Our recent pet stories brought up some memorable images, but I especially like the scene on an airplane described by Mark Richterman, of Baton Rouge:

"My lovely wife, Sylvia, reminded me of this story I told her about my first pet:

"I was 8, and like most boys would have preferred a dog. But this was out of the question because of my allergies. So we got Pedee, a little green turtle, from Woolworth’s.

"My mother and I were taking a trip to Brooklyn to visit my grandparents. Mom acquiesced to my bringing Pedee on the airplane in his acrylic home.

"Shortly after takeoff, the plane banked steeply. Pedee, under my seat, found his opportunity for freedom.

"My mother signaled for help, and in a flash the stewardess and half the passengers were on their knees looking for Pedee.

"He was quickly found and returned to his abode, where he rode in comfort for the remainder of the trip."

Know your turtle

In editing Mark Richterman's story above, I took out a sentence that on later reading proved a memorable one, deserving of inclusion.

Mark says when his turtle Pedee got loose on the plane, his mom summoned the stewardess (what female flight attendants were called back then) and told her of the escape.

His says mom added, “He is small and green with red stripes on the sides of his head.”

I found it fascinating that she felt the need to describe Pedee — just in case there were other turtles wandering around on the floor of the aircraft.

No cussing, Sarge

Charles Anderson has this story about Louisiana names:

"I remember the late Percy St. Amant (Sant Amont) talking of when he was in Army basic training.

"His drill sergeant just couldn’t handle the proper pronunciation of his name. For the full training cycle, at roll call, the sarge good-naturedly would call, 'Saint Ammint Dammit.’ ”

Take that, Sis!

Beverly Bulligan, of Kenner, adds this to our recent discussion of sibling rivalry:

"My sister, Marilyn, always introduces me as, 'This is Beverly, my older sister.'

"I finally came up with a retort. Now, when she introduces me that way, I add, 'And the wisest.’ ”

Embarrassed kitty

One final "pet names" story, from Trish Kaplan:

"Many years ago when we lived in Michigan, we wound up with a cat a neighbor had rescued from the streets of New Jersey, described by neighborhood kids there as 'That ole dumb cat that lives in the garbage bin.'

“'DumbCat' became its name.

"Our veterinarian would announce the next patient by the animal’s name. Imagine my chagrin when it was announced to the full waiting room that 'DumbCat' was next.

"I would sheepishly get up and carry the cat across the waiting room, explaining that 'the cat came with the name.’ ”

Home folks

After Ernie Gremillion said he heard a crying baby in the background during a business call, he had this experience:

"I called another company, and a recorded announcement advised: 'Since our representatives are working from home, you may experience background noises.'

"They must have read your column."

Special People Dept.

  • Dot Devillier, of Harvest Manor in Denham Springs, celebrates her 97th birthday Friday, Sept. 11.
  • Louise Seal Watson, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 96th birthday Friday, Sept. 11.
  • Sylvia Ann Rabalais Carrio, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 93rd birthday Friday, Sept. 11.
  • Harvey and Jeanne Hays, of Slidell, celebrated 60 years of marriage Sept. 3.

Washtub blues 

It has been said before that one result of our pandemic quarantines is an increase in snacking and subsequent weight gain.

Rick Marshall addresses the issue: "I am willing to bet that anyone walking around these days with 'washboard abs' has never used a washboard or its companion, the washtub — which describes some of our abs today."

Good riddance

Algie Petrere, of Central, has this comment on 2020, The Year from Hell:

"I don't usually stay awake until midnight on New Year's Eve. I'm making an exception this year. I don't want to see the new year in, I just want to make sure this one leaves!"


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.