Dear Smiley: The recent article about an incident involving a camel at a truck stop in Grosse Tete reminded me of a camel fight I saw in Izmir, Turkey, when I was in the Navy.
It took place on the field of a big stadium jammed with spectators.
First they led a female camel across the field, then they brought out two male camels, which went right at each other. They were muzzled so they couldn't bite; each one tried to trip and knock down the other and sit on him.
Two Turks on the sideline played a big drum and a clarinet; we were told that without that music, the camels would not fight.
As they fought, long strings of saliva came out of their mouths and flew in the wind.
I don't know who won, but it was one of the most interesting athletic contests I have ever seen.
Dear P.J.: "Saliva String" is a good name for a punk rock band.
For the defense
Dear Smiley: In regards to Martin Audiffred's anti-leaf blower story Wednesday — don't get me started on leaf blowers. I have worn out two previous ones.
I have a double driveway from the street to the back of my property. My neighbors' trees keep it pretty trashy, so yes, I blow it off pretty often.
I like a clean driveway, plus I have a deck outside my kitchen and I like it clean too. It's hard to rake a driveway and deck.
I love my leaf blower. It took a lot of shopping to find one light enough for me and not so noisy. I had a lady friend who was still using her leaf blower in her late 80s.
Dear Alma: You've just wrecked Lady Katherine's theory that leaf blowers are a guy thing.
Song of himself
Dear Smiley: About recent comments in your column on favorite country singers and songs: I confess to singing my favorite (by the great Mac Davis) whenever washing up in front of a bathroom mirror:
"Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way."
This is particularly moving in my iconic key of J (for Jim), with individual notes falling somewhere in between the keys of a piano.
You should start a discussion on other great country song lyrics/titles, particularly from self-proclaimed bathroom, karaoke, or YouTube stars.
The write stuff
Dear Smiley: In reference to Friday’s letter about the very large slick mailers we are currently receiving in the mail, I work in campaigns frequently and am currently working in one in north Louisiana.
I told my candidate not to waste his money on those huge slick mailers. I throw mine in the trash.
One did get my attention: a regular size post card, hand addressed, with a hand written note asking for my support and vote.
I’ll not mention the name for the sake of privacy, but I’ll bet that card cost way less than those fancy slick large ones and received more attention.
Just my piece of advice to candidates — use your donors' money on something more effective.
MARY ANN RIDDLE
Dear Smiley: I have an idea regarding political mail. Use the prepaid envelopes from other junk mail to send the flyers around the country.
If you want to have even more fun with it and spend a little money, mail them to their opponents.
Dear Smiley: Reading "First you make a roux" in your column reminded me of what PaPa used to say when he began making a gumbo:
"First, you pour a jigger of whiskey into the cook!"
Dear Smiley: I would never miss a chance to save a life, so I'm not going to mention names.
A customer was at the shop; I checked his car and diagnosed the problem.
He asked how long the repairs would take; I told him about 45 minutes.
He asked, "Are you sure? My wife has a 10 o'clock beauty appointment — and, Lord knows, she can't afford to miss it!"