"Stories of drivers slow to move on green lights reminded me of a problem years ago," says Mary Vernoy, of Metairie.

"When there was still a toll on New Orleans' Mississippi River bridge, morning rush-hour traffic would back up tremendously.

"Bridge personnel used to go through backed-up lines to wake up drivers who had fallen asleep waiting for their turn to cross the bridge.

"The others were awakened by a chorus of horns from those behind them."

Let us spray

"Please allow me to share my pet peeve about drivers," says Joseph W. Berey, of Covington.

"When I encounter drivers insisting on driving slowly in the left lane, I work my way in front of them and activate my windshield washer.

"It not only sprays my windshield, but throws a mist on the windshield of the car behind me.

"If confession is good for the soul, I feel much better for sharing my misdeeds."

Aw, shucks!

John Murphy, of Baton Rouge, says, "Reading in Monday's Advocate about using oyster shells for costal restoration reminded me about a fishing adventure as a kid in Slidell.

"We were running along in an aluminum bateau in the shallow marshes on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain when we suddenly ran aground in the middle of nowhere.

"Getting out of the boat in ankle-deep water and investigating, we found we were grounded on a pile of clam shells.

"Scratching our heads about our dilemma, we managed to get the boat back to deeper water. Later in life, I was recounting the story to a local archaeology student, and he said it was probably an Indian midden.

"Seems the Indians, rather than hauling a heavy load of clams back to the village, would shuck them near the shore and carry just the meat back.

"So were the Indians light years ahead of us? We’re hauling the heavy load of oysters back to the city, and then hauling the heavy load of oyster shells back to the coast."

Which reminds me

Regarding John Murphy's story above, the reason both oysters and shells are hauled to the city is because so many folks like their oysters on the half shell.

This brings to mind a lunch I once had at a new Baton Rouge restaurant, which advertised the freshest seafood in town.

Our server, asked about this claim, assured us that everything on the menu was just out of the water.

After we ordered oysters on the half shell, the server returned and told us, rather sheepishly, that he couldn't serve us oysters on the half shell — because they were out of shells.

Local hero

As I mentioned earlier, we've received a number of suggestions about what to name the Lee Circle monument in New Orleans — although this column has absolutely no role in making the final decision.

So, for what it's worth, the feedback I'm getting from you folks indicates an overwhelming desire to mark what appears to be the end of an era for the New Orleans Saints by proclaiming it Drew Brees Circle, with an appropriate statue overlooking that area.

Special People Dept.

  • Sister Dolores Rodriguez, of the Teresian Sisters in Covington, celebrated her 94th birthday Tuesday, Jan. 19. She is originally from Spain.
  • Eloise Mayeur, of Metairie, celebrated her 93rd birthday Monday, Jan. 18. She is a native of New Orleans. 

Shattering a myth

After Dudley Lehew and I related our childhood fear about tearing the labels off pillows because of their warnings about legal penalties, we heard from Norma K., of Metairie:

"You two are just joshing, right? If you continue reading the label it ends with '…except by the final consumer.'

"However, I recall several instances in which I tore those labels off, and invariably there would be a decided intake of breath, eyes out of socket, hand over mouth, with a horrified expression until I pointed out that line — followed by sheepish laughter."

Timely advice

R.D.W. says, "I had attached instructions for a new nonstick pan to my refrigerator a couple of years ago, for consultation as needed.

"It is still there, and the final instruction is most appropriate for the COVID era: 'FOR LONGER LIFE, HAND WASHING RECOMMENDED.'"

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.