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The Prancing Babycakes perform during the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade, Saturday, February 22, 2020, in downtown Baton Rouge, La.

As a proud resident of Baton Rouge's venerable, eclectic, delightfully wacky Spanish Town neighborhood, I can report that Saturday's Mardi Gras parade was conducted with quiet dignity and a sober demeanor among its participants.

Nah, just kidding…

You might think the parade theme, "Hiney Sight Is 2020," would lend itself to a variety of tasteless off-color jokes.

You'd be right.

Categories of awards given to floats and other parade participants are always…well, odd. But this year they exceeded expectations. For the full list of awards, you can go to

But here are a few, just to give you some idea:

Best Float: Hillar Moore for DA; given because "you didn't give in to our call for bribes," and because the idea of a Louisiana politician not being involved in bribes is so unique.

Worst Float: Krewe of La Moula. The perverse logic of parade people deems this the most coveted award, won with impressive bribes, including lovely metal flamingos — possibly fashioned with skills learned in prison workshops. 

Best Virgin Attempt at Bribing: The new krewe, Funfetti, attempted to bribe with a display of twerking in front of the judges' stand. Unfortunately, the music didn't come on, and twerking to no music is just not right, and possibly illegal. 

Definition of Irony: The Italian American Walking Club; "because you rode on a float."    

Best Marching Group: The newer group, Beign YAYS, beat out both the veteran Prancing Babycakes and the also newer Golden Guys, but all provided a whole lotta shakin'.

Best Jell-O Shots: Krewe of Insanity. This is self-explanatory.

Best Tutu on a Photographer: David Normand, "because he makes our hineys look good."     

The Smiley Award for Best Post-Parade Performance: This highly personal honor goes to the adorable Prancing Babycakes — and that's all you need to know about THAT… 

The noon gig

One more remembrance about Henry Gray, who recently died at 95:

Beloved Baton Rouge bluesman Henry Gray dies at 95

I remarked to a musician friend that it was rather sad to see the internationally celebrated blues pianist playing at noon at Baton Rouge's Piccadilly Cafeteria in Westmoreland Village.

The guy scoffed, and told me, "Sad? Who else has a noon gig on a weekday? He gets to practice, keep those fingers loose; he sells a few CDs; he probably gets some pretty good tips; and I don't know what they pay him, if anything, but I'm almost sure he gets a free lunch. Man, I should be so sad!"  

Bailey the Hero

Fran Taylor, of St. James Place in Baton Rouge, says her friends and fellow residents Jerry and Margaret Johnson have a rescue dog, Bailey:

"When Bailey went to the door barking loudly, Jerry checked, but there was no one there. After a minute Bailey repeated the barking.

"This time Jerry went out in the hall, where he heard weak calls for help from the apartment across the hall.

"The door was not locked, and he went in and found the occupant, an elderly lady, had fallen and broken her hip. A pull cord nearby would have brought help, but she was in such a state of pain and panic that she did not realize it.

"She gives Bailey full credit for rescuing her; hearing her calls for help when apparently no human had. These animals, especially dogs, are more intelligent than we sometimes realize."

Special People Dept.

  • Ena Gordon, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 105th birthday Monday, Feb 24.
  • John Gaidry, of Lafayette, celebrated his 92nd birthday Friday, Feb. 21.

Love story

Buck Bertrand has taken note of "George Tully 's problem with a feisty attack goose while attempting to visit his wife's grave" at Baton Rouge's Greenoaks Memorial Park.

Says Buck, "He may have caused himself a greater problem. When he got out of his car while trying to leave, he says he began flapping his arms, stomping his feet, and making loud noises to chase the goose from in front of his car.

"Those actions are known as the 'mating ritual' of the lonely goose…so good luck with his next visit."

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.