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"I am concerned about the latest generation of drivers after witnessing their limited attention span in traffic," says Rick Marshall, of Baton Rouge.

"At the risk of starting a generational war, I propose a new regulation requiring every applicant for a new driver's license to make a roux without burning it.

"Successful test results would be given to the parents for a celebratory gumbo."

Stirring up the pot

Lee Blotner, of Metairie, wants to get me in trouble:

"While we're on the subject of gumbo, it's just a soup or a chowder if it doesn't have okra in it.

"According to 'The Adventure of English' by Melvyn Blake, gumbo is an African based Gullah word meaning okra!

"So, it has to have okra in it in order to be termed 'gumbo.'"

Taken literally, Lee, your argument may have some merit, but I guarantee I'm never going to sit down to a steaming bowl of filé gumbo and tell the proud Cajun cook, "This is just soup!" 

Passing thought

Now that we're in the throes of football frenzy, Glenn Balentine, of Prairieville, has this recollection.

"Reading Jim Nichol's story about Coach McClendon's vanilla offense reminded me of an LSU-Kentucky game many years ago.

"The Wildcats were drumming us 33-0, yet we would not throw the ball.

"I was in the south end zone, and caught a Kentucky point after. Fans had tried to keep such treasures all night, but I stood and sent the ball back to the ref.

"All around me people cried, 'Why didn't you keep the ball?'

"I replied, 'Unlike Coach Mac, I like to pass!'

By the way, the note was signed, "Glenn 'Not Quite Joe Burrow' Balentine."

Sans names?

David West, of Natchitoches, jumps into our discussion of what to call folks from different Louisiana communities:

"I have lived in Natchitoches for 33 years. I don't think we have a way of referring to ourselves.

"I think the same goes for those who live in places like Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Thibodaux, Houma, and so on.

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"I have never heard of a Lafayetteite or a Baton Rougean or a similar term. I could be wrong."

Actually, David, I have used "Baton Rougean" on occasion. And residents of Lafayette are known as "Cajuns."

Breathtaking name

August Gomez suggests that residents of Ville Platte refer to themselves as "Ville Platters."

And August says our suggestion of "Nats" for Natchitoches folks "is not 'nuff. Ya can't shorten such distinguished residents.

"One breath, please? All together now: 'NAK-A-TA-CHES-SI-AN.' Yay!"

Add it up

"I am a proud native son of the town of Addis," says Steve Guidry. Though I now live in Brusly, I still consider myself an 'Addition.'

"One of Miss Terry's most used cookbooks is The Official Cookbook of the Civic League of Addis, published in 1992, entitled 'Ad.dis & Add.dat.' Our favorite on a cold winter day is Grammaw Addie's vegetable soup. Makes about two gallons. Miss Addie Bergeron had a big family."

Best name yet

Russ Wise, of LaPlace, says our seminar on names of residents has reminded him of some great ones, "like the folks downriver in Violet are 'Violations.'"

A grabbing Granny

"I grew up in the '50s and '60s in a large, close family with 27 first cousins," says Mike Boudreaux, of Bush.

"On Sunday afternoons our parents visited my grandparents for coffee. My grandmother kept a damp facecloth handy to wipe any snotty little faces that strayed close enough for her to grab and wipe. Only one cloth, but no one got sick. Herd immunity?"

Grave error

Kirk Guidry, of Baton Rouge, tells of this unfortunate faux pas:

"While watching the LSU Tigers on the balcony at one of our favorite watering holes in the Quarter, we met a couple and had a few 'root beers' with them.

"During our conversation, the topic of marriage came up. Our new friend was telling us how he and his wife married late in life.

"He said, 'I was 53 and she was 49. I robbed the graveyard!'

"He meant to say 'cradle,' but oops!

"I then told him we might need to call the undertaker … for him."


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.