Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, "The monkey stories remind me of one about a neighboring town.

"When the Texas & Pacific Railroad picked a site for a terminal in southern Avoyelles Parish, the landowner had a precocious little girl.

"It seems she had recently seen her first live monkey, but had trouble pronouncing the name. So the railroad folks decided to name the new terminal after her attempts to say the word 'monkey.'

"Thus, the town of Bunkie came into existence in 1890."

(Its population in 1890 was 299; it's around 4,000 today.) 

Johnny and Clyde

Since it seems every other reader has a monkey story, I'm winding them down to make room for other animals (heard any good alligator stories lately?). Here are a few more:

  • Willie Johnson, of Ponchatoula, says when he was a high school student in Hammond he spent the night at the family farmhouse of his friend Donald Roberts.

That morning, over breakfast, he looked out the window to see a spider monkey hanging from the roof by his legs and peering in. He was Johnny, Donald's pet.

Says Willie, "When my friend joined the Navy, Johnny literally grieved himself to death, refusing to eat anything not provided by his best friend, Donald."

  • Joe Hynes, of Baton Rouge, was a private at a field hospital in Vietnam in 1970 when he wound up keeping a rhesus monkey, Clyde, for a wounded friend. 

Says Joe, "The first sergeant had six perfectly tended young banana trees that he loved. They were just the right size for a spunky monkey to swing on to his heart's content." 

While Joe managed to save Clyde from the sergeant's wrath over his destroyed trees, they had to keep their distance from him from then on.

  • Gertrude Beauford says, "In Krakow, Poland, while touring the Old Town Square, I saw an organ grinder dressed in medieval attire playing music with a monkey.

"The monkey put out his hand to shake my hand. The organ grinder said, 'Nein, he wants a tip!'"

Sequel fatigue

Linda Dalferes tells of a precocious youngster who's figured out how Hollywood works:

"When my youngest grandson was 12, his mom asked if he wanted to go to see a 'Jurassic Park' movie.

"He replied, 'Are you kidding? There’s no reason at all to see that: it’s always the same plot. Some idiot thinks it’s a good idea to bring dinosaurs back to life, which they do even though they’re warned not to, and then next thing you know some T-rex goes around eating people.

"'It’s the same story over and over, and they never learn.'”

Special People Dept.

Pat and Lee Moreau, of Baton Rouge, celebrated their 60th anniversary Thursday, July 9.

Drinking problem

Dudley Lehew, of Marrero, evidently in a silly mood, posted this:

"I suggest Dixie Beer be renamed 'Bourbon Beer.' Everybody associates Bourbon Street with New Orleans."

But Dudley admits the new name might cause problems:

"Customer: 'I'll have a beer, please.'

"Bartender: 'What brand?'

"'Bourbon.'

"'You want a bourbon instead of a beer?'

"'No, bro! I want a beer!'

"'Okaay; what brand?'

"'Bourbon.'

"'You want bourbon and beer mixed together?'

"'NO, BRO! I just want a BEER!'

'Let's start all over; what brand?'

"'BOURBON!'

"I bet your readers are now imagining all kinds of ensuing scenarios, many of them envisioning a bloody nose!"

Life imitates comics

Earl Newman says, "Based on a 'Pearls Before Swine' comic strip in The Advocate, Mrs. Benson should consider re-naming Dixie Beer, calling it 'Responsibly,' so when other brands advertise, they have to tell people to ‘Drink responsibly.' Saves a fortune on marketing."

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer, of Baton Rouge: "No matter how big and bad you are, when a 2-year-old hands you a toy phone, you answer it!"

Groaner of the Week

Mike Staid says, "Your stories about bars reminded me of this one:

"Three guys walked into a bar. You'd think one of them would have seen it."


Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.