Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, tells this spooky cemetery story:

"Many years ago, when remote starting of automobiles was new, I attended a funeral in Plaquemine.

"I parked where I thought I was out of the way. However, one of the cemetery employees approached me and asked if I knew to whom the vehicle belonged.

"I didn’t tell him it was my vehicle, but I pressed the remote start button and the vehicle started."

After viewing that driverless car starting up, if that cemetery employee didn't believe in ghosts before, he probably does now. …

Double trouble

Bill Timken, of Metairie, comments on sports and injustice:

"Well, the Saints and the Auburn Tigers now have something in common: missed calls that cost both to miss potential championships.

"Well known is the missed pass interference call that cost the Saints the NFC title; now we have the missed double dribble that cost Auburn in its Final Four game vs. Virginia.

"As a double dribble is an unusual offense, perhaps that can be more easily forgiven — but the missed pass interference was so conspicuously bad, that was flat-out robbery."

Wrong bat blues

My Friday comments on southpaws brought this recollection from Keith Horcasitas, of Baton Rouge, about his days at Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School in uptown New Orleans. 

He says their coach, the late William Rappold, tried to help Keith's friend Scott improve his ability to hit a baseball:

"Once, in a schoolyard game, when the strikeout rule was already long passed for Scott, Coach told him what might help: 'Oh, it looks like you're using the wrong bat. Scott, go to my office and get a right-handed bat.'

"Scott promptly put down what he thought was a left-handed bat and high-tailed it to the athletic supply room.

"We all had a good laugh about this, including Scott."

Feeling fuelish

Curtis A. Fletcher says I erred when I said "coal oil" was another name for kerosene:

"They are two different products. Coal oil is derived from coal and kerosene is derived from petroleum products."

The BizFluent website agrees, saying that while both are clear liquid fuels used for lamps and cooking, "in the early years of the oil industry the two names were often used synonymously."

Today, however, "coal oil is an outdated name."    

Whatever works

Regarding the use of kerosene as first aid for snakebite, Beryl Templet says, "My mom, born in 1914, was, at age 16, bitten on the top of her foot by a cottonmouth moccasin.

"According to her story, she received the exact treatment you say your dad described (cutting the bite with a razor, then putting the foot in a bucket of kerosene).

"Although the healing process was long and painful, and left her with a 2-inch in diameter scar, she did survive to tell her story.

"It certainly would not be a recommended treatment today, but they made the best of what they had."

Rural medicine

Gordon Holcomb, of Baton Rouge, says, "Growing up on a southern Wisconsin farm in the 1940s, I remember kerosene being used as an antiseptic on pigs after castration. It was squirted into the incisions from a pumper oil can.

"A home chest cold remedy of that time was a mixture of warm lard and turpentine that was rubbed on the chest.

"It smelled good to me then, but I now believe it prevented the growth of hair on my chest."

Special People Dept.

Bonnie Bart Ermon celebrates her 91st birthday Tuesday.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer, of Baton Rouge, "Now that I am retired, I find that I can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work I am supposed to be doing at the moment."

Picture that!

Les Fogleman, of Ponchatoula, experienced an "insult to injury" moment while fishing on Blood River:

"A pontoon boat came by with eight to nine men on it. I had just hung my line on a tree limb and broke the limb off to unravel the line — an awful tangle.

"I looked up as they passed. They were taking pictures of me."


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.