A sad business story brought memories of a sweet childhood treat.
As you might have read, Borden's is involved in financial troubles that could mean the end of its dairy products business.
Reading about Borden's reminded me of the bygone days when the firm had ice cream parlors in Baton Rouge. One was behind the Old State Capitol near the river, one was at the plant on Florida Boulevard (long closed and a major eyesore since), and I think there were others — maybe one on Plank Road, etc.
Advocate/Times-Picayune columnist Will Sutton, on Tuesday, waxed rhapsodic about the iconic Borden's ice cream parlor in Lafayette. He's a vanilla shake guy, but I went in for wretched excess — their classic banana splits.
Here's what I remember: a glass dish containing three scoops of ice cream: vanilla topped with strawberries, chocolate topped with pineapple, strawberry topped with chocolate syrup. Then came chopped walnuts, whipped cream and cherries.
My parents, who settled for ice cream cones, would watch with amazement as I dug in, no doubt making yummy sounds as I worked through the ultimate treat.
Donald Landaiche, of Donaldsonville, adds to our growing collection of canine tales:
"Many years ago my family lived in Pennsylvania. After a lot of begging and pleading I finally talked Mom and Pop into letting us get a dog.
"We got a cute little black dog we named Midnight. He arrived in the spring as a puppy, and had never experienced snow.
"Every morning I'd yell, 'Come on, Midnight!' and he would run out the door and do a flying leap from the porch to the ground.
"One evening we had a 24-inch snowfall. The following morning I opened the back door and yelled, 'Come on, Midnight!'
"He came running and leaped off the porch — to get buried in the snow. From then on, no more flying leaps."
Which reminds me
Regarding Donald Landaiche's story about dogs and snow, the exact same thing happened to Chico, my parents' yappy, hyper Chihuahua. (Is it redundant to say "yappy, hyper Chihuahua?")
When they lived in Clarksdale, Mississippi, there was a snowfall one night when I was visiting for Christmas. Chico was in the habit of jumping off the front porch every time the door was opened.
On that snowy morning I opened the front door to get the paper, and he came out like a shot, jumped to the ground — and disappeared in the snow.
He popped up, yelping and shaking off the snow, and dashed back inside.
He was an indoor dog after that…
Tex Morris, of Baton Rouge, also has a dog story:
"Several years ago, my wife was making homemade rolls. She put them upstairs near a window so the sun would help them rise.
"Our miniature schnauzer, Aubie, ate them! As the rolls began to expand, so did his stomach!
"Long story short, he threw up the rolls before we had to take him to a vet."
Perry's a winner
Cyndi Deriso, of Lafayette, says when she was in elementary school and her family was living with her grandparents, her grandfather liked to watch "Perry Mason" on their black and white TV every Sunday night:
"My sister and I would beg him to let us watch 'Bonanza,' on another channel at the same time.
"He would tell us, 'If Perry loses his case tonight, next Sunday we will watch 'Bonanza.'
"We would watch Perry, hoping so bad he would lose his case.
"Well, you know the outcome — he never loses. It wasn't until we were teenagers that we found this out!"
In the Wednesday column I mentioned "hippie jokes" that were popular many years ago in Mad magazine and other offbeat humor sources.
Here's one I recall:
Two hippies are sitting on the bank of a river fishing, with their legs dangling in the water.
One of them says, "Hey man, an alligator just bit my leg off."
The other hippie asks, "Which one?"
"I don't know, man — you see one alligator, you seen 'em all."