While my readers are mostly youthful hipsters, it has come to my attention that those in a different demographic also read the column.

I'm speaking of grandparents and (gasp!) great-grandparents.

I feel this is true, because lately I've been getting a number of grandparent stories:

  • Algie Petrere, of Central, came across this tale:

"A 3-year-old had been told several times to get ready for bed. The last time his mom told him, she was very insistent. His response was, 'Yes, sir!'

"Correcting him, she said, 'You would say, "Yes, sir," to a man. I am a lady; you would say "Yes, ma'am," to a lady.'

"To quiz him on this, she asked, 'What would you say to Daddy?' 'Yes, sir!' came the reply.

"'What would you say to Mama?' 'Yes, ma'am!'

"'And what would you say to Grandma?'

"'Can I have a cookie?'"

  • Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "Granddaughter Zelda, 4, eats healthful food at home — broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tofu, salmon.

"But she knows she can always walk across the street and raid PawPaw’s candy dish or GG’s cookie tin.

"One day at our house, as she was happily munching on slices of pepperoni, she grinned and said, 'GG, you feed me the TRASHIEST food.'"

  • Algie Petrere adds one: "When my grandson Marvin was about 5, I was in the kitchen preparing lunch when he came in and said, 'Give me a drink.'

"I just looked at him and said, 'What's the magic word?'

"Without hesitation he answered, 'I love you.'

"Those were magic words to me. He got his drink AND a hug."

Backing-up sense

Walt Merrill answers Tony Falterman's observation about cars at an atomic energy facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, backing into parking spaces:

Walt, a petroleum engineer in Plano, Texas, says, "It is an ironclad rule at all gas plants and oil production facilities for everyone to back into parking spots in case of an emergency evacuation."

Russ Wise, of LaPlace, adds, "During my years in the Army, we were told to always back into a parking space. Whether it was a Jeep or a truck or a tank, the rule was the same.

"It seems that, while the U.S. Army never retreats, it may occasionally have to make a speedy temporary strategic withdrawal. …"

Another status symbol

J.B. Castagnos, of Donaldsonville, says, "The story about the TV antenna with no TV reminded me of the early '60s, when a certain man would ride around town in his early '50s Cadillac with the windows rolled up, in mid-summer, to make people think he had A/C."

Snow days

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, takes us on a trip down Memory Lane:

"The stories of antennas brought back time spent in Kentucky, on our deck, in snow, shouting back to my husband inside, who was trying to bring in an LSU football game without all that OTHER 'snow.'

"And a favorite cartoon shows a visiting couple standing at the door, waiting to be admitted in vain.

"He says, 'I know they’re home; I saw the antenna move.'”

Special People Dept.

  • Mary Vaccaro, of Independence, celebrates her 106th birthday Thursday, March 7.
  • Paula Dauphin celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday, March 7. (She attributes her longevity to Community Coffee With Chicory and "lots of chocolate.") 
  • Mary Metter celebrates her 90th birthday Thursday, March 7.
  • Arlene and Henry Grass, of Plaquemine, celebrate their 55th anniversary Thursday, March 7.

Reverse psychology

Lately, I've been getting phone calls that begin with a lady imploring me, "Do not hang up." So of course I hang up (although these days, nobody actually "hangs up" — we just push a button).

Everyone I've talked to about this does the same thing.

So I'm thinking that if the telemarketer is trying to reach these contrary cusses, the best ploy would be to say, "Hang up, right now. Don't delay; you don't need to hear this message."

Most of the folks I know would say, "Who are you to tell me to hang up? I'll hang up when I damn well please."

And the message would be heard. …  


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.