Dan Stein, of Baton Rouge, says when he volunteered to buy school supplies for 7-year-old grandson Cooper, he thought, "It’s just for second grade. How hard could that be?"

At the big-box store, "I was quickly overcome by the quantity and variety of supplies as I adhered strictly to the lengthy and very specific list.

"I was impressed with the type of supplies my grandson needed, and dutifully bought everything on the list.

"I checked out and was shocked at the cost, but gladly paid the ransom to secure my freedom.

"When I got home I realized I had accidentally flipped over to the 6th-8th grade list, buying things my grandson would not need for several years. I had to return those items and complete the correct list the next day.

"My suggestion to the big-box store: locate a temporary hard-liquor department near the school supplies."

'Where's my Beetle?'

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, says, "The discussion of VW Beetles has caused me a lot of misery, which I deserve.

"My wife had a bright yellow, air-conditioned Beetle she loved. Having limited money, I did all the maintenance work.

"Because of the air conditioner, it took almost four hours to do a tuneup. I told her the next time it needed one we were getting rid of it.

"As luck would have it, when it desperately needed another tuneup, she was sent to a conference out of state.

"A friend had a truck I wanted and his wife wanted the Beetle, so we traded while she was gone.

"Some crimes have a life sentence."

Clean story

Robert Mills, of Benton, aka "Mills From the Hills," tells this car prank story:

"While cramming my four-year business degree into five glorious years in the 1970s at LSU, I spent two of those years rooming with a New Orleans Garden District native who was very proud of his beautiful black Jaguar car.

"One day upon returning from New Orleans, he was concerned about the love bugs splattered on his car.

"He was headed out with a sponge and bucket to clean it when my buddy Tom and I, managing to keep straight faces, convinced him Brillo pads were the best way to get the bugs off. We couldn’t stand it, and caught him halfway to his car, Brillo pads in hand."

Nice People Dept.

B. Chauvin, of Baton Rouge, says, "On July 31, my husband and I were having lunch at a Cracker Barrel. When we asked for our bill, we were told it had been paid.

"We would be happy if you would let that person know how much this was appreciated."

Watch out, ducks

"Belle River Miley," of Pierre Part, writes, "It's only August and my dad is already on a mission. He's in the garage cleaning decoys, telling me it's only 43 days till teal season.

"He told me this will be his 55th duck season.

"Don't get me wrong; I like waking up at 3 a.m., and love the beautiful sunrise and the sights and sounds of all the wildlife we encounter.

"What I don't understand is that after 55 years, you would think he could figure out how to retrieve his own darn ducks!"

I have to admit this note had me a bit baffled, until I took another look at it and realized it was titled, "A Dog's Tale."

Please, no "column going to the dogs" cracks.

Special People Dept.

  • Irma Schwartz Solomon celebrates her 99th birthday Friday, Aug. 9.
  • Richard Slaton celebrates his 96th birthday Sunday, Aug. 11. He is a graduate of Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge and a World War II veteran, having served on the USS Hornet in the Pacific.
  • Dorothey D. Pentes celebrates her 92nd birthday Friday, Aug. 9.
  • Jack and Mary Cutrer celebrated their 69th anniversary Monday, Aug. 5.

Repeat as needed

Marvin Borgmeyer says, "As the new school year approaches, I remember a joke (that also makes me think of you):

"Mom: 'What did you learn at school today?'

"Son: 'Apparently not enough; I have to go back again tomorrow.'"

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.