A post-Ida infestation of a "menacing species" of mosquito in the Baton Rouge area was the topic of an Advocate article by Terry L. Jones on Oct. 26.

Randy Vaeth, assistant director of East Baton Rouge Parish's Department of Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control, talking about the breed, culex nigripalpus, said crews had "recently caught more than 6,500 of them in one of the department's traps overnight."

It's an alarming story, but what caught my eye was the figure 6,500. It seemed rather exact for such an elusive little critter.

I pictured a parish employee sitting on a stool in front of a mosquito cage, painstaking counting skeeters and writing down the count on a legal pad.

It surely must be one of the world's most tedious jobs…

Giant spiders attack!

Speaking of invasive critters, Mike Buchart, of Baton Rouge, comments on our Saturday story by The Associated Press about Joro spiders, native to East Asia, showing up in large numbers in north Georgia:

"Looks like the arriving East Asian Joro spider is causing a quite a stir in Georgia. Really? Our golden garden (banana, orb, etc) spiders can easily match those. What’s the fuss?

"There’s nothing like one of those webs wrapping around your face in the dark. Do like every forester does; use your walking stick!"

Save the ladybug

Still speaking of invasive critters, Earl Newman, of Baton Rouge, notes that Barry Dufour, in his Friday story about finding a Gatlinburg, Tennessee, cabin full of ladybugs, "advised your readers that ladybugs were off limits from extermination in Gatlinburg.

"How is that policed, what is the training involved, and how much does a position like that pay?"

I don't know, Earl — but it sounds like a better job than counting mosquitoes…

Aging process

"As I was walking out of church a couple of weeks ago," says Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, "I asked a friend in her early 80s about not attending services for a couple of weeks.

"She responded that she was having severe sciatic problems that caused a great deal of pain.

"She said, 'It’s hell to get old!'

"I responded, 'You’re right — my dad said that until his 100th birthday!'

"That seemed to alleviate some of her feeling of being in a lot of pain."

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Fold 'em

William Faulk, of Baton Rouge, continues our discussion of clashing expressions:

"When I was growing up in Jennings, my mom always had us 'fold' the clothes — which was her way of telling us to put away the clothes, whether they were going folded into a drawer or put on a hanger in the closet.

"Fast forward to the years my wife, Rebecca, who is from Eunice, and I became a couple.

"One day, when looking for one of my favorite shirts, I asked if she knew where it was. She told me she had 'saved' that shirt.

"Sure enough, it was 'saved' to the closet, where it was neatly hung.

"To this day, I don't know anyone in my family who uses the phrase 'put the clothes away.' Go figure."

Special People Dept.

— Francis Burch, of Denham Springs, celebrated birthday No. 95 Thursday, Oct. 28. 

— Norman "Buck" Grantham, of Denham Springs, celebrated his 93rd birthday Oct. 15.

— John Hanks, of Plaquemine, celebrated his 92nd birthday Friday, Oct. 29. He is the former owner of Hanks Buick GMC, with his late brother “Shot.”

— Theresa Brumfield, of New Roads, celebrated her 92nd birthday Saturday, Oct. 30.

— Norman and Marie Key, of River Ridge, celebrate their 75th anniversary Monday, Nov. 1. They are originally from Alabama.

— Hazel and Huey "Chuck" Simms, of Plaquemine, celebrated 61 years of marriage Saturday, Oct. 30.

Puzzling observation

"Is it just me," asks Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, "or has anyone else noticed an increase in weekday traffic in Baton Rouge since so many people are 'working from home?'"

Groaner of the Week

Marvin Borgmeyer says, "A panicky priest told a friend, 'I'm meeting some members of the laity and I can't find my collar.'

His friend described his plight as, "A lay date and a collar short."


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.