An example of youthful perception, from "Paul":

"Years ago, when our daughters were about 5 and 7, we took a summer vacation to Alaska, renting an RV in Anchorage and driving around the state.

"On our way to view Mt. McKinley (now its Native Alaskan name, 'Denali'), we stopped at a restaurant in Talkeetna for supper.

"We were seated at a table next to a group of German tourists who were speaking somewhat loudly in German, with their loud laughter likely fueled by the previous contents of empty beer pitchers on their table.

"While we were waiting for our food, I leaned over towards my younger daughter and asked her if she knew what language the group was speaking.

"She listened to them for a minute or so and said, 'Daddy, I don't know what language they're speaking, but they're all laughing in English.'"

Merci, amigo!

Ronald Paulin says, "My wife and I and another couple were in the Louvre in Paris. The night before, when we were leaving a restaurant in the rain, the taxi driver had refused to take four people, so I had to hail a second cab.

"As we were leaving the museum I went up to a taxi and asked, 'Quatro, por favor?'

"He said, 'Oui,' and we all got in.

"My wife then asked me, 'Why are you speaking Spanish to a French cab driver?'

"I don't know, but it worked."


T.W., of Baton Rouge, says, "I continued working on a crossword puzzle seconds after I wrote an anecdote for your column. The clue was 'Written material of no consequence.'

"The answer: 'fluff.'

"Sometimes the universe seems to be in alignment…" 

Groaner of the Week

Kirk Briggs, of Lafayette, says a reader's mention of the French city, Toulouse, reminded him of this old gag:

"The French tailor asked the French painter, as he adjusted his trousers, 'Is that too loose, Lautrec?'"


Think poetry

May Waggoner, of Lafayette, addresses disparaging remarks about the song "MacArthur Park" and its image of a cake in the rain:

"Have you ever looked at a park or meadow through a window when it is raining? It does seem to be melting, perhaps like a green cake, as the leaves blur the poet's memories of his life choices, some irrevocable: 'I'll never have that recipe (get that chance) again.'"

Special People Dept.

— James J. Bollich, of Lafayette, celebrated his 100th birthday Sunday, August 15. He is a retired geologist, a World War II veteran, and a survivor of the Bataan Death March.

— Fellman and Agnes Bercegeay, of Gonzales, celebrated 71 years of marriage Thursday, August 12.

— Bill and Rose Roe, of Mandeville, celebrate their 66th anniversary Monday, August 16.

— Carol and Gary TerHaar, of Baton Rouge, celebrated their 65th anniversary Wednesday, August 11.

— Dr. Anthony and Donna Greco, of Lafayette, celebrate their 52nd anniversary Monday, August 16.

— Cathy and Mike Brouillette, of Baton Rouge, celebrated 50 years of marriage Saturday, August 14.

— Vance and June Buckley, of Terrytown, celebrated their 50th anniversary Saturday, August 14.

And our "Procrastinator of the Month" designation goes to Roy Hutchinson, of Denham Springs, who says he and wife Janice were married 52 years July 3.

Voter remorse

Robert Hebert, of Baton Rouge, captures a feeling I have every time I read about an elected official downplaying COVID vaccinations or mask wearing:

"From my vantage point it appears the greatest national threat is electile dysfunction!"

Hell of an idea

Speaking of disillusionment with our elected officials, including those in Congress, Judy Kennedy, of Lafayette, has this thought regarding a new name for the NFL's Washington Football Team:

"Just wondering if anyone has offered the name 'D.C. Devils.' Self-explanatory."

Eaux, neaux!

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, I feel this whole "eaux" thing is getting tiresome.

The idea of "eaux" as a Cajun spelling of "o" has given us "Geaux Tigers," "Joe Burreaux," etc., and it's been fun.

But Ray Schell, of Prairieville, came across a sign that indicates the eaux thing has pretty much run its course.

The sign advertised "Leauxcally Grown Lettuce."

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