Dear Smiley: I was trying to teach my great-granddaughter, Ayla, about how her brain works. I took a dry sponge and put it in some water in a bowl.

I explained the brain is like a sponge; everything she sees, hears, smells, tastes, etc., is in her brain, and she has to learn how to recall it.

As she pulled the sponge out of the bowl, water poured into the sink. She almost cried, and asked if that's what happens to her brain.

I told her no, the brain never gets full.

Although at my age I can't remember a lot. I am beginning to believe it does leak.



(Nearly) Fats' piano

Dear Smiley: In the early ’60s, several men appeared at our house with a very big, very old piano.

They stated that my then husband, Bob Brogan, had bought it from George B., owner of the bar on the corner, the Gold Place.

I asked Bob why George had that piano, and he said Fats Domino was scheduled to play there, but had canceled.

I still don't know why Bob thought we needed an old, out of tune piano, but the kids did enjoy banging on it!


St. Gabriel

Dear Syble: Having the piano Fats almost played is like having the guitar B.B. King would have played if he didn't have Lucille, or the trumpet Wynton Marsalis considered playing before choosing another one.

Don't shoot Daddy!

Dear Smiley: Reading your article about the motorcycle law and the cabbage (V.J. Bella using a cabbage as a human head to promote helmets) reminded me of my daddy.

When I was about 8 years old he took me and my sisters to the gun range to teach us how to shoot.

The first thing he did was throw a head of lettuce up in the air and shot it. Of course, it exploded.

He turned to us and said, "Now girls, that’s what happens if you shoot me in the head."

It sure made an impression on me!



Really, Grandma!

Dear Smiley: Granddaughter Zelda, almost 6, and I were taking an evening stroll when she caught a baby toad.

She proceeded to tell me all the critters she’d caught and held in her hands, including a frog, a skink, a lizard, a spider, a butterfly and a "walking stick" insect.

“I held a bee once,” I said. (True story — a boy in my second grade class convinced me that bumblebees with white heads didn’t sting. He lied.)

She rolled her eyes and said, “I know. You told me that story when I was 3.”


Baton Rouge

Try mouth-to-mouth

Dear Smiley: Many of our friends would ask us why our family had so many animals. My husband loved every animal he saw, and it was passed down to the kids.

When the kids constantly nagged us about getting them an alligator, we traveled to the snake farm on Airline Highway and purchased two baby alligators.

After two weeks of having them in a No. 10 tub in my den, hanging from my kids' ears or on top of their head, I decided to put them outside on the patio. I didn't know the temperature would dip to 25 during the night. … They froze.

The kids and my husband called me a murderer, and said I had never liked the alligators. My husband said to call the vet while he tried to defrost them under hot water.

When that didn't work, he put a straw down their throat and blew air into them while I talked to the vet. When I told the vet my husband was giving them CPR, I waited until he stopped laughing, then asked him, "What do we do now?"

He said, "Bury them!"



Preexisting condition

Dear Smiley: I'm pleased to report that the pandemic can't drive you crazy if that was your condition before it began.


Baton Rouge

Brave Alabaman

Dear Smiley: Faye and I came across this Alabama license plate while traveling through Mobile on the way back from Destin: "LUVLSU."

Pretty funny.


Baton Rouge  

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.