"Can you take another 'mispronounced name' story?" asks Nolen J. LeBlanc Sr., of Harahan:

"When I was in the Army in the ’50s I was assigned to Camp Chaffee (later Fort Chaffee) in Arkansas for basic training.

"Every morning at roll call the drill sergeant would call out 'Private LeBlank.' Although I corrected him many times, I was always 'LeBlank.'

"I decided, 'Why fight it?' Figured I would be LeBlank for the duration of my military career.

"After a year at Ford Hood in Texas, I was assigned to Fort Polk in Louisiana, in the adjutant general's office. We were instructed to always answer the phone 'Good morning (or evening)' with rank and name.

"Once I dutifully answered the phone, 'Good morning, sir, Sgt. LeBlank speaking, may I help you?'

"The voice on the other end said, 'How do you spell your last name, soldier?'

"I answered, 'L-e-b-l-a-n-c, sir.'

"His response: 'That's pronounced LeBlanc, and never forget it, you understand?'

"'Yes sir,' I said. 'May I ask who's calling?'

"'This is Major LeBlanc; let me talk to Colonel Rogers.'

"From that time on I was LeBlanc again."      

Light humor

A service memory from Charlie Anderson:

"When I was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in the ’60s, we would go into downtown San Antonio on the bus on Saturday nights.

"At the bus stop was a vendor selling the San Antonio Light newspaper. He had a spiel as creative as I’ve ever heard. Lines I remember:

“'Read the Light, it will de-light you.'

“'Don’t cross the street without the Light.'

“'Read the Light to be enlightened.'

"And my favorite, when hawking the Sunday edition on Saturday night: 'Get tomorrow’s paper today and read what happened yesterday.'”

Inhuman insult

John Iwachiw, of Metairie, says, "I know we complain about getting all sorts of calls we do not want; but this one hurt.

"Modern technology of smartphones allows us to have caller IDs for incoming calls, but it doesn't stop the number of unwanted calls, especially during the election cycle.

"We have learned not to answer calls that do not have a name associated with them; someone we have listed in our contact list.

"We assume if someone wants to talk with us, they will leave a message on our voice mail.

"Listening to such a message, I heard the following: 'Sorry, you did not reveal yourself to be human. Goodbye.'"

Math can be sweet

Tom Hertwig, of Gonzales, discusses his theory of mathematics:

"When I was in grade school, I learned the elementary way of counting as we shared our Halloween candy:

"One for you; one for me.

"Two for you; one, two for me.

"Three for you; one, two, three for me.

"That is how it works, isn’t it?"

And Tom wonders why I'd never go trick-or-treating with him…

Remember Jean?

Just learned that Jean West has been inducted into the Kentucky Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

Jean was news anchor at Baton Rouge's WAFB-TV until she left in 1985 for anchor posts at WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky, and later at two other stations. She hosted shows on science and health before starting her health programming business, Faces West Productions.

The Hall of Fame announcement of her induction said she "notably broke the race and gender barrier as the first African American woman to serve as news anchor in both Louisiana and Kentucky."

Lost flights 

Rick Marshall says, "After speaking with multiple drone operators who launched their devices, never to have them seen again, I'm reminded of the much lower tech hit song from the ’60s, 'My Boomerang Won't Come Back.'"

Like, irritating

Jane Honeycutt asks, "Is it possible for anyone on radio or TV to say one sentence that doesn’t begin with 'so'?

"That, plus repeating 'like' about five times in each sentence, drives me nuts."

Sign language

Wayne LeCompte, of Metairie, says, "Mention in the Tuesday column of the gentleman who fell asleep in a phone booth after too many root beers with friends reminds me of this sign placed over the bar:

"'Those of you who are drinking to forget, please pay in advance.'"


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.