Dear Smiley: Back in the '60s in a New Orleans suburb, we had a phone number that ended in 2775. A new eatery opened in town with the last four digits of 2755.
For a couple of weeks, we would routinely get a wrong number call for that business on a daily basis, sometimes even a few in the evening.
Each time, my father dutifully explained to the caller the proper number.
He called the business one day, explained the situation without revealing our number, and thought that for all the redirecting he was doing, at least a couple of free meals would be a fair compensation. They refused.
So, my father simply began taking orders over the phone, telling people their order would be ready when they arrived.
This was long before on-line reviews, but I suspect that word got around quickly — because the business had a new phone number within a couple of weeks.
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Just one favor…
Dear Smiley: On Tuesday Paul Major wrote a letter stating that there is no such thing as atheists in foxholes.
In 1967 I was in Vietnam serving with a Marine infantry battalion as a Navy hospital corpsman.
In times of need we had a prayer we recited: "Lord, help me through this one and I’ll get through the next one by myself."
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Dear Smiley: Now that LSU football, basketball, and baseball are dormant, I have to scramble for suitable entertainment.
I need look no further than out my kitchen window at the hanging bird feeder.
It was ignored for nearly a full day when I first debuted it, before one brave bird tried out this new thing in the yard. In no time, it handled more daily flights than the airport in Atlanta.
I decided to add to the scenery by introducing a very nice birdbath. Well, I am still waiting for the alpha bird to make the first splash.
My son Daniel thinks there are no "alpha birds," but one very dumb bird in each flock that first tries new things. If he lives, the others follow.
But I think it’s the fun-loving, free-spirited, try-anything-once bird that the others look to for guidance. So I am patiently waiting for the "Boudreaux bird" to make the first splash — and impatiently counting the days until that first kickoff.
Shasta on Shasta
Dear Smiley: Last year my wife and I were traveling to see the LSU-Tennessee football game, and stopped in Lynchburg, Tennessee, for lunch at the family-style Mary Bobo’s Restaurant.
The ritual here is go around the table and state your name and a little background info. The young lady seated next to me stated that she was a mountain climber and her name was Shasta; then she rattled off all the mountains she had climbed, including Mount Shasta!
What are the odds of a lady mountain climber named Shasta who climbed Mount Shasta sitting next to me at a restaurant in Tennessee? Somewhere between winning the lottery and being struck by a meteorite.
Dear Smiley: One oppressively hot and humid Louisiana summer day, I decided to get a "military boot camp" haircut at the barbershop on my postal route.
The barber was my friend, and we often bantered. He asked if I had permission for the haircut from my wife, Nora.
I said, "No, but don't worry." So I waited a few days, and while delivering his mail I sternly said, "Nora loves my haircut, but I have a serious complaint about it."
He said, "Tell her she's welcome — and what is your problem?"
I replied, choking back tears: "Every time she passes by, she rubs the top of my head — but she always used to slap me on my butt!"
LIONEL AUSTIN WILCOX
Dear Smiley: I thought of you when I saw this quote:
"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for 10 minutes, then come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller?"