After a reader who loves holiday fruitcakes mentioned the sport of fruitcake tossing (in a disparaging manner, of course), I had to admit this activity was new to me.

So I consulted my researcher, Mr. Google, and learned it is indeed a thing, with several such events in January around the country.

One of the most prominent happens Saturday, Jan. 23, in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The Great Fruitcake Toss, scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the city's Memorial Park, celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Its motto is "Let your fruitcake fly." Events include "feats of strength, talent, balance, and taste." (Yes, there's even a fruitcake baking contest.)

Fruitcake costumes (!) will be judged, and homemade catapults will be featured to enhance the tossing.

After the toss, the fruitcakes "go to a special friend of ours. We take all of the leftovers to Sun Mountain so they can be fed to their pig, Jezebel."

A corny notice

"I am enjoying your series on ridiculously funny instructions on new appliances, and would like to add one of my own," says Lucy Sloan.

"Several years ago, I had a new dishwasher installed in my kitchen. The instruction manual said to remove any large particles of food — especially corncobs — before running it.

"My question is, had I not read the manual, how on earth could I get those corncobs to stay on the plates while putting them in the dishwasher? I am still trying to figure that out."

Speaking of corn

An article in the Wednesday Advocate told of Mardi Gras themed food items, including many with king cake flavor: macarons, beignets, cupcakes, coffee, ice cream, etc.

Keith Horcasitas, of Baton Rouge, discovered another king cake flavored treat at the Poor Folks vegetable stand in Port Allen: "Cajun Pop" king cake flavored popcorn.

He dropped off a bag, and it's not bad: basically caramel popcorn with added cinnamon and stripes of purple sugar.

Light humor

Our series on traffic lights drew this recollection from Ed Clancy, of New Orleans:

"While my favorite Tonight Show host was always Jack Paar, I did get to sit in Johnny Carson's chair one time. (The stuffing was coming out of the seat).

"But this gives me a chance to tell you about my favorite Carson monologue joke.

"Question: 'What is the shortest scientifically measured period of time?'

"Answer: 'The time between when the light turns green and the guy behind you blows his horn.'"

Thanks, Ed. But I'd really like to hear more about your visit to Carson's set, and how you got to sit in his chair…

Don't forget Archie

Bill Huey comments on the idea of naming the former Lee Circle in New Orleans for the current Saints quarterback:

"Drew Brees Circle? Absolutely terrible idea, says this lifelong Packers fan (since Jim Taylor played).

"If they go forward with this dog, they should name it the DrewArchie Circle, with Brees facing west (Austin) and Manning facing east (Drew, Mississippi)."

Special People Dept.

  • Rita Bretz, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 97th birthday Saturday, Jan. 23.
  • Olivia Foster, a longtime Gonzales resident currently living at Garden View Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrates her 90th birthday Sunday, Jan. 24.
  • Michael and Barbara Favre, of Marrero, celebrate their 60th anniversary Friday, Jan. 22. They were West Jefferson High School sweethearts.

A well-bread student

Joan Felder, of LaPlace, tells this story about great-granddaughter Emmie, 8:

"I was getting ready to take my two great-grands to Walmart, their favorite toy store.

"As we walked to the car I saw the brilliant moon. I said, 'Look, how pretty; it's a crescent moon!'

"Emmie said: 'Joanie, that's not crescent moon, it's called a croissant moon.'

"I told her it was not a croissant but a crescent moon; a croissant is bread.

"She insisted that's what she learned at school…"

Is it possible, Joan, that she's in culinary school?

And now I can't get my mind off a warm croissant with butter and orange marmalade…

Divine pets

Marvin Borgmeyer, of Baton Rouge, says, "In ancient times, cats were worshipped like gods. They have not forgotten this!"

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.