Consider this my Christmas gift to you.

This holiday greeting was written in Houston years ago by Jaime Bourgeois to his brother Dr. George Bourgeois, of Opelousas. It's in my book "Best of Smiley," and I like to bring it out this time of year:

"May your hogs be fat and greasy

and your cows be full of milk.

May your days be filled with pleasure

and your bedsheets made of silk.

May your dogs have expert noses

and your cat catch many mice.

May your house be free of roaches

and your head devoid of lice.

May your Christmas bring you closer

to the sacred love of God.

May you never be required to leave

sweet Louisiana's sod." 

Sermon topic

Bill Jacobson says, "My 5-year-old great-grandson, Beau Burch, was attending church services with his family.

"He was well equipped, and busy with his paper and crayons.

"Perhaps at the most quiet moment of the pastoral prayer, he piped up in a startlingly loud, reverberating voice with, 'How do you spell Jesus?'

"To say the least, it ruined the serenity of the moment.

"After retelling the story and laughing about it for a couple of weeks, it occurred to me that maybe he was asking each person there, 'How do YOU spell Jesus?'"

Multiple hiccups

Virginia Howard adds to our "verbal hiccups," unneeded words and phrases we drop into conversation:

"One of my English professors in college had a bad habit of ending sentences with 'actually.'

"After a month or so, he seemed to have noticed this problem and tried to change the wording in his lectures. Whenever he’d start to say a useless 'actually,' he would quickly change it to 'as a matter of fact.'

"But then one day the two verbal hiccups got hold of his tongue. He ended a sentence with 'actually, as a matter of fact, actually.' That's all I remember about that lecture!"

Drop it

David Morgan, of Zachary, says the useless word that makes him "cringe each time I read it" is the "at" in sentences such as "This is where we were at."

Soldiers and sailors?

Mike Staid wonders if more than one person stood guard at the casket of President Bush.

While an Advocate photo shows a sailor at the casket, Mike says, "I've never seen a naval uniform like the one worn by the serviceman who escorted the casket for a week."

This uniform was the reason Mike identified the serviceman as a soldier. 

Special People Dept.

  • Dorothy Ponder, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living, Baton Rouge, celebrates her 100th birthday on Dec. 31.
  • Carroll Gromer, from Toledo Bend, now living in Baton Rouge at Amber Terrace Assisted Living, celebrates her 98th birthday on Dec. 25.
  • Bettie Dyson, a 60-year resident of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Friday, Dec. 21.
  • Bertha Warren Tassin celebrates her 90th birthday on Friday, Dec. 21.
  • Jose and Theresa German, of Baton Rouge, celebrate 50 years of marriage on Friday, Dec. 21.

Engine check

Nobey Benoit comments on Bob Brumberger's Friday tale about restoring an old bike so it resembled the one from Western Auto he had as a kid:

"I was wondering if Bob Brumberger's salvaging of the Western Auto bicycle included a trip to his cardiologist for a quick checkup to get the bicycle running."

Another year down

I'll be starting the final installment of my Well-Deserved Vacation in a day or so, but not at the usual vacation spot, Bubba's Exxon, Motel & Bait Shop in Back Brusly.

After Bubba's chef, Large Marge, left for a better job, cooking in a Mexican prison, her sous chef and former main squeeze, T-Boy, took over the kitchen at the All You Dare to Eat Cafe.

But when he tried to make Bananas Foster without a recipe and guessed that a pint of rum was about right for flaming the dish, the resulting conflagration spelled an end to the cafe, and our Christmas dinner plans.

So Lady Katherine and I will be home for the holidays. But please, as a special gift to me, refrain from calling it a "staycation." Thank you...  

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.