Harvey Gonsoulin says, "Mention of interesting phone calls reminded me of a phone call my mother received many years ago, when the only phone line we could get was an eight-party line.

"The conversation went something like this:

"Mom: 'Hello.'

"Caller: 'Toot Toot?'

"Mom: 'No.'

"Caller: 'Toot Toot's not dare?'

"Mom: 'There's no one here by that name.'

"Caller: 'Oh no, chère; you just pick up the wrong phone.’ ”

Measured response

Rick Marshall says, "I recently acquired a laser range finder for the golf course, and I have to say it has been a most enlightening experience. I now know exactly how far I cannot hit it."

Optimist's view

Shooter Mullins follows up our Monday mention of boat trailer flat tires with his own experience:

"Many years ago, returning from Cocodrie on a very hot day, we blew a tire on the boat trailer and I was elected to walk back more than a half-mile to borrow a jack from a Texaco station.

"The proprietor was happy to let me have the jack, and was properly sympathetic over our problem.

"He said, ‘And y'all was doing so good when y'all passed the station!’ ”

Crunchtime

Cookie Pecquet, of Metairie, continues our seminar on potatoes:

"Growing up, we never had french fry po-boys, but my brother's version was a potato chip sandwich. He loved them, and often ate them for breakfast."

Crunchtime II

Martin St. Romain, of Raceland, says, "Reading your article about a Baton Rouge lady’s British guest eating crawfish shells, I remembered when my wife and two children visited Brazil in the late ’80s.

"We were having stuffed crabs at a restaurant, and sitting across from us was a couple and their two children from Peru.

"The wife and children were cordial, and by using sign language and a few common words, they were socially pleasant. The husband did not speak English, and ignored us.

"We ate the crabmeat with a fork; the shell was borderline soft, but too brittle to eat.

"When the husband starting eating the shell, my wife and I, plus his wife, suggested he use the fork to remove the meat, but he disregarded us.

"After a few more bites, he reluctantly used his fork to eat the remaining meat. But he still wouldn’t talk to us — perhaps because of crab shells stuck between his teeth."

Dinner at Flanagan's

Another story about dining abroad:

Marilyn DiDomenica says, "Years ago my husband 'Smo' and I traveled to Africa with the U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling Team to the world championships.

"We landed in London and stayed for a few days before going on to Africa. The hotel suggested we eat at one of their best restaurants, Flanagan's. It was an Irish restaurant, with lots of music and fun.

"Here are a few items on the menu: Tripe and onion; cheese salad; apple and banana fritters, and for dessert, spotted dick pudding.

"We laughed so hard we could hardly eat our food."

(I should mention that spotted dick is "a traditional British baked pudding, historically made with suet and dried fruit and often served with custard.")

Happy breakfast

One more story about culinary habits elsewhere:

Joe Perrault says, "While in Edinburgh, Scotland, I was in the breakfast buffet at the hotel behind an older Scottish couple.

"After filling their bowls with hot oatmeal, they proceeded to top them — not with raisins or brown sugar, but with several shots of Scotch whisky.

"I decided, 'Why not?', and found the combination quite satisfying. So did my duck camp buddies when I introduced them to it!"

Special People Dept.

Edith Shellington, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 94th birthday Tuesday, April 20.

The Look Plus

Larry Greenblatt says, "Reading about 'The Look' brought to mind my in-laws, who all described getting 'The Look' from my mother-in-law meant it was going to be a bad moment.

"But then they said having 'The Look' coupled with an 'as if' or an 'indeed not' meant it was going to be a bad day."

A little help

Anonymous Mom says, "My sister-in-law and I agree that we raised our children with God's help and Hamburger Helper."


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.