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Advocate columnist Smiley Anders

Jim Mestayer, of Baton Rouge, adds to our growing series of "small world" stories:

"Some friends and I were attempting to enter a nightclub in the Montmartre section of Paris at midnight, while the manager was closing up.

"When he heard we were Americans and this was our last night in Paris, he invited us in, and said he would have the orchestra play an American song for us.

"As we sat down, the orchestra began playing. We began to laugh.

"Seeing the manager's face, he seemed offended, so we explained that the song was very important to us and why.

"The song that the orchestra was playing was 'You Are My Sunshine.'"

Le shoot-em-up

Harry Clark, of Lafayette, also had an "innocents abroad" moment in France:

"I was about three months into my first Mediterranean cruise in the late '50s, and a little homesick. We put into Cannes, France, for a port visit, and a shipmate and I were exploring the town.

"We came across a theater that was showing a Randolph Scott western. Of course we had to go in.

"Imagine our surprise when he, and everyone else in the movie, was speaking French.

"We were laughing so loud they asked us to leave."

Lafitte Circle?

Jamsie Treppendahl says, "My New Orleans friends are calling it 'NotLee Circle,' pronounced to rhyme with 'motley.'

"My vote to replace Lee is Jean Lafitte — most interesting person in New Orleans history. So in character with the Crescent City."

(And, as I've said many times before, so many of Jean Lafitte's pirate descendants are in still in business in New Orleans, especially along Bourbon Street…)  

Split decision

Bill Timken, of Metairie, our unpaid financial analyst, offers this modest proposal:

"Hearing that Jeff Bezos, the guy who owns Amazon, is worth $137 BILLION and is getting divorced — if he gave Trump $5.7 billion for the wall, not only would that re-open the government, he'd really only be out $2.85 billion, the other $2.85 billion coming from his soon-to-be divorced wife, and both could still afford a nice dinner at Ruth's Chris or Commanders Palace!"

Hard to swallow

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says, "The recent submissions about various questions with no answers reminded me of 'What came first, the chicken or the egg?' and 'Why does the chicken cross the road?'

"I was also reminded of the large egg snakes that swallowed the glass eggs my mom put in the hen house nests to disrupt their flagrant thefts!

"They swallowed them and made off to hide and enter Nirvana, or whatever snake heaven is called!

"I have no idea where she found the glass eggs, but they were very efficient."

Words of the Week

After he saw a Reader's Digest article on made-up words, Earl Newman has been having fun with some of his own. Here are two of them:  

NERDJACKING (‘nurd-jak-ing) n. — Filling a conversation with unnecessary detail about one’s passion to an obviously uninterested bystander.

TEXTPECTATION (tekst-pek-‘tay-shuhn) n. — The anticipation felt when awaiting a response to a text.

Special People Dept.

  • Albert Mitchell, of the Southeastern Louisiana Veterans Home in Reserve, celebrated his 98th birthday Dec. 28.
  • Jenny Hood, of Denham Springs, celebrates her 97th birthday Wednesday, Jan. 16.
  • John Benjamin Landry celebrates his 93rd birthday Wednesday, Jan. 16. A native of Garyville, he is a World War II Army infantry veteran, having served as a sniper in Africa and Italy. He retired after 35 years as a boilermaker for Delta Tank in Baton Rouge.

Kids' questions

Carol Stutzenbecker, of Kenner, says, "As I was making my rounds in the Catholic school cafeteria where I work as a volunteer, a pre-K student asked me very innocently, 'Were you born with white hair?'

"Somehow I was able to keep a straight face and answer her with a simple 'No.'"

(Or you could have said, "No, I earned it.")

Something borrowed

"Proud Cajun" says, "While reading a wonderful Christmas present, your book 'Smiley! A Laughing Matter,' this came to mind:

"You are like a good old-time bookstore — you sell books other people wrote."

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.