Bill Haynie, of Slidell, expands on recent items about Siri and Alexa eavesdropping on conversations — adding OnStar to this list:

"A few years back my spouse, Mary Ann, and I were traveling in my GMC vehicle. I was arguing about some subject that escapes me now, and this strange voice asked, 'Mr. Haynie! Mr. Haynie! are you OK?'

"I looked around to see who else was in the vehicle with us, and concluded rather quickly it was OnStar.

"I convinced the OnStar person that we were OK, and ended the phone conversation. My loud voice must have surpassed the decibel threshold and triggered the call.

"One saving grace from this incident is my wife and I now whisper in the vehicle. Have you ever tried to argue while whispering? It’s virtually impossible!"

Little ears

Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, says, "Kindergarten teachers should know anything they say to their students is likely to be repeated at home.

"Here's an example:

"We took the family out for pizza, and granddaughter Zelda, age 5, was a perfect little lady. She politely asked the waitress, 'May I please have a glass of milk?' and then explained that in her 'Courtesy and Grace' lesson that week in school they were taught to always use 'May I?' and 'Please.'

"Her mother commented, 'I'm so glad they are teaching you good manners at school.'

"Zelda immediately responded, prompted no doubt by something she'd heard at school, 'Somebody has to!'"

Littlest comedian

Algie Petrere, of Central, says, "My great-grandson John just told me a joke.

"He asked, 'Why did the chicken cross the road?'

"My answer, of course, was, 'To get to the other side.'

"No, he said, 'It was to get to the idiot’s house.’

"After a brief pause, he said, 'Knock, knock.'

"I asked, 'Who’s there?'

"He said, 'The chicken.'

"He seemed surprised that I got it."

Bug business

Linda Shaffer, science lab manager at Baton Rouge Community College, tells us that pill bugs are not only still around, "we use them in biology labs at BRCC to teach students the scientific method.

"Students form a hypothesis of which food items pill bugs will prefer, then set up to test their theories. They put food/liquid in each side of dishes and the pill bug in the middle to see where it will go.

"To ensure that I have an adequate supply of pill bugs when needed, I buy them from a science lab vendor. We feed them raw carrots and potatoes.

"Smiley, do you want to earn extra money raising pill bugs?"

Sure, Linda, if this column-writing thing doesn't work out…

Bug business II

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, tells us more about pill bugs, also known as roly polys and many other names:

"On La. 1 north of Thibodaux, pieces of plywood line the levee along Bayou Lafourche, where the bugs are harvested.

"One day I stopped on the highway that runs from Labadieville to Bayou L'Ourse, where on many occasions I saw several men picking up something in the grass near the shoulder of the road.

"Turns out they were picking up roly polys under wood they had laid down. I don’t remember how much they were selling them for, but it was quite a bit per one.

"I think they were sold for fishing bait. There are so many ways to make a living, even with ancient bugs!"

Special People Dept.

Jim "Coach" Roberts celebrated his 90th birthday Monday, Oct. 14. A retired teacher/coach at Church Point High, he also retired recently from Cajun Pine Golf Course.

Thought for the Day

From Francis Celino, the Metairie Miscreant: "Mirrors don't lie; lucky for me they don't laugh."

Salad days

Harvey Pashibin has problems:

"Since the destructive Lafayette flooding of 2016, I’ve been approached by folks interested in my meager acreage in Upper Lafayette. I have no interest in selling.

"I found a court order stuck on my front door this morning, giving me 30 days to vacate my property!

"Seems a group of lettuce growers from St. Landry Parish figured out a legal way to force me into selling.

"Ever heard of 'Eminent Romaine?'"

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.