Dan Stein, of Baton Rouge, offers this example of the way technology modifies our behavior:

"After numerous failed attempts to 'demand' that a certain movie appear on my TV the other day, I uttered some choice words in frustration.

"Almost immediately, a helpful female voice advised, 'Here's what I found for "Stupid Cable Box…"'

"So now in addition to having to watch what I say in front of my grandson Cooper and dog Boudreaux, I now have to be concerned with Siri."

Which reminds me

I don't usually talk to our robotic helper, Alexa, but the lady who shares a home with me has been known to engage her in conversation.

And occasionally, when frustrated about finding a TV show, as Dan was, or when she encounters some other technical problem, she utters words or phrases not usually heard in polite society.

When that happens, Alexa says something like, "Hmmm; I don't think I can help you with that…"

And I swear it's in such a hurt tone that apologies would seem to be in order.  

Stories of suds

Maybe it's the unusually hot weather, but I've been inundated with beer stories lately. For instance:

  • Joe Lang, of Covington, says, "In the early '70s I managed a fast food restaurant in Metairie. We had a company truck that delivered supplies once a month.

"I had an agreement with the driver. As he passed through a state that sold Coors he would buy me 16 cases. I would pay him $3 a case more than he paid for them.

"I would then sell eight of the cases at double what I paid for them. Then my friends and I would drink free Coors until the next delivery. And I had a waiting list of people who wanted to buy."

  • Michael D. Hess says, "Years and years ago I was flying with a friend to Houston to visit his brother. As a thank-you gift, I was bringing the brother two 6-packs of Dixie Beer in my check-in luggage.

"Four cans exploded in my suitcase.

"I never liked Dixie Beer anyway."

Monkeying around

Our tales of Louisiana flatlanders seeking elevation left out what is possibly the state's most famous "mountain" — Monkey Hill in New Orleans' Audubon Park. A couple of remembrances:

  • Julie States, of Kenner, says, "A few years ago my younger brother and I were reminiscing about when we were MUCH younger. I asked him if he remembered when I told him to run down Monkey Hill in Audubon Park. I remember him flying down the hill in his diaper; he said all he remembers is the smell of Vick's salve."
  • Shooter Mullins says, "Eighty years ago there was a hill in Audubon Park in New Orleans. Pretty steep hill, too. (Is it still there?) I told my dad I was going to climb it. He said OK, but on the way down I should walk, not run, or I would wind up taking a painful dive onto my face.

"He was right. They tell me it was something to see."

Mellow tallow

Joyceline, of Greenwell Springs, says, "While Nobey Benoit came down hard on the Chinese tallow trees ("aggravating and messiest tree ever"), we are defenders of the tallow. From time to time we actually plant them!

"To those of us with some acreage, there is no worry about aggravation. See an empty spot needing a tree, or want landscape or tree-line color? Plant a tallow!

"Tallows are the most beautiful welcomers of the fall season with their multicolors of red, green, yellow, and orange. Thankfully, they are fast growers! They thrive in any kind of soil! And…they require no up-keep!

"Tallows are trees for fall beauty!"

Special People Dept.

  • George Hyde, of Kentwood, celebrates his 92nd birthday Thursday, Sept. 19.
  • Tom and Marilyn Buzbee celebrate 63 years of marriage Thursday, Sept. 19.

About time

David Stoker, of Baton Rouge, says his neighbor Smith Willis told him this: "The "length of one minute really depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on."

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.