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With the disheartening news about so many folks in the U.S. (and especially Louisiana) still in denial about the dangers of COVID-19 and its variants, it's a welcome change to read about people who are doing better, even if they're in another country.  

Wayne Smith, of Covington, issues this dispatch:

"Reporting from my outpost in Paris, France:

"In the Paris metro system, 100% mask compliance; in Paris museums, 100% mask compliance; in parks and on the streets, where masks are not required, about 50% still wear them; in restaurants, masks in place until food/drinks are served.

"Starting Wednesday, proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is required to enter museums, theaters, and cinemas.

"There is grumbling, but no ranting nonsense like we hear in the states. COVID is treated as a virulent, deadly public health crisis — period.

"We feel safe here, so I'm not putting in for hazard pay."

Country love …

… can get complicated, according to songs on that subject dug up by our readers:

Warren Byrd, of Baton Rouge, says, "I submit another great country song title to add to your ever-growing list. Junior Brown has a classic song entitled 'My Wife Thinks You’re Dead.' About a cowboy, now married, who has a former girlfriend who hunts him down to rekindle the flames. Oh, what he goes through to get her out of town before his wife finds out. It’s a real hoot."

Bucktown Bill says, "I'm not a fan of country-western music, but was a tremendous Johnny Carson fan. He interviewed a CW star and asked what was the saddest song he had ever written. The songwriter replied 'Drinking My Christmas Dinner.' Closest match I could find on Google was Jerry Lee Lewis, ‘Drinkin’ My Christmas Dinner All Alone.’ Maybe one of your fans can run this down."

Speaking of imbibing to cure a broken heart, Robert Day says, "I am surprised no one has mentioned the classic, ‘I'm Gonna Build Me a Bar in the Back of My Car and Drive Myself to Drink.’ (As performed by numerous bluegrass and cowboy singers, including the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.)"

John Culmone says, "Heard this one on the radio. It's from 1972 by the Statler Brothers: ‘You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith Too.’ ”

Bernard Cleary, of Metairie, says, "If your car radio has Sirius XM and you listen to 'Willy's Roadhouse' long enough, you'll hear ‘She's Raisin’ Cane in Texas While I'm Pullin' Weeds in Tennessee.’ ”

But Charles Doughty might have the ultimate sad country lament. It's one by Whispering Bill Anderson entitled “Peel Me a Nanner (You’ve Made a Monkey Out of Me)." 

Render unto Caesar

It seems the Superdome will be renamed "The Caesars Superdome," in a moving tribute to gambling and big bucks. That would mean this column's "Name That Dome" contest is over.

Just kidding. I'm having way too much fun with this to stop now.  

Steve's Place

Some of my readers' suggested names for the Superdome have been a bit tongue-in-cheek, and some have been downright weird. For instance, Jimmie Papia, of Metairie, offers "The Smiley Anders Excellence in Journalism Superdome." (Jimmie is now my new best friend.)

But T.S. Parker, of St. Rose, came up with one I think a lot of Saints fans (and fans of extraordinary human beings) could have gotten behind:

"I have a suggestion for the name of the Superdome: 'The Steve Gleason Arena.' Name it after a true champion, because of the battle he is fighting."

Special People Dept.

  • Kathleen Snyder, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 100th birthday Saturday, July 24. She is a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
  • Cyril Nelson, of Kenner, celebrates his 100th birthday Sunday, July 25. He is a World War II veteran. 
  • Jane Constantino, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 91st birthday Sunday, July 25.
  • Joyce Maynor, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 90th birthday Friday, July 23.
  • J.C. and Billie Petit, of Sorrento, celebrate their 70th anniversary Saturday, July 24. They're described as "Cajun dancers (at heart)."

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.