Dear Smiley: This rainy weather reminds me of a morning at Runnels Preschool, where I taught.

One morning, feeling particularly unattractive rushing to school, I walk into my classroom. A student at the top of his lungs says, “Ms. Pressley! You look fableeeus!"

So today, or any day, no matter how wet and worn out I feel, I remind myself that at my worst a darling preschooler thought I was fabulous!


Baton Rouge

Love in the rain

Dear Smiley: During the summer of 1971, as I sat in my car in LSU's Kirby Smith Hall parking lot, gathering books and notepads for class, I noticed a young man at least a foot taller than his female companion breaching the summit of the hill by the amphitheater.

He bent his head toward her raised face as they walked while talking intently.

Out of nowhere, a summer storm formed and they hurried to the front entrance of the dorm. They continued their conversation, oblivious to everything. Lightning struck, thunder crashed and a veil of rain formed by the small overhang above the door shielded them.

I thought, "I wonder if they know they're falling in love?"



Brunch beans?

Dear Smiley: Years ago, my wife and I loved to attend Sunday morning Mass at St. Patrick's Church on Camp Street in New Orleans.

After church we would always search out a unique place for breakfast brunch. A restaurant just outside the French Quarter (maybe in the Marigny) was called La Peniche, now Horns.

Its 11:30 a.m. special was always something to anxiously await. It was posted on the blackboard overlooking the bar.

This particular Sunday morning one of the specials was "Red Beans Omelet." Hunger and curiosity made the decision for me. I ordered it.

It was delicious, really. Not just good, it was truly a treat; a perfect combination of breakfast and lunch.



The McCure

Dear Smiley: A story from South Africa regarding the merits of french fries:

My wife and I were living in Johannesburg a couple of years ago when we made a trip to Cape Town.

The night before we were to fly back to Joburg, I was thirsty. We didn’t have any bottled water, so I decided to drink water from the faucet.

By the time we landed at O.R. Tambo, I had a horrendous case of diarrhea. Africa is not for sissies … 

A couple of days into this, my wife Mary came down with it, too, and also throwing up. A few days later, I came home for lunch to find her comatose on the couch. Fearing this could be fatal, I took her to a doctor.

The doctor was very good, and after two IVs Mary was back. The doctor prescribed some antibiotics and McDonald's french fries as the cure.

On the way home, Mary instructed me to stop at McDonald’s for three extra-large orders of fries. She ate the fries over the next couple of days and recovered.



Helpful audience

Dear Smiley: The thread about keys locked in cars reminded me of the experience I had in the ’70s, as a freshman at Akron University.

I was on the tennis team, and was going to be late for the match due to the distance from my class to the gym. I decided the only alternative was to change into my tennis clothes in my car instead of the locker room.

When I opened the car door after changing, I was greeted by a group of fraternity guys on a balcony clapping for me.

Embarrassed and already stressed out, I locked my keys in my car.

When I returned to the car, I found I was fortunate that the guys were watching out for me. One opened the door with a coat hanger. Freshman entertainment.


New Orleans

No shot for that

Dear Smiley: I got my second dose of the Moderna vaccine recently. I asked my wife if she knew when I would be fully innocuous. She just shook her head and said I will never be fully innocuous.



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.