Concerned about unsightly litter in Baton Rouge's Capitol Lake, near her Spanish Town home, Marie Constantin has been leading a drive to clean up the lake.

She tells of another aspect of litter — its danger to wildlife.

An anhinga (called a water turkey or snake bird) had a "wad of plastic litter" around its bill, preventing it from eating … although it had a fish on the end of its bill.

As she and other volunteers tried to catch the bird, they watched it decline and feared it might die before they could reach it.

Finally Brian Boudreaux was able to grab the weakened bird by hand. Its beak was wrapped so tight it took a pocket knife to get the litter off him.

Marie says, "We gave Brian naming rights. He named him Harry.

"Please bag your garbage and tie it really tight so it does not get loose and become litter in a watershed."

Say it slowly

Ronnie Stutes, of Baton Rouge, has this pandemic story:

"I heard on the radio that one of the competitors in the U.S. Open tennis tournament had tested positive for COVID-19.

"The announcer said the player was 'Aysim Tohmatick.'

"I was not familiar with the name, but I know that players from many nations compete in the U.S. Open. Then I realized what the announcer had actually said."

(Ronnie, I didn't get it either until I did as you suggested and said the name out loud…)

Just a sausage 

Catherine Altazan, of Port Allen, says, "When I was a single cat lady, many feral cats came to my house to eat food I put out twice a day.

"One special kitten would come every morning to devour her food like a pig, then stretch out like a big sausage. So it was only fitting to name her Boudin.

"It took six weeks before she allowed me to hold her, but we have now enjoyed each another's company for 12 years.

"I have had problems when purchasing vet services from the Frozen Nawth. The agents insist I am misspelling and mispronouncing 'Buddha!'

"So I humbly try to educate as many as I can."

Delivering kindness

Dolores Leumas tells of "a bright ray of light that has come my way. She delivers my mail each day, and has shown much kindness and compassion beyond her job description. Three cheers for the Postal Service!"

Special People Dept.

  • Doris Landry, of Thibodaux, formerly of Brusly St. Martin, celebrated her 95th birthday Wednesday, Sept. 2.
  • Dr. Eva Fields, of Baton Rouge, retired professor and administrator at Southern University, celebrated her 93rd birthday Sunday, Aug. 30.
  • Ernie Verges, of Abita Springs, celebrates his 90th birthday Thursday, Sept. 3 with a boat ride in Pass Christian, Mississippi, with family and friends. A New Orleans native, he played baseball for LSU in the 1950s and was an architect and developer for over 50 years.
  • Fellman and Agnes Bercegeay, of Gonzales, celebrated 70 years of marriage Aug. 12.
  • Don and Lucille Landry, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday, Sept. 3.
  • Anna Mae and Byron Landry, of Ponchatoula, celebrate 60 years of marriage Thursday, Sept. 3. They were Chalmette residents prior to Hurricane Katrina.
  • Lee and Wendell Worley, of Opelousas, celebrated their 60th anniversary Aug. 27.
  • Bob and Ivy Landry, of Belle Rose, celebrated their 59th anniversary Aug. 26.

Dudley and the devil

On Tuesday, I told how late-night newspaper people often fielded calls asking for information to settle bar bets (we kept reference material handy for such calls).

Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, adds this to the discussion:

"I, too, worked The Advocate late shift like you did, answering calls seeking to settle bets, usually of a sports nature.

"Being the troublemaker I am, however, I would give an incorrect answer. Then, when the bettor's opponent got on the phone for verification, I would provide the correct answer!

"Then I would hang up, knowing I had just started a rousing bar fight!

"As comedian Flip Wilson's Geraldine would say, 'The devil made me do it!'"

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.