Here’s a story about an impatient little reader that made me chuckle rather strenuously:

Alex Crochet, of Abbeville, says, “My granddaughter, Camille, was required to read a book during the summer break.

“She chose ‘Little House on the Prairie.’

“A couple of weeks into the project her mother (my daughter Michelle) asked her how the reading was coming along.

“Camille responded, dejectedly, ‘I’m on page 60 and they’re still in the covered wagon.’”

An offal discovery

Mary Pramuk, of Baton Rouge, says, “Speaking of Spam, has anyone mentioned the ‘other’ vintage canned meat, Vienna sausages? We all loved them as kids.

“When in the Army, my husband liked to snack on them, until one day as he was eating, he read the ingredients: pork lips, pork tail, pork snout.

“He threw the can away and has not eaten any since.

“Although we’ve lived in Louisiana for many years, you would think he would have learned by now that these parts are considered delicacies.”

(One additional thought, Mary — isn’t that a terrible thing to saddle Vienna with? As far as I know, it’s a perfectly lovely city, and doesn’t deserve that...)

Wine and wood

I can’t believe we’re still talking about ways to open beverage containers:

Sandy Young, of Lakeview (the New Orleans subdivision), says, “While traveling through the Loire Valley in France with my parents, we had a free lunch hour or so, and purchased some edibles and local wine.

“Since the bus was locked, we had a wine opener problem.

“My dad, a retired Air Force colonel, had a solution: remove the foil covering the cork, then tap the base of the bottle on a tree.

“Behold, that little cork inched out gradually, and we enjoyed the ‘fruit’ of dad’s ingenuity.”

Proper technique

George McLean, of Metairie, says Tom Ashby, in his Monday story, “omitted an important step in how movie cowboys rolled cigarettes with Bull Durham (the tobacco in a cloth sack).

“After pouring the tobacco, he then took the drawstring in his teeth, tugged at the sack to close it, then returned it to his shirt pocket.”

Speaking of sacks

Redean Parsons says, “My granddaughter Emily and her husband Kyle were students at Duke Divinity School when they married in Durham, North Carolina.

“Their wedding reception was held at The Cotton Room, formerly a factory which manufactured the small drawstring cotton bags that held Bull Durham tobacco.

“Presently it is a beautifully renovated venue used for weddings, receptions and conferences.

“Some people might still have a few of those cotton pouches in their possession.

“As a child, my husband used to keep his favorite ‘taws’ (fancy shooting marbles) in a little pouch like these.”

Old Sayings Dept.

Mary Kay Barbay, aka “Queen Mom Kay,” adds to our collection of language oddities of the past:

“My mom would use an expression, ‘rid up,’ to mean ‘put everything in its place.’

“For instance, ‘Company’s coming, go rid up.’”

Name games

Debbie Calongne says, “I got a giggle out of Marsha R.’s story in the Tuesday column about the mispronunciation of her name (Reichle, like Michael), because it reminds me of when I first met my now husband many years ago.

“I asked him if his last name, Calongne, was like the fragrance. He said no, that it was Calongne, as in ‘loin’ cloth.”

Regenia Avery Ordoyne, of Slidell, says, “I can’t tell you the times my late husband and I used my maiden name for reservations. Avery was always so much easier than Ordoyne.”

Special People Dept.

Pauline Y. Bartus, of Hungarian Settlement, celebrates her 90th birthday on Thursday, March 10.

On Thursday, March 10, Ben Wicker and wife Katrina Wicker share a birthday celebration. Ben is 93. Katrina is 91.

Joe and Dona Ridenour celebrate their 58th anniversary on Thursday, March 10.

Thought for the Day

A Chinese proverb from Francis Celino, The Metairie Miscreant: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.”

That’s love!

Mike Lukacin offers an example of spousal devotion:

“Each year, when we get our home-grown tomatoes from ‘The Tomato Man’ in Denham Springs, my wife just has to have her yearly Spam and tomato sandwich.

“Of course, being a nice husband, I eat one with her.”

Go figure

Martha Wright uses what appears to be New Math in responding to Doug Lee’s Tuesday mention of long and short strides:

“I am little short of 5-2. I was running a race beside a 6-2 man. For every step he took, I took two.

“So didn’t I go twice as far as he did?”

Contacting Smiley

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.