Storm, our "Old Baton Rouge" nostalgist, was reminded of this clever marketing method by tales in recent columns of the banana splits at Borden's ice cream parlors of bygone days:

"I lived very close to Bernard Terrace in my first three years of the educational process — close to the old Leo's roller rink, Noble’s drugstore and (add harp sounds from heaven here), Borden’s Creamery!

"Once in a while, probably when bananas were plentiful, magic would happen! When you went in the front door of Borden’s, beautiful ripe bananas would be strung on a wire by the entrance.

"Each one of them had a small piece of paper secured with tape. You were allowed to make your own selection and remove the tape to discover your price for the wonderful treat you knew was coming.

"I must have spent 20 minutes trying to use X-ray vision to figure out which one was THE one. I can’t remember what my dad paid, but I do remember that day, my dad, and that gorgeous mass of goodness in a dish. Yep, spoiled my appetite!"

Can't let go

A dog story to add to our growing collection, from Linda Whitman, of Denham Springs:

"Pets really do tug at your heart strings. Before Christmas, our daughter Emily in Seattle found a mini schnauzer, Parker, in Kenner to replace one of her late dogs.

"Parker was to stay with us two weeks, then go by car to Seattle with a doggy transport lady. He got as far as Marshall, Texas, before husband Herb wanted him back.

"She brought him back to us, and all is right with the world again. And he really likes his new raincoat I bought him."

Healing Phideaux

Speaking of pooches, Ann LeBlanc, of Gonzales, tells of a clever one:

"My father-in-law used to tell about a cattle dog, a Catahoula, that helped him pen cows, sometimes through thick underbrush.

"The dog was bitten by a snake twice and my father-in-law took him to a traiteur (a Cajun healer) down the road. Both times he got better right away.

"One day he was bitten again, and when they got home my father-in-law was going to take the dog again to the traiteur, but couldn't find him.

"He thought the dog had gone off and died. But the dog had made it to the traiteur on his own."

Language barrier

P.J. Bourgeois, of Opelousas, says, "Imagine some poor devil from Spain, Russia, or some such country where words are pronounced as they are written, trying to learn English, and being told that eight and ate, slay and sleigh, bow and bough, slew and slough, etc., are pronounced the same.

"He would probably give up in despair.

"I think that we who are born here are very lucky, since most of us could never learn English had we been born somewhere else."

Musical interlude

Bill Bozzelle is a sneaky cuss. Knowing my fondness for "walks into a bar" stories, he sent me this note:

"A minister, a priest, a rabbi and a sailor walk into a bar and order four root beers by singing in four-part harmony.

"The barkeep gets their drinks, and tells them they should go to the open auditions for the Red Stick Sounds Mens' A Cappella Chorus Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. in the music room of First Methodist Church in downtown Baton Rouge."

Visit or call (225) 229-5039.

Family tradition

Gene Duke says, "Sylvia and I were surprised at how quickly our 2½-year-old great-granddaughter, Harper Sylver Babb, was able to learn to drive a little battery-driven car.

"We live on a cul-de-sac, and she jumped in and made 10 or more flawless rotations in 10 minutes.

"A week later this little driver asked another grandmother for the car keys; she was going shopping.

"You have known us both for years, and before you can comment, I admit Sylvia has dominant genes."

Smoking what?

Our question of the week comes from Algie Petrere, of Central:

"If smoking marijuana causes short term memory loss, what does smoking marijuana do?"

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.