Our readers are keeping wildlife stories rolling in. While most raccoon tales feature them as an entree, Diane T. Martin, of Morgan City, reminds us what smart critters they are:

"I have a friend who has visitors from the swamp who have taken mealtime privileges at her home. Sometimes, there are 10 raccoon mothers and babies; sometimes, four to six adults.

"They go in family groups off and on all day and into the night. They knock on patio doors or bedroom windows to let her know the food bowl is empty. …

"A gentleman friend of ours was on a raft in the lady's swimming pool, floating near the side, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned his head — and fell off the raft.

"It was a raccoon, probably letting him know the bowl needed more food."

That's news?

Robert Cabes says our Wednesday column on classic headlines reminded him of the great headline when the Rt. Rev. Clarence C. Pope, a Lafayette native who was the Episcopal bishop of Fort Worth, Texas, changed his church affiliation after a dispute with national Episcopal leaders.

Says Robert, "That led to my all-time favorite headline, which ran in the Louisiana diocesan newsletter:

"'Pope becomes Catholic.'"

A 95-cent evening

A "hungry student" story from Dennis D. Ritter Jr., of The Woodlands, Texas:

"When I was a student at LSU in the early 1970s, my friends and I used to frequent the Playtime Lounge on Highland Road.

"They served a sliced hot sausage plate, with crackers, pickles and mustard for 45 cents.

"On Thursday nights, they had a free band and served 10-cent draft beers.

"It was great. I could listen to live music, eat a hot sausage plate, drink 5 beers and get a nickel change back from a dollar."

Which reminds me

When I was a sophomore at LSU, my dad got transferred to another state, and I found myself having to learn how to, among other things, feed myself.

I found a rooming house on Convention Street, close to my part-time night job, and Dad showed me Kean's Laundry down the street where I could bring my clothes. I had a car, so that helped a lot.

But food was another matter. Living at home, there was always a hot meal waiting for me when I arrived. No more.

On my first night on my own, a Sunday, all the other guys were out, it was dinner time, and I was hungry.

So I went over to North Boulevard to Romano's Pack & Save and purchased one of their cheapest items, a hot sausage po-boy — a foot-long link slathered in spicy barbecue sauce on huge slices of French bread.

In the middle of the night, I had cause to regret my dinner choice.

It took a while, but I finally learned how to consume things that didn't fight me back later. …

Special People Dept.

Theresa Herrington celebrates her 94th birthday Thursday, March 14.

Spring beef

Like many others who live in Baton Rouge, my sign of spring isn't robins or hummingbirds or azaleas or green leaves on pecan trees — it's the corned beef sandwich sale by Beth Shalom Synagogue, now in its 35th year.

In a town with a severe shortage of delis, the drive-thru sale — Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — is a most welcome event. And on Monday and Tuesday, there's business delivery of five or more of the bag lunches.

Order online at bethshalomyall.com/cbss or call (225) 924-6773.

Favorite word

Ronnie Hotz, of Lafayette, says when he saw a certain word in a recent headline, he had this flashback:

"In the '50s, our family spent summers in Mandeville to enjoy the cool breeze coming off the lake.

"We were blessed with a neighbor we called Mme. Malaprop, who one day came rushing down the street to inform us that news of a hurricane bearing down on us was not true — it was just a 'hoe axe.'

"It was music to my memory of long ago when I saw it in print."      


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.