A recent story about odd happenings in New Orleans reminded me of a fairly unusual event:
On my birthday afternoon several years ago, Lady Katherine and I were relaxing in a French Quarter apartment when we heard the cheery sounds of kazoos.
My daughter and son, and their spouses, in an advanced state of merriment, had dropped in to celebrate my birthday with me.
We figured mint juleps in Pat O'Brien's patio were called for, so off we headed up Bourbon Street.
The kids had presented me with a tacky "Happy Birthday" hat to wear, and along the way I had dollar bills pinned to my shirt by a barker outside a strip joint and the bartender at a daiquiri dispensary — she told me it was a tradition in the Quarter.
The children were not all that familiar with Bourbon Street, so I told them they could expect to see just about anything.
Sure enough, as soon as I said that we observed a lady wearing nothing at all walking very fast past us. She was being pursued by two policemen, also walking fast and steadily gaining on her.
I did not sense a great deal of urgency on the part of the officers, so I assumed this was not the first time this had happened.
We were still talking about that occurrence when I heard a gent commenting on my son's footwear — and I knew he was about to get a valuable, if expensive, lesson on the ways of the street.
The littlest gourmet
Redean Parsons, of St. Francisville, says this "childspeak" story "is from one of my younger friends, Danielle, who lives in North Carolina.
"Her 6-year-old son started to eat an egg she had prepared sunny-side-up. As he pierced the yolk he said, 'I really like the egg sauce!'
"From now on a runny egg yolk to me will be 'egg sauce!’ ”
"One day while I was home by myself," says Jamie Owen Parkerson, of Lafayette, "I heard this noise, and after looking around I saw a rat in the kitchen.
"After screaming hysterically, I was able to corner it and place a chair so it couldn’t get out.
"I then called my ex-husband, who was with the kids, to come over to remove it.
"To my surprise, it was only a bird that had come down the chimney. We all had a laugh!"
"Please file this as anonymous, for obvious reasons," said the contributor:
"My father's favorite 'hobby' was visiting with his friends at the local barroom.
"One Saturday after a particularly long visit, Dad drove up.
"My mother looked out of the door and yelled at him, 'Where did you get that car?'
"Dad replied that the owner had taken his car when he left the barroom, so Dad drove his friend's car home.
"So much for removing your keys when you park."
Special People Dept.
- Lorraine Lockhart, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 101st birthday Sunday, Jan. 16. She is a longtime member of Oakcrest Baptist Church.
- Dutch Prager, of Mandeville, celebrates his 97th birthday Friday, Jan. 14. A World War II veteran, he served on the submarine Kingfish.
- Dora Michelli, of Baker, celebrates her 92nd birthday Friday, Jan. 14.
- Jerry and Rose Berggren, of Saint Gabriel, celebrate their 55th anniversary Friday, Jan. 14.
Jerry Berggren, announcing his 55th anniversary with wife Rose on Friday, explained to me why he called her "the long-suffering Saint Rose."
He said that on their big day, "I'll be somewhere in the woods deer hunting while she tends to the remaining repairs to our Hurricane Ida damaged house."
All I can tell you, Jerry, is that a great many wives read this column — so it's fortunate that you're going to be armed.
Groaner of the Week
Wayne LeCompte, of Metairie, says he was visiting his doctor when the nurse came into the office and said, "There's a man in the waiting room who thinks he's invisible. What should I tell him?"
"The doctor said, 'Tell him I can't see him today.’ ”