Dear Smiley: When I was 15 I had to have my tonsils taken out a second time. I did not want to “go under,” so the doctor injected the back of my throat about 15 times with a numbing agent. The resulting inability to swallow was a new and distinctly different experience.

He proceeded to snip away. I could hear him cutting, but felt no pain. Once he caught the edge of my tongue in his shears and I protested loudly.

Afterward he said I was a good patient, but talked too much during the procedure.

I had asked him to preserve the tonsils in a jar, but when he presented it to me, I quickly declined it, perhaps because the numbing was starting to wear off.

My father had stayed with me during the procedure. We lived in a small town then, and he had the news of my procedure on the noon broadcast of our local radio station!



Cutting remarks II

Dear Smiley: During the Depression my grandfather became a country doctor, often paid with eggs or chickens.

He was to do a tonsillectomy on the child's kitchen table. Back then tonsils and adenoids came out in one procedure.

Granddaddy slipped and mentioned adenoids. The boy's father got all worked up. Nobody had said nothin' 'bout no adenoids!

Granddaddy got the man calmed down and out of the kitchen. Toward the end of the operation he looked up, and there was the father, peering in the window to make sure Granddaddy didn't sneak out them there adenoids!

Granddaddy handed the farmer a formaldehyde-filled jar containing the tonsils (and adenoids), and everyone was happy.



Cutting remarks III 

Dear Smiley: My help solving the state budget crisis!

I am not an accountant, but understand from news stories there is an approximately $1 billion shortfall in the $26 billion state budget.

My solution: First, make a list of every agency that receives state money. Secondly, tell the head of each agency that the crisis is so bad the state may have to reduce their budget by 20 percent or more.

After listening to their pleadings, respond by telling them, “It’s true, your department is extremely important; therefore it will be cut only 5 percent."

They will be thrilled and relieved! Do this to every agency, and you have a $1 billion plus savings, and now the state is in the black without raising taxes or severely crippling any area of state service.

Some will say that the law precludes cutting funds from some state agencies, but to them I say that is because of previous laws passed. So pass new laws. Problem solved!



Moss loss

Dear Smiley: Growing up in Donaldsonville (the third oldest city in Louisiana) in the '50s and '60s, I recall being told that by 1908 there was no Spanish moss remaining 'within the city limits' because it was all picked by the moss pickers!

Curious, I always looked for it, whether riding in a car or on my bike or walking, and could never find any!

Since Ralph Sims is no longer with us, I wonder if anyone else can corroborate my account?


St. Gabriel

Big word blues

Dear Smiley: Several weeks ago, I sent you an email applauding you for your effort to increase your readership's vocabulary by using a 50-cent word in your column, to make your readers use the internet or their dictionary to find out what the word meant, thus expanding their vocabulary.

Well, George Will put your effort to shame in his commentary in The Advocate on Dec. 18. After I read it, I had this excruciating headache and was exhausted because of the amount of time that I spent looking up so many of the words like factoids, fastidious, pliant, predations, dissembling, remunerative, recidivist, theocratic and ignominy.

Either I am hanging around with the wrong crowd, or Lutcher High School did a poor job of rounding out my vocabulary.



Louisiana Haiku

Bald eagles nesting

Rare sight always brings a thrill

Glad to have them here



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.