Tim Palmer, of Lafayette, offers this "tell it like it is" story:

"When I lived in Tennessee, I was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin.

"One Sunday the preacher mentioned it was his anniversary, and that he had had 15 wonderful years of marriage.

"His young daughter, sitting on the front row, said, 'But Dad, you’ve been married 20 years.'

"He replied, 'Yes, but 5 weren’t that good.'”

Keep it simple

Sondra has this pet peeve: "I have an increasing annoyance with the use of 'utilize' instead of 'use.'

"I had a teacher who said, 'Don't use a thousand-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.'

"Am I the only one?"

Mama knows pizza

If you know much about Baton Rouge pizza history, you know of the popularity of the venerable Fleur de Lis. It looks like a dive bar, but the booze definitely takes second place to the unique pizza — the only item on the menu. 

Donald Cunningham, of Baton Rouge, tells how the Fleur became a pizza legend:

"The senior Guercios, who once owned the Italian Gardens restaurant in about the 800 block of Convention Street, opened the Fleur on Government Street at Jefferson Highway in the early 1940s.

"The building was formally a Gulf service station with small 'tourist court' buildings on the rear lot.

"One afternoon Mama Guercio came out of the small kitchen with her cook, Isidore, holding a square pan with some strange-looking ingredients.

"She said, 'Boys, take a bite of this and see if you like it and do you think it will sell.' And the rest is history."

Vacuums and verbs

Robert Day, of Baton Rouge, remarks on a recent nostalgia discussion:

"It rang true to me that growing up all refrigerators and vacuums were 'Frigidaires' or 'Hoovers.'

"However, no one mentioned that Hoover was also a verb: 'Go Hoover the rug' or 'My mother is Hoovering right now' or 'Have you Hoovered yet?'"

Speaking of which

Faye Guidry says, "When introduced, my husband Kirby often says, 'Easy to remember; like the vacuum cleaner.' Once on a cruise, our table mates said, 'Hello, Hoover.'"

Pigging out

The well-traveled Faye Guidry shares another memory, this one of a trip to Machu Picchu, the 15th Century Inca citadel in Peru:

"My intention was to eat what the natives eat. As I was about to place my order for the house specialty, Japanese tourists at the next table posed for a photo with the roasted guinea pig. I promptly broke my intention and ordered fish."

The icy ropes  

Barry Dufour says, "Comments about Deadhorse, Alaska, brought back some memories of my time in the Air Force, stationed in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

"I was previously stationed at RAF Lakenheath, England, and the weather there reminded me of south Louisiana, with some humidity in the summer and lots of fog.

"I got my orders for North Dakota and arrived in November, just in time for winter.

"There were huge ropes slung on posts along the sidewalks around the barracks and the mess hall.

"When I asked about them, I was advised that when we had whiteouts, I would need ropes to guide me back to the barracks!"

Special People Dept.

— Marguerite "Gertie" Hebert, of Maison Teche nursing home in Jeanerette, celebrated her 99th birthday Oct. 15.

— Clare Crane, of Jefferson, celebrated her 92nd birthday Nov. 1.

— Sarah Vincent celebrated her 90th birthday Nov. 4.

— Elton and Eula Miller, of Breaux Bridge, celebrated their 68th anniversary Oct. 26.

—Malcolm and Joyce Duet, of Thibodaux, celebrate 62 years of marriage Nov. 9.

Challenging Santa

Cathy O'Keefe, of Harvey, starts our Christmas stories early:

"My husband and I told our granddaughters that they should start making a wish list for Santa.

"The 7-year-old said she wanted a hot tub, and three white cats with spots like Dalmatians."  

How Granny cussed

Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "My north Louisiana grandmother was a hardshell Baptist. Alcohol never touched her lips, and she never cursed. When upset, however, she was prone to use the 'f' word — Fiddlesticks!"

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.