Since we all seem to be going slightly crazy with worry these days, I welcome stories about anything other than ... well, you know.

For instance, Harvey Pashibin, of Upper Lafayette, posted this rant after watching the Food Network:

"The commercial break shows folks in the kitchen, all smiles as they use plastic wrap to cover plates, bowls, etc., to move to the fridge or wherever.

"This is false advertising — evidently by very proficient actors using either a ‘just for filming’ wrap, or some computer generated illusion of the plastic wrap, easily floating, tearing, and wrapping.

"Admit it. Everyone buys this product, but no one can use it, at least not as easily as portrayed in the commercials. Hell, I can’t even tear it off the roll! Easily clings to stuff? Bull, the only thing it clings to is itself, in clumps.

"It takes 40 square feet off the roll to finally cover a 12-inch plate. And yet, not wanting to feel inept and a big doofus, we keep buying these rolls of frustration — all because of those fake commercials. A classic case of brainwashing and exploitation via a heartless manufacturer."

Yes, it's real

John Carver, of Lacombe, a relatively new reader of this column, asks a question I'm called on to answer periodically:
"Perhaps you may have explained this years before we could get The Advocate, but how did the name 'Smiley' come about?"
It's a real name, John, and I'm a junior. My dad, Smiley Sr., was one of the youngest of nine kids raised on a small farm outside Gloster, Mississippi.
He told me only that his dad, Gray Anders, had a friend whose last name was Smiley — John Smiley, Joe Smiley, something like that — and evidently by the time Dad came along they were running out of regular names and so honored the friend in this manner.
That's all I was ever able to find out. My dad and I used to joke that we could never open a funeral home — imagine a big 'smiley face' sign outside Smiley & Smiley Mortuary.

Head for the hills

Z David Deloach sent me a note the other day, and ended it by telling me he is from "St. Francisville — where social distancing is natural due to hills and hollows."

Family tradition

Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "Granddaughter Zelda, 5½, went sailing over the handlebars of her scooter and scrapped up her face.
"When son Scott told me the story, I said Zelda reminded me of him, as he still bears scars from his many bicycle accidents as a child.
“ ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘the apple doesn't crash far from the tree.’ ”
(My editing note: Gail had originally titled this story "Crash dummies," which I changed because it seemed a bit judgmental to me. Funny, though.)

Special People Dept.

  • Joan Oppenheim, of Metairie, celebrates her 99th birthday Tuesday, March 24. She was volunteering at the World War II Museum information booth in New Orleans until the coronavirus pandemic closed it down.
  • Helen Palmer McSwain, of Galvez, celebrates her 95th birthday Tuesday, March 24. She is a retired registered nurse, and worked for the East Baton Rouge Health Clinic for many years.
  • Rodney and Linda Oncale, of Pearl River, celebrate their 50th anniversary Tuesday, March 24.

Who needs reality?

Terry Grundmann, of Kenner, offers these discouraging words: "Woke from a nightmare, then thought of current reality and wanted to go back to sleep — that nightmare wasn’t as bad."

But not all bad

Lane Merliss says, "Since the coronavirus scare has dominated our lives, I do see one bright spot — I get fewer robocalls. Some days there are actually none, and other days just one or two."

A clean mouth

Marvin Borgmeyer, of Baton Rouge, says, "After hearing all the advisements to wash your hands with soap and water, I now realize why I never got sick when I was a little boy. My mom was always washing my mouth out with soap and water!"

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.