Another example of how "smart" robotic devices are taking over our lives:

Herbert Miller, of Metairie, says, "My 7-year-old grandson, Ethan, lives in a 'smart home,' where several electronic devices can be voice controlled.

"He had an Earth Day assignment from school where he had to provide names of people who do Earth-friendly activities such as recycling.

"One question was, 'Who turns off the lights?'

"His response? 'Alexa.'"

Stripping down

Sarah Stravinska, formerly of Chestnut (Natchitoches Parish), is now living in Nashville (or, as she likes to call it, "Gnashville"). Here's her story about dancers:

"As a dance teacher, I was used to seeing people in leotards.

"Once I was having lunch when a young man came over and started talking to me. I didn't recognize him; I was staring at his body, mentally putting him in the male dance garb of tights and T-shirt.

"He asked, 'Why are you looking at me like that?'

"I answered, 'I am mentally stripping you to see if I remember your body.'

"The poor dear fled."

Which reminds me

During my 20 years in ballet (Wait; do I hear derisive laughter out there? Really; I portrayed the grandfather in the opening party scene of Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre's "The Nutcracker — A Tale from the Bayou"), I learned the importance of having the proper body for the role.

The grandfather was to be a rather portly gent, so when I first took over the role, I had to wear padding under my costume.

But after a great deal of effort, after just a couple of years I found I could dispense with the padding.

We dancers call that "body sculpting."

Which also reminds me

Speaking of my role in The Nutcracker ballet:

Lady Katherine once ordered a load of dirt for her flower beds, and the dump truck driver deposited it in a large mound.

"Your husband will have to spread it out with a shovel," the driver told her.

"Oh, I'll do it," she said. "He's got ballet rehearsal this afternoon."

As I left the house, I got the strangest look from that driver…

Nicknames revisited

Lisa Haydel, of Thibodaux, says, "In response to Shooter Mullins' Monday comment about an old Thibodaux bowling team, the only surviving member of that group is my father-in-law, Raymond 'Jake' Haydel.

"He also bowled with 'Checkerboard' Roundtree (mayor of Thibodaux for many years) and 'Yockey' Bernard.

"Jake (also known far and wide as 'Pal') enjoyed hearing he was mentioned in your column for something other than being 92 years old!"

Pigging out

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, says, "When I went to Albertson's yesterday, I saw they now have large (12 ounces dry weight) jars of 'pork panko.'

"Of course I had to stop and read the label. Crushed fried pork rinds!

"All you keto people can now have great fried chicken.

"And a heart attack."

Royal memory

Kathy Stewart says, "The death of Prince Philip brought back memories of our fourth grade teacher in Tupelo, Mississippi, Mrs. Spain.

"Her son worked for a TV network in New York. He brought a TV to school and connected it to the New York station.

"My fourth grade class got to see the coronation of Queen Elizabeth (in 1953). The TV had about a 10-inch screen and was very snowy.

"However, we got to see Elizabeth being escorted to and seated on the throne as the crown was placed on her head, crowning her Queen Elizabeth.

"Prince Philip was very elegant in his military uniform. It was a memorable sight, one I will not forget.

"Several years later, Mrs. Spain’s son was instrumental in bringing the television station WTWV to Tupelo."

Special People Dept.

Juana "Meme" Schultz, of Port Allen, celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday, April 29. A drive-by birthday parade by her house will be held at 1 p.m. She'll be sitting on her decorated porch to wave at paradegoers.

Yuck! Gross!

When we started our discussion of the British dish mushy peas, I was afraid someone would bring this up, so to speak:

Nobey Benoit says, "Anyone who has ever seen the movie 'The Exorcist' would never touch mushy peas."      

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.