Kathy Stewart adds to our seminar on language problems:

"Several years I took a bus tour to Laredo, Texas, crossing into Mexico to shop.

"The Michael Jackson album 'Thriller' had just come out. My teenage son, Jeffrey, was a huge fan.

"I saw the album in several stores with the same cover as the ones in New Orleans, but at a much lower price.

"I bought him the the album as a surprise. He was so excited until he played it. Much to our surprise it was all in SPANISH.

"We all got a good laugh. And, of course, then I had to pay full price for one on this side of the border.

"He still loves to tell the story of this Spanish Michael Jackson 'Thriller.'"

Grin and bear it

Another "lost in translation" story, showing that English can also be a confusing language.

Richard Fossey's story in the Tuesday column, about getting spray deodorant instead of hairspray in Mexico City due to his problems with the Spanish language, brought this tale from Mary H. Thompson, of Baton Rouge:

"It seems you don't have to go to a foreign country to have trouble understanding the locals.

"We were recently at the Bozeman, Montana, airport checking in our bags for the trip home. The gate agent said, 'Do you have any airspray?'

"I said, 'Hairspray?' She said, 'No, airspray.'

"So I said, 'Ohhhh, bug spray!' She said no, then bared her teeth and made her hands into fearful claws and said, 'BEAR spray!'

"So no, we didn't have any."

What goes around…

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, gives this example of karma:

"My last summer at Nicholls State before attending LSU Law School, I took three history courses.

"I made the highest grade on every test in all of them. I received two A's and a B.

"When I asked my professor about the B, he said, 'I don’t give A's.'

"About 10 years later, when I was sheriff in Assumption Parish, we busted one of the biggest meth labs ever.

"Guess whose son was arrested? My 'B' professor came to see me for help.

"I looked at him and said, 'Do you still not give A's?' He bent his head down and said, 'I remember you now!'"

Tony says the matter was resolved, and the prof was grateful for his help.

He adds, "Too bad I didn’t need any more history credits!"

Circular reasoning

Leslie Tassin was the first of many readers to propose this after the amazing Monday night performance of the Saints' quarterback:

"No person since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans and south Louisiana. has done more to unite the people of the city and the state of Louisiana and lifted the spirits of these people than Drew Brees.

"In his honor, I think a statue should be erected of him on top of the old General Lee monument, and the circle should be renamed Drew Brees Circle."

Tall tale

Our mention of unusually tall guys brought this response from Dick Chenot, of Plaquemine:

"When I was finishing up my BA at DePaul, I took a semester off to work for Western Electric in the Chicago Loop.

"We'd take a coffee break walking across the street under the 'L' tracks. Being Chicago, and cold in the winter, there was a vestibule at the building's entrance.

"I noticed this man going through, fully bent over at the hips! His Volkswagen was parked in front; I saw he sat in the back seat to drive it.

"On the side of the car it showed that his business (I forget the type) was advertised by his height!"

(So I assume "tall guy in little car" was an attention-getter for his business.)

Initial reaction

It's time for our annual Aggie Jokes Festival, and Joe Fairchild, of Thibodaux, obliges with this one. It's inspired by Lee Roberts' story about the sergeant who thought his initials on his briefcase were for "left" and "right."    

"After Lee Roberts' 'L & R' story, I could not resist this:

"Why do Aggies paint 'TGIF' on the tops of their shoes?

"Toes Go In First!"

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.