Dan Stein, of Baton Rouge, adds to our "wrong place" series:
"Against my better judgement, I recently joined a health club.
"I’ve gone pretty regularly, and thought I knew my way around the place. But one day, I really needed to use the 'facilities,' did not pay much attention to their cool signage, and quickly entered the men’s locker room.
"I was amazed at the recent addition of new private stalls. I then realized I was in no man’s land — the women’s locker room.
"A place where women work out and regularly lift more weights than I do is not the place to have a gender identity issue.
"I got out in a flash and was pretty sure the room was empty. I was the only one who screamed."
Carol Stutzenbecker, of Kenner, says, "My memory takes me back to a hilly city where I once lived — Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"At Lookout Point, you could park your car overlooking Tulsa's skyline and get a scenic view of the city's brilliant, dazzling lights.
"Many areas of Tulsa were named after its hills — Woodland Hills, Southern Hills, Osage Hills and more.
"My family lived in Darlington Hills. It was so hilly that we had a retaining wall at the back of our lot, fortified with large cement blocks.
"I now live in a flat city but do remember my children rolling down New Orleans' Monkey Hill like a log, going faster and faster. What a contrast."
Which reminds me
We lived on the side of a hill in Natchez, Mississippi, when I was a small kid. Carol's story of a hilly town, plus tales of go-carts and sleds without brakes, remind me of my "sled on wheels."
It was made of wooden slats like a real sled, but instead of runners, it had wagon wheels. You lay down on it and steered with two metal bars connected to the front wheels. You stopped when you ran out of hill.
It was insanely dangerous, and I can't imagine my parents buying it for me — more likely one of my aunts or uncles.
At the bottom of our hill was a level spot where my sled would coast to a stop — right in front of a short street with several houses on it.
If anyone had ever driven out of that street when I came flying down the hill, I would have been toast.
When my family moved, I left my sled behind — it was useless in flat Baton Rouge.
There are several annual events I especially look forward to celebrating: Spanish Town Mardi Gras, Christmas, our anniversary and my birthday — and the Baton Rouge Blues Society's Blues Jam Benefit at Phil Brady's.
The latter event is Tuesday, May 1. Doors open at 5 p.m., with FREE food served at 6 p.m. ("World's Greatest Red Beans," "Joe Hall's Slammin' Jambalaya," etc.).
Music, starting at 6:30 p.m., features Kenny Neal, Oscar Davis, Big Luther Kent, Chris LeBlanc, Johathon "Boogie" Long and many, many others.
The $20 cover charge includes Blues Society annual membership. Tickets are available at Phil Brady's, (225) 927-3786.
By the way, Joe Hall guarantees that his jambalaya is better than the kind served at the White House. …
Leslie Fogleman says the photo in the Thursday Advocate of LSU third baseman Josh Smith making a throw made him look like an underhanded pitcher.
It reminded Leslie of his baseball days:
"I was not a good baseball player, although I enjoyed being in the outfield with nothing to do. That photo reminded me of once, in batting practice, I couldn’t hit our star pitcher (most couldn’t).
"Frustrated, he walked halfway to the plate and underhanded the ball to me.
"You guessed it, that started a scuffle. …"
"Here are some 'groaners' to start your day," says Wayne LeCompte, of Metairie:
"Sign at an optometrist's office: 'If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.'
"Sign at a tire shop in Ville Platte: 'Invite us to your next blowout.'"