ship:

“The sub had been raised from the ocean floor in 2000 and placed on a barge for transport to the Navy Shipyard on the Cooper River past Charleston Harbor.

“I happened to be driving into Charleston from Baton Rouge that morning with someone whose son-in-law was a descendent of the man who designed the Hunley.

“A few minutes after we parked and walked to the water’s edge, the barge carrying the Hunley came into view, accompanied by a flotilla of every kind of watercraft you can imagine.

“As they sailed past Fort Sumter, all the boats began sounding their horns and every church bell in ‘The Holy City,’ so named for its many churches, began ringing. The ringing continued until the barge was out of view.

“It was a most moving homecoming tribute.”

Special People Dept.

  • Ray A. Louviere Sr. celebrated his 90th birthday Saturday with family and friends at Landry’s Restaurant in Jeanerette.
  • Jimmy and Lona Chauvin, of Abbeville, celebrated their 60th anniversary Feb. 22.

Thought for the Day

From Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, who got the question from a Mississippi friend: “Isn’t it strange how a 20-dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?”

Louisiana moon

LaNell’s story provides evidence that even the youngest of us down here are preoccupied with cuisine:

“Once when I was driving along the highway, my 5-year-old son Bopper was in the passenger seat beside me.

“He looked up and saw the moon, in one of its quarters.

“He said, ‘Look, Mother! A piece of onion in the sky!’

“(We didn’t slice onion in those days … we quartered them.)”

Bedside manners

Shirley Fleniken tells this tale about how to reassure a patient:

“I’m so worried,” the nervous patient said as the nurse plumped up his pillows. “Last week, I read about a man who was in the hospital because of heart trouble, and he died of malaria.”

“Relax,” the nurse said, smiling. “This is a first-rate hospital. When we treat someone for heart trouble, he dies of heart trouble.”

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.