I like children (from a distance, of course), and one of the things I enjoy most is their way to taking things literally.

Lillian Miller gives us an example:

"This past weekend we were doing a bit of reminiscing. We got a good chuckle remembering Hannah, who is now an X-ray tech.

"She was in pre-K at the time. Her class was scheduled to visit the Olive Garden restaurant on a field trip. On the morning of the trip, Hannah, complete with a very sad face, declared she didn’t want to go to the Olive Garden.

"When asked why not, she sheepishly replied, 'Because I don’t feel like picking olives.'

"We still get residual laughter from that one."

Dilly, Dilly

The news that Baton Rouge-based Piccadilly Restaurants, the cafeteria chain that started on Third Street, marks its 75th anniversary this month should bring back many memories for those of us who lined up for Dilly comfort food.

On Sundays at noon, the downtown location had long lines of worshipers from the five nearby churches.

My parents and I attended St. James Episcopal, the closest to the cafeteria. But First Baptist, a block down Convention Street, could cause us problems if their service let out before noon, when ours ended. (St. Joseph Cathedral, First Presbyterian and First Methodist were too far away to be serious rivals.)

I have to confess we often prayed the Baptist sermons would run long so we could beat them in line.

And their preachers usually obliged us…

Piccadilly memories

Speaking of Piccadilly, here's what I recall from my many visits:

  • I never ate there with my parents without hearing my mom tell me, "If you take that, you're going to HAVE to eat it!"
  • As a kid, I always got the Jell-O, even though we just about always had it in the fridge at home. I recall a blue variety that didn't have much taste, but looked cool.
  • The downtown Dilly served breakfast, which I seem to recall included slices of fried salt pork with a cornmeal crust, something my mom used to fix.
  • These days my Piccadilly meal of choice is liver and onions, a dish Lady Katherine abhors. I suppose I could make it at home for myself, but I'm not sure of her reaction, and I don't want to test her.

Lesser evil

Buck Blouin, of Prairieville, shares my feelings about this:

"I hope the many Saints fans who did not watch the Super Bowl tuned in at the end to watch Tom Brady hoist yet another Super Bowl trophy over the low-hanging heads of the Los Angeles Lambs.

"That took away some of the sting of being cheated out of being there. I believe even some of the local Brady haters enjoyed it."

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Michael Coyle, of Baton Rouge, addresses a current column topic — cowboy pictures. 

"Regarding the old western movies; I've always wondered how they locked up the saloon at night with those 'swinging  doors.'"

Special People Dept.

Jack Russo, of Slidell, celebrates his 93rd birthday Wednesday, Feb. 6. He is a World War II Navy veteran, having served in the South Pacific.

Creative attire

Our Saturday story about the gent who had his shoes stolen at the beach and had to go around barefoot reminded Marilyn DiDomenica of this double wardrobe malfunction:

"About 30 or so years ago, I packed my bag and went to Gulfport, Mississippi, to visit my friend.

"She loved to shop, so we got up early, dressed and off we went to the Broadwater Mall in Biloxi.

"As we were walking along I needed something out of my pocket and reached in — but no pocket. I realized I had put my pants on backwards.

"And when I looked down, I had one brown and one blue sandal on my feet. Do you know how that feels out in public?"

(Yes, I do. I have two pairs of loafers, identical except for colors — brown and black. More often than I like to reveal, I look down and...whoops, I did it again…) 



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.