Joe Fairchild says, "I became a friend of a Japanese student from Waseda University in Tokyo during my Air Force time in Japan in the late 1950s.

"I would go with him to Waseda's baseball games and learned their fight song.

"Years later, when I was advising students at Nicholls State during registration, a young Japanese graduate student approached my desk.

"I noticed from his transcript that he was a Waseda graduate. So I burst forth with, 'Waseda, Waseda, Waseda. …'

"The incredulous look on his face was priceless. I guess the last thing he expected to hear in bayou country was a professor singing his alma mater's fight song."

Woeful omission

Perry and Cindy Snyder have contacted Frank Arrigo, and I fear my devotion to my Italian ancestry will be seriously challenged.

They told Frank they were "shocked and saddened by a certain omission (in my Friday column item on the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade); namely, your Sons of Italy krewe's not being honored by Smiley.

"Granted, he was not there. And it could have been an oversight."

Yes on both counts. I always try to plug these elegant, tuxedoed gentlemen, mostly because Mrs. Anders loves the way they stroll along the parade route handing out flowers, garters and kisses to the ladies.

I trust this mea culpa means there will not be a knock on my door and my paisanos will demand I turn in my "Kiss Me, I'm Italian" beads. …

Bare facts

Chuck Falcon, of Donaldsonvlle, writes about a subject I've been very familiar with of late — hospital gowns. He says his mother always told him to wear clean underwear in case of a hospital visit, but what to do when they take it away? 

"A few years back, when I went in for a heart cath, they were rolling me into the hospital and I asked for a towel (to cover the area left open by the gown).

"The nurse replied, 'When you come to the hospital you leave your modesty at home.'"

Rock it

Sam Porter, "old geologist" from Lafayette, comments on Bill Potter's tale of a "dumb question" on a boat trip to Utah:

"Bill mentioned two interests of mine: rocks and paddling rivers.

"During Bill's Utah trip, the question was asked as to which of the rock layers they were seeing was the oldest.

"In a normal stack of rocks, the oldest are on the bottom, with successively younger layers above.

"I can only imagine Mr. Potter was unable to hear the guide's answer to the question. Cans of adult beverages tend to make a lot of noise while being retrieved from the ice chest. Hope it was a fun trip."

Rock it II

Ruth Barnes says, "Regarding dumb questions on boats and ships, please add buses.

"Back in the Dark Ages, when I was about 11, I rode a bus from upstate New York to Massachusetts.

"While we were riding through a mountainous area, the woman seated next to me spotted the stratified layers of rock beside the road. She commented, 'It must have taken them a long time to pile up all those rocks like that.'"

Works for me

Edie Bender, of Baton Rouge, is trying her hand at the limerick. Here's what she writes about one of our favorite people:

There once was a columnist named Smiley,

He took care of his writing quite wisely.

He had other folk

Do all his work,

Yet brought home his check unsurprisingly.

Special People Dept.

  • Tony Latino Sr., of French Settlement, celebrated his 91st birthday Jan. 11. He is a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean War.
  • Gen and Perry Strait, of Metairie, celebrated their 70th anniversary on Feb. 8, the same day friends Clara and Leon Jacks celebrated their 61st anniversary.

Sweeping statement

"Just saw that a member of the Russian curling team got busted for steroid use," says our Winter Olympics analyst, Ernie Gremillion.

"Doesn't surprise me, since I have been telling my wife for years that our housekeeper sweeps much too slowly."

Louisiana Haiku

Goodbye Mardi Gras,

Hello plastic cups from krewes

So who needs crystal?

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.