Sometimes parents can sneak something by their kids — for instance, an unflattering nickname. For instance:

Katie Nachod, of New Orleans, says, "I could relate to Sarah Stravinska's recent contribution about her dad calling her 'Squirrel Bait' when she was a kid, and her taking a long time to realize he was calling her a nut.

"My mama called my sister and me her 'chickadees' or her 'chinquapins.'

"Even as a small child, I knew that chickadees were cute little songbirds, so I assumed chinquapins were another species of songbirds. Therefore, I never bothered to ask about them.

"Then, as an adult, I read a novel that referred to a chinquapin tree. I looked the word up, and was dismayed to see it was a nut tree. To make it worse, the edible chinquapin nuts are covered with a spiny, prickly burr. Yikes!

"However, my mama always said the word so lovingly when she called us her chinquapins that I choose to see it as a term of endearment rather than an assessment of my mental state."

Gone gator?

Joel d'Aquin Thibodeaux, of Baton Rouge, wonders if all the stories about the missing python have given people reptiles on the brain:

"I missed a call on my cell phone. I figured it was a junk call, but I called the number back anyway just to make sure.

"I got a recording in a strange-sounding man's voice, and he distinctly said, 'The number you have called is un-alligated.'

"Guess they were short on alligators that day…"

New furry friend

Speaking of critters, David Palmisano, of Marrero, makes an offer:

"For those connoisseurs who love to eat raccoon, I have a big fat one that's been visiting my backyard at night, dining on bird seed, peanuts, and corn intended for the birds and squirrels.

"The only catch is just that — you have to catch him!

"Over the years I have relocated dozens of possums and armadillos from my backyard to a non-residential area, but I have met my match with this raccoon.

"I have viewed this critter on my security camera walk into the trap, trip the door, eat the bait, and somehow squeeze his gallon-bottle-size body through a crack I can barely fit my finger through.

"Even with modifications to the trap with bailing wire, he still manages to escape.

"Having given up my quest to catch him, he has gained my respect and the nickname 'Houdini.'"

Boucherie star

Thanks to Bill Huey for this additional information on Anthony Bourdain's televised boucherie in the Eunice-Ville Platte area.

Reading information about Rouj Creole in Baton Rouge, the newest restaurant in Stephen Hightower's City Group Hospitality chain, he learned that assistant general manager Meghann Young and her siblings were featured on the "No Reservations" show, preparing Acadian cuisine using third-generation family recipes.

Meghann, from a southwest Louisiana family of Cajun cooks, is a fan of wild game, especially doves.  

Special People Dept.

— The Rev. James C. Skinner, of Baton Rouge, celebrated his 95th birthday June 29. He is a Navy veteran of World War II.

— John Percy Sanchez, of Morganza, celebrates his 94th birthday Saturday, July 10. His parents signed an age waiver allowing him to join the Navy during World War II.

— Betty Bourgeois, of Houma, celebrated her 91st birthday July 2. (An earlier mention had her birthday July 1.)

It's Tupelo, honey

Nancy C Van Den Akker says, "Back in the '60s, our family used to vacation at Tishomingo State Park, near Tupelo, Mississippi.

"The people of the community were wonderful (though at first they thought our large family was from an orphanage).

"But after three or four weeks there, the little kids in the family all came home to New Orleans with accents different than they ones they had before!"

Those fuelish things

Jamie Owen Parkerson, of Lafayette, adds to our series on nicknames with this story:

"My Aunt Dorothy had nicknames for us three older girls. They were 'Gasoline,' 'Vaseline,' and I was 'Little Coal Oil!'

"We did come from an oilfield family!"

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.