From our "No good deed goes unpunished" file comes this story from David Palmisano, of Marrero:
"The recent letter about the man who accidentally hooked a seagull while fishing on the lakefront reminded me of an encounter I had with a mockingbird.
"I was driving through my neighborhood when I noticed a mockingbird entangled in a ball of string. It would get a couple of feet off the ground before the weight of the string wrapped around his legs would drag him back down.
"Since the bird would be an easy target for any cat in the area, I decided to do a good deed and free him.
"I picked up the string and began to slowly pull the bird toward me; he was flying around like a kite.
"As I was about to grab the critter, he bit down on my finger with the force of a blue crab's claw.
"After a few choice words, and a couple of violent shakes to free my finger, the bird was untangled from his anchor and was on his merry way.
"Whenever I hear a mockingbird singing away, I imagine it's him telling me, 'Thank you.’ ”
(Or perhaps he's saying, "You tasted good. Come back.")
A moving comment
Thanks to David Grouchy, of Covington, for his remembrance of the late humorist Fran Spain, for many years Baton Rouge's favorite after-dinner speaker:
"Some of your more senior readers may relate to this quote from Fran:
“ ‘My doctor told me that jogging would be good for me. I tried it and I’m not sure he was right. Different parts of my body jog at different speeds.’ ”
The other Wimpy
Roger Wattam, of Baton Rouge, says comments about Britain's Wimpy burger chain brought memories of Wimpy’s Drive-In in Ozark, Arkansas.
"It was well known throughout central and northwest Arkansas, especially among Razorback fans making the fall trek to Fayetteville via Ark. Highway 23 (aka the Pig Trail), to watch the University of Arkansas football team.
"The owner, Elijah Hudson 'Wimpy' Jones, was one of the first to offer takeout dinners to fans passing through Ozark, and Wimpy’s quickly became a 'must stop' on the drive for fried chicken baskets, chili and of course 'The Glorified Hamburger.'
"Sadly, like so many other small towns, the completion of Interstate 40 in the ’60s routed traffic around Ozark and brought an end to this treasured piece of Americana.
"Wimpy Jones passed away in 1991 and remains firmly etched in my memory. He didn’t object when I married one of his lovely daughters, Baton Rouge Realtor Pat Wattam, 50 years ago this month. Thanks, Wimp!"
World's worst greeting
Marvelous Marvin tells of a remark of which Miss Manners would no doubt not approve:
"While waiting in line for a teller at a bank some years ago, I heard an old-timer as he recognized the lady working as the teller.
"To much surprise for all of us, he exclaimed in a loud voice everyone heard, 'Hazel, Hazel, is that you? You done went and got fat!’ ”
Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, continues our series on misheard song lyrics by confessing that when he first heard The Everly Brothers' 1960 classic "Cathy's Clown," he "thought they were singing about a 'Cabbage Clown.’ ”
Rock and read
As we announced a few days ago, this newspaper has adopted a new format which makes for a slightly narrower paper, to conform to an industry standard that allows us to more easily print other papers, such as the regional edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Retiree Vern Raiford says of this change, "Over the years, I've developed a method for holding the paper still so I can read it from my front porch on windy days.
"I lean forward to trap the edges of the paper against the arms of my rocking chair and my forearms. That's worked for 50 years.
"But now the paper won't quite reach both arms of my rocking chair at the same time.
"Sorry for such a weak complaint, but that's all I got."