Warren Byrd, of Baton Rouge, tells this “running away from home” story.

"My son Matthew, now 36, decided to run away from home when he was 10. He was frustrated that his mom, Arlene, and I told him he had to clean up his room.

"He defiantly said 'NO!' and promptly went upstairs and packed his backpack.

"He declared we were unfit parents, and unless we rescinded our 'clean up your room' directive, he was running away from home. We both stood firm and said as much as we hated it, he could go ahead and run away.

"What he had failed to do was look at the weather forecast that night. We were in the midst of a torrential downpour with lightning and thunder.

"We watched out the back window while Matthew waited under the carport watching this monsoon.

"In about 10 minutes he came back inside and announced, 'Because I love you, I have decided to stay and give y’all one more chance to be better parents.' He promptly went upstairs — and cleaned up his room.

The Ogopogos File

One of the missions of this column is to provide you with far more information than you need about trivia you're probably not all that interested in.

Which brings up this message from Jeff Gauger, of LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication:

"On the chance you haven’t worn out the roly-poly topic, check out this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDAgxaNtgWc.

"The guy collects and keeps pet roly-polys! His videos, including this one, are odd and oddly addictive. He’s droll and funny and self-deprecating. That I watch his videos probably says something about my own inner weirdness.

"He offers lists of alternative names for roly-polys."

The list is far too long to use here, but a few examples of names are:

Pillbugs, woodlice, doodle bugs, armadillo bugs, butchy boys, cheesy bugs, chucky pigs, granny greys, hog-lice, pea bugs, roll up bugs, tomato bugs, granny granshers, monkeypedes, sourbugs, slateybeetles, leatherjackets,  bellybuttons, nutbugs, ticktocks, flumps, carpetmonsters and ogopogos.

I should add that the bugs dealt with in the video aren't the hard-shelled rolling-up type roly-polys I played with as a kid, but appear to be flatter and less shiny.

Wash day

After my spouse told me she figured leaf blowers were a guy thing because they made lots of noise, I heard from ladies disputing this theory.

For instance, Lee Blotner, of Metairie, says, "Here's another woman chiming in to extol the pleasure of using a leaf blower. I've had one for years.

"I use it to keep my garage totally clean and dust free, so dirt doesn't get tracked into my house.

"But what I liked even better was my pressure washer! That was even more fun to use.

"It was like a giant eraser that wiped off mold from my river-rock carport wall, cleaned my river-rock front step so you could see the individual colors of the stone, and cleaned my brick patio perfectly.

"A lady friend who also loved using her pressure washer joked that we should go into business pressure washing. We were always looking around for new items to try it on."

Musical interlude

Fiddling Doc Chaney, of Baton Rouge, says, "Concerning Ralph Drouin’s story of roadside armadillos, I feel duty bound to inform you that a local band has a song that references that scenario.

"Look for 'Armadillo Love Song' by The Fugitive Poets on YouTube for further details …

"Full disclosure: I am a member of The Fugitive Poets."

Special People Dept.

Arlene and A. J. Hymel celebrate their 58th anniversary Monday, Oct. 21.


Our golfing stories inspired Rick Marshall to dust off this old joke:

A golfer was overheard berating his caddie outside of the clubhouse.

Golfer: "You must be the worst caddie in the world!"

Caddie: "Oh no sir; that would be way too much of a coincidence!"

A new leaf

If you thought our Friday story, about lettuce farmers seizing land under "Eminent Romaine" was bad…sorry, but it gets worse.

Bill Huey has this advice for the landowner: "He should remember the injunction 'Render unto Caesar' and sell."

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.