Murphy J. Stillwater, of St. Francisville, says, "I received my census survey in the mail, with instructions on how to complete it online.

"It was interesting to note that I had the option to complete it in 13 languages — but 'Cajun' was not included.

"My concern is that Coach O will not be able to enter his information, and thus will not be counted. Suggestions?"

No bumping

A cautionary note from Jeffrey Janies, M.D., about the now-common practice of elbow bumping as an alternative to a handshake:

"We see this activity becoming quite common. Since we all cough and sneeze into our elbow, I question how appropriate this is.

"We all sanitize hands, but we fail to sanitize our elbows. Maybe we should rethink this."

Quarantine memories

The current self-quarantine reminds some readers of the more rigid methods taken in the '30s and '40s due to diphtheria:

  • D.J. Strickland Jr. says, "In 1934, at 6 years old, I came down with diphtheria, which was a fatal children's disease. Lucky for us a serum had just been created. Our family rode to the doctor in our Model T Ford. We were not allowed to go into the office, so the doctor came out to our car and gave all us kids the lifesaving shot. With the Lord's help, I have managed to survive 92 years."
  • Carol Stutzenbecker, of Kenner, says, "The recent coronavirus quarantine brought to my mind a childhood story of my mother's. In the '30s she and her large family were living in Evergreen when one of her sisters came down with diphtheria. Mother's entire family was quarantined, and the kids weren't allowed to attend school. Her sister Peggy succumbed to the disease and died. Very trying times for all!"
  • Ted C. McNeel Sr., of Metairie, says, "In Galveston, Texas, in 1944, when I was 7, my oldest brother Dan, 16, contracted diphtheria. Our home got the big red quarantine sign. Mom was chief nurse, and Dr. Jenkins came by every day and gave Dan a shot of penicillin in his butt. This process lasted for a week. Dan quit high school at 17 and joined the Navy in January, 1945, at the end of World War II. He came back and graduated from high school. Dan has always been my hero."

Rural version

Paul Major, of Livonia, addresses a recent column topic:
"The expected increase of births around Christmas time due to more people staying at home these days with little to do brings to mind an old country saying: 'Can't dance and it's too wet to plow.'
"Perhaps your readers can come up with an updated version of this." 

Speaking of which… 

Storm, of Old Baton Rouge, says, "I read Glenn from Prairieville’s comment (about babies born at Christmas being called "quarenteeners") and thought it was a great idea.

"But if any of these became multiple births, then you could have the 'quaranteener quintuplets.'

"This thought pushed my mind further down the rabbit hole — which is indeed scary…"

Yes, we've all been too idle too long already… 

Double trouble

Mike Buchart, of Baton Rouge, notes that the current toilet paper shortage is made even worse by this loss:

"Gone are the days of the Sears catalogue."

Special People Dept.

Bob and Betty Edwards Guchereau, of Lafayette, celebrated their 64th anniversary Tuesday, March 17. He is retired from BellSouth. She is formerly of Baton Rouge.

Meaty topic

My Advocate colleague George Morris offers this story, for which I apologize in advance:

"I heard of a family too scared of coronavirus to go to the grocery story, so they're eating everything in their pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. All they have left is sausage.

"Truly, this is a wurst-case scenario."

Speaking of groaners

Algie Petrere, of Baton Rouge, dedicates this one to her sons, who are doctors:

"I went to see the doctor this morning. 'Someone decided to graffiti my house last night!' I raged.

"'So why are you telling me?' the doctor asked.

"'I couldn't understand the writing,' I replied. 'Was it you?'"

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.