Richard Fossey, of Baton Rouge, tells of another view of a fearsome reptile:

"Several years ago, I traveled to East Africa for my university, and took a boat trip up the Nile River to see the headwaters.

"As we were chugging along, I saw a group of crocodiles sunning themselves on the riverbank.

"My guide pointed out that the crocs were all the same size. Crocodiles are cannibals, he said, and the big ones will eat the little ones, even their own young.

"I told the guide I was from Louisiana, where we have alligators. I ventured that alligators were probably as dangerous as crocodiles.

"But my guide didn't buy it. 'Compared to a crocodile,' he said authoritatively, 'an alligator is a Presbyterian.'"

Opera odyssey

P.J. Bourgeois, of Opelousas, tells of travel in the past:

"When I was a young boy, 75 years ago, my great-aunt told me when she was a young girl they traveled by horse and carriage from Opelousas to Washington, boarded a steamboat and went down Bayou Courtableau to Bayou Teche, then the Atchafalaya River and Bayou Plaquemine to the Mississippi River.

"They went down the Mississippi to New Orleans, where they spent about a week in a hotel and heard several operas at the Old French Opera House. (This was before it burned down in 1919.)

"They returned to Opelousas by the same route, in reverse.

"Talk about loving music!"

Party time

Remaining in the past, Cookie Pecquet, of Metairie, says, "Back in the '50s we had the 'party line' telephone system, where two or three families in the neighborhood shared the line.

"If you were very quiet when you picked up the receiver, you could hear some good gossip about the neighbors (until your mother saw you eavesdropping).

"You could also get into the conversation if you were brave enough. So we had our own 'chatrooms …'"

Say what?

Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, evidently feels this column has not been silly enough lately.

So he's asking us to bring back our discussion of misheard song lyrics, which we ran a while back.

He reveals that as a 15-year-old, "Listening to Neil Diamond’s 'Solitary Man' I heard 'Me and Sue, the cockeyed two.'

I didn't have Google or Wikipedia to tell me Neil was really singing about two gals that had done him wrong — first Melinda and then 'Me and Sue, but that died too.'

"Being a teenage boy was a confusing time in my life."

Guys and cars

Norman Ferachi expands on my Monday story of the lady's Corvair whose rear-mounted engine dropped out while it was parked at her office:

"The Corvair was Prudence Landry's, who worked for the Jaycees in the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce building with us.

"Prudence remembers telling the guys her Corvair wouldn't start. They went out to look while joking about women and cars, opened the hood — and found there was no engine in the front!"

Well aged

Rick Marshall cites some indicators that "folks may be creeping into my age group:

"Your entertainment choices have gone from live concerts and season tickets to grandkids and bird feeders.

"Your understanding of 'reality TV' is the History Channel.

"All the pretty girls call you 'Sir.'

"Your wardrobe is function over fashion.

"Driving at night is like 'The Running of the Bulls.'

"Your wife, God bless her, says, 'I love you anyway.'"

Groaner of the Week

From Harry Simon, of Eunice:

"Caller: 'My problem is, every time I make a sandwich, it turns out too dry.'

"Receptionist: 'I'm sorry, sir, that's not what we do here at the Mayo Clinic.'"

Damn if I know!

Ferd Guttierrez, of Lacombe, says, "About three weeks ago our 3-year-old 'miracle great-granddaughter' Rosalie (born 1 lb. 4 oz., now a little 40-pounder), was napping at Grammy's.

"When her dad and brother got in, Grammy walked Rosalie to her home across the drive.

"They could hear music and singing; Dad and Brother were inside singing karaoke.

"Rosalie stopped, and with a confused look on her face looked all around the yard. She then looked up at Grammy and asked, 'Who the hell's singing?'"


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.