no.pirogueraces336.072218 (copy)

A basket of crabs is pulled out of the boil during the 2018 Jean Lafitte Pirogue Races Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Jean Lafitte.

Jo Ann Paulin, of Metairie, tells a story that has me craving boiled crabs (actually, the MEAT from boiled crabs, not the other stuff):

"After reading about the wonderful restaurants at New Orleans' West End, I was reminded about the time my late husband and I were eating with his friend and business partner Wayne Weilbaecher and his wife, Fay, at the wonderful Bruning’s.

"There was a family sitting next to us that we knew were from out of town and had never eaten crabs before, as they were watching us very closely.

"Wayne, always the joker, observed this and took an entire crab, shell and all, and put it in his mouth.

"Of course, this caused laughter at both tables. It was always fun going out to eat with them, because we never knew what was going to happen."

Which reminds me

Stories of folks trying Louisiana's boiled seafood delicacies for the first time remind me of a chill-inducing tale someone told me years ago.

A visitor making his first crawfish boil was watching with interest as the crawfish were placed in a washtub prior to boiling.

When he asked how to eat them, one of the experienced diners patiently explained how to pop them open to expose the delicious tail.

The neophyte, before anyone could stop him, then picked up one of the live crawfish, peeled it and popped the tail in his mouth.

He told his shocked audience that he didn't care for it… 

Double coincidence

Vince Caruso continues our "small world" series:

"Back in the late '70s, when I was living in Algiers, my neighbor across the street changed jobs, and had to live most of the time in Europe.

"While on a business trip to Brussels, Belgium, I heard my name, turned around, and there was my neighbor, who was making a sales call on the same company.

Frank Fronczek, of Baton Rouge, who on Tuesday nominated me for Louisiana's poet laureate, has graciously accepted my decision to decline his …

"We chatted for a while, then I told him I had to rush to the airport to catch a flight to Aberdeen, Scotland.

"He looked at me in amazement, then advised that we would meet for supper that evening. Seems he lived in Aberdeen, and would be back that night.

"What are the odds of running into your neighbor halfway around the world in Brussels — then meeting again in Aberdeen!"

Nice People Dept.

"Some people go the 'extra mile' to help others," says Mattie Stubbs, of Pride:

"Our newspaper carrier cares enough to leave our paper on the carport each morning. We hope he reads your column and realizes how much we appreciate the effort."

(I assume Mattie is talking about the carrier who delivers The Advocate. This would be no surprise — we are known for the stellar nature of the people involved in getting out this paper every day and getting it to you.)

Special People Dept.

  • Olar "Earl" Smith, of Grace Health and Rehab in Slaughter, celebrates his 91st birthday Wednesday, Jan. 30. 
  • Bill and Cooky Coffey celebrated their 57th anniversary Sunday, Jan. 27.

Shall we dance?

"There are many things you can do on Super Bowl Sunday if you're not going to watch the game this year," says Algie Petrere, of Central.

"Two of the square dance clubs to our east have gotten very creative. The Ozone Squares of Covington and Tammany Twirlers of Slidell are having a 'no call' dance.

"They're wearing Saints attire and having a pot luck supper as well as a dance. They warn the dancers about wearing a referee shirt — because they could get mauled."

Algie adds this note: "The best revenge is dancing well!"

Never on Sunday

Katie Chamberlain, of New Orleans, offers another way to deal with the "Who Cares?" Bowl:

"My husband, Don, has a great solution to Sunday’s game:

"We are going to wear our Saints shirts all day. Then we will tape the game but not watch it.

"Later we will fast forward through the game and just watch the commercials!"

Sing along

Mike Dupuy, of Metairie, trying his hand at songwriting, comes up with a new version of an old song. It goes:

"Untie that yellow ribbon on the old oak tree — and send it to an NFL referee."

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.