Richard Fossey, of Baton Rouge, makes a good case for language education:

"My wife, Kim, and I visited Mexico City last week, but Kim forgot her hairspray. I went down to the hotel gift shop to buy a bottle, but my Spanish is very poor, so I asked for the hairspray in English.

"The clerk seemed to understand me. 'I have just what you need,' he said, 'at a very good price.'

"Kim used the 'hairspray' for a couple of days, but it didn't work like the hairspray she uses back in Baton Rouge.

"Finally, I got out my Spanish phrase book and translated the label. I soon discovered that I hadn't bought hairspray; I had bought deodorant.

"Then I converted the sales price from pesos to dollars, and the clerk was right. I had bought a bottle of deodorant at a very good price."

Eggs-cellent taste

Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "Son Scott became an 'eggspert' while working as a cook at Waffle House during his college days — he makes excellent omelets.

"On the weekends, he uses those talents to cook breakfast for wife Bonny and daughter Zelda, 4. On weekdays, however, he leaves for work before they get up.

"One morning, Zelda asked Bonny for an omelet for breakfast, and she complied. Bonny was proud of her accomplishment until Zelda took the first bite. It seems she’s become a little omelet connoisseur.

"She declared, 'Mama, I can’t eat this. It’s overcooked and tastes like plastic.'"

Gail adds, "Maybe Zelda's the littlest food critic. We'd be happy to take her to a restaurant on The Advocate's tab and let her dictate a review."

Uh … I'll have to get back to you on that, Gail. …

Initial reaction

Lee Robert has this memory: "As a newly minted Air Force second lieutenant, I was catching a military flight to England.

"The grizzled master sergeant at McGuire Air Force Base who was checking in military passengers took one look at my briefcase that had my initials, L and R, on it and remarked that he didn’t know about the quality of the new Air Force officers.

"When I asked him to explain, he said when they had to indicate 'left' and 'right' so officers would know which was which, he had to shake his head.

"I removed my initials from my briefcase shortly thereafter."

Chopsley encounter  

Richard Pertuit recalls Tommy George, who played Chopsley, sidekick to New Orleans' famed TV host Morgus the Magnificent:

"My father, a New Orleans motorcycle patrolman, came home one night with this story:

"He had stopped Tommy, driving a Jaguar sports car, for slightly exceeding the speed limit.

"On approaching the car, my dad noticed a very large medieval-looking hatchet in the interior. He questioned why he had such a fearsome-looking weapon, and Tommy said, 'I use that in my job.'

"My dad asked if he was a lumberjack. He laughed and said he was Chopsley on WWL. Not believing him, Dad instructed him to get out of the car. When Tommy hauled his 6-foot, 10-inch self out of the car, Dad was relieved that he had not encountered a serial ax killer or something similar.

"My dad told him to watch his speed and let him go.

"He was a gentle giant, and when on his Harley looked like the circus bear on a bicycle."

Special People Dept.

  • Dello Couvillion, of Landmark Community Care, celebrated her 98th birthday Monday, Oct. 8.
  • Nelva LeBlanc celebrated her 97th birthday Sunday, Oct. 7.  
  • Richard Pastorek celebrates his 94th birthday Tuesday, Oct. 9. He is a World War II Navy veteran, serving in the Pacific Theater.

Libeling chickens

Mary Pramuk doesn't seem like those who would say harsh things about our feathered friends, but she makes this rude assessment of their intelligence:

"Why did the chicken cross the road? For no reason. Chickens don’t have reasoning ability. If someone forgot the close the gate, they will get out and do what they do — aimlessly walk around and even mindlessly cross a road."

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.