This account by Richard Fossey, of Baton Rouge, brings back memories of another eventful trip to a garbage dump, in Arlo Guthrie's classic story/song "Alice's Restaurant:"

"My family owns a cabin in a small community in New Mexico. The town is so tiny it has no garbage service, and we are required to deliver our household garbage to the municipal dump.

"When I drove my family's trash bags down to the waste disposal site, I ran into a town employee who had blocked the road to stop unauthorized people from going into parts of the village.

"I told the guy I was driving to the dump, and he waved me through. 'When you get there,' he told me solemnly, 'be sure to test yourself for the coronavirus.'

"Seeing my puzzled look, he started laughing. 'People with coronavirus lose their sense of smell,' he said. 'If you can't smell our town dump, you need to go straight to the hospital!'

"Fortunately, I could smell it."

Cool it! 

Lyn Doucet, of Maurice, yearns for a simpler time:

"On a trip to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, we had a fender-bender and were forced to leave our car at the repair shop and rent another.

"As we departed, I was trying valiantly to turn on the air conditioner. I navigated to 'Main Menu,' then 'Climate Settings,' 'Fan' and 'Temperature,' 'Front Settings,' and 'Rear Settings.'

"The whole time, our friends in the back seat were moaning and groaning, 'We're hot! Turn on the air conditioner.'

"Heaven forbid there should be a knob, dial, or button to turn on the A/C.

"Why does everything have to change so much? I feel like Hank Williams Jr. — I am a dinosaur, but I'm not ready to leave yet."

Well, I'll be damp!

Speaking of automotive accessories, Lee Blotner, of Metairie, tells this tale:

"My daughter Shelly, who has lived in Phoenix for over 20 years, claims that when it rains there, drivers pull over to the side of the road because (1) they want to experience this wonderful phenomenon, and, more importantly, (2) they don't know where their windshield wipers are!"

Great escapes, Part II

On Monday I told of my Istrouma High days in the '50s, when students would avoid cafeteria lunches by sneaking off to Hopper's drive-in. Barry Amedee says the practice persisted some years later, with the same ending:

"Some friends and I continued your lunch tradition at Istrouma by pulling back a portion of the fence behind the auditorium and slipping through.

"We would then go to Larry K's on Plank Road for fried chicken, only to be met by the same Mr. Lindsey (assistant principal Clyde Lindsey) upon our return. We never could figure out why they didn't fix the fence until we graduated."

Hangin' 'em up

Mike Nola, of Baton Rouge, tells of the end of an era:

"On July 1 my good friend Charlie Tramonte is shutting down his barber chair and packing up his scissors after 55 years. Charlie’s dad started barbering 71 years ago, and Charlie followed in his footsteps. From all of his many customers and friends, we would like to say 'Happy retirement, Charlie; you deserve it.'"

Special People Dept.

— Sara Gaethe, of Metairie, celebrates her 90th birthday Wednesday, June 24. She marked the milestone by wearing a crown and sash to an earlier family observance.

— Dorothy and Victor Blanchard III, of Plaquemine, celebrated their 57th anniversary Monday, June 22.

Twice is nice

Vivalee Barrilleaux Atkinson says, "I enjoyed the articles on twins in your column.

"I have sisters who are twins. In the late 1950s I was living in San Diego. When my sisters came to visit, they always wanted to go to Tijuana, Mexico.

"Every shop we went in, they were referred to as the 'twices.'" 

Groaner of the Week

Referencing my Tuesday tale about being unjustly accused of kicking a three-legged dog, Rick proves that any story can be the basis of a corny joke:

"Smiley, was the three-legged dog you 'kicked' lookin' for the man who shot his paw?"


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.