"Once again, your column jogged the cobwebs in my brain," says Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte.

"This time it’s the Tuesday exploding cigarette story.

"During the last semester of our high school senior year, the faculty brought in folks to give us advice on the big, bad, wide-open world we were about to enter.

"One local elder, James Brought, told us of squirrel hunting and being attacked by mosquitoes.

"He came across a fellow hunter suffering from the same problem. Jimmy offered the rather large fellow an extra cigar, which he had in his pocket as a repellent.

"Shortly after lighting the cigar for the grateful hunter, the dang thing exploded in his face. Jimmy instantly remembered he had been given a gag cigar and foolishly forgot to throw it away.

"Everything worked out OK between Mr. Jimmy and the shotgun-toting butt of the joke. I think the moral of the story for us soon-to-be-adults was, 'No matter how good your intentions, things can go wrong; so be prepared to handle the unexpected.'"

Cowboy remedy

Tim Palmer, of Lafayette, says that when his brother, Terry, "was in about the eighth grade he went to a friend’s house and stepped on a nail in a board. The nail went through his shoe and into his foot.

"Because of what they did in those old western movies, his friend brought him a shot of whatever liquor his parents had around the house to kill the pain. I think it might have been cherry bounce.

"I also think the friend’s mother stopped Terry from drinking the booze."

No secrets allowed

Lyndia Moses Williams tells how name-dropping can backfire:

"When I was a student at Southern University in the early '60s I would drive home to McComb, Mississippi.

"On a return trip to Baton Rouge, my brother and I were in Liberty, Mississippi, when I was stopped by the police for speeding.

"Scared to death, I decided to play the name game. My father owned the best shoe repair shop in the area, Moses Shoe Repair, so I told the officer my father was Earl Moses.

"He continued to write the ticket, and had me follow him to the judge’s home to pay the fine. I didn’t have a lot of cash on me, but the officer told the judge he could accept my check, because he knew my daddy and could get the money from him.

"I was saved — or so I thought. The next time I went home, as I was leaving my father cautioned me about speeding, because I didn’t want another ticket. The officer had blabbed the whole incident to my father!

"So much for my secret — and, no, my check didn’t bounce."

Special People Dept.

  • Lila Villneuve celebrates her 99th birthday Friday, May 10.
  • Vina Glynn, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 96th birthday Saturday, May 11.
  • Lois Giles celebrated her 94th birthday Friday, May 10. During World War II she worked at the government's atomic energy facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
  • Frances Bickham, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 91st birthday April 24.
  • Melva Dupuy, of White Castle, celebrates her 90th birthday Friday, May 10.
  • Beverlee Bickert celebrates her 90th birthday Sunday, May 12.

Fiscal funnies

Terry Grundmann, of Kenner, says, "Your recent stories about banks reminded me of Century Bank in New Orleans.

"Their slogan was, 'We treat you like you're our only customer.'

"Once, when I got overdrawn, I went into the bank and asked them, 'Why didn't you call me? If your only customer was overdrawn, wouldn't you call him?'

"This left them speechless.

"Years later, again having trouble keeping enough money in the bank, I asked my balance. The cashier couldn't help chuckling a bit when she responded, 'One penny!'

"I told her that was like the old joke:

"'Give me all my money!'

"'How do you want it, heads or tails?'"

Groaner of the Week

Joel d'Aquin Thibodeaux says, "Husband Ron and I drove past a railroad track. Ron said, 'I can tell a train went past here recently, because it left its tracks.'"

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.