Donna Wakeman, of New Orleans, tells this GPS story:

"On vacation in France in 2015, I rented a car at the Charles de Gaulle airport. I also rented a GPS unit and asked that it be programmed in English.

"It took me several days to be able to correctly translate the 'Franglish' spoken by the GPS person, who would tell me to 'tourn leff a cinq milles' or 'tour rig a trois milles.'

"Thank heavens for the visual map also provided with the unit."

More on Micronesia…

Ronnie Stutes, of Baton Rouge, offers an explanation for a puzzling column item:

"Understanding the item in Monday's column about a GPS unit directing the driver to 'turn right on Federated States of Micronesia 1960' requires a little background.

"In Texas, 'FM' is the designator for a farm-to-market road, although FM 1960 north of Houston long ago ceased to be used mostly for farm-to-market traffic.

"'FM' is also the United States Postal Service abbreviation for 'Federated States of Micronesia.'

"Just a guess, but perhaps the GPS unit was programmed with the USPS abbreviations so they could be used for state highways."

(Who says this column's not educational?)

It's who you know

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, says, "Your story about pulling strings to get help reminded me of our string- pulling episode after a heavy rainstorm tore down an electric wire which lay live across the road for days while a school bus ran over it.

"Of course we had no electricity. Husband Pete was recovering from a hip operation with daughters and myself in charge. None of us ladies had a clue about generators.

"Friend Mike, who was on a different electric service, was outraged that ours had done nothing for days.

"He called his uncle in Mississippi, who happened to be a good friend of Gov. Haley Barbour.

"Next thing we know, our electric company is out there with trucks, cherry picker and four men.

"Our daughter went out to take pictures, and heard one of the workmen say, 'This guy must have juice. We got a call for this from Bobby Jindal’s office!'”

Busy work

Susette T. Oubre, of Gonzales, contributes this tale to our seminar on retirement:

"A few years ago, when my brother Thomas was still working, he was having dinner with our cousin-in-law Mike, who was already retired.

"My brother asked Mike, 'What do you do to keep busy?'

"Mike's response was, 'I don't know, but it takes me all day to do it.'"

Special People Dept.

  • Jewell Davis, of Denham Springs, celebrates his 95th birthday on Thursday, Sept. 14. He is a veteran of World War II, serving in the South Pacific and called back to duty for the Korean conflict.
  • Jack Hartley, of Harahan, celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday, Sept. 10. He served in World War II with the Merchant Marines and in Korea with the Army.

Agriculture 101

Gene Duke, of Baton Rouge, says, "I sold LSU football tickets to two young corn farmers from south Louisiana.

"It was their first game at Tiger Stadium.

"I, and all nearby fans, overheard one brother ask the other, 'Why is every other five-yard patch of grass greener than the other?'

"After a sip of bourbon his brother loudly said, 'You dummy, they only fertilize every other row!'"

Sorry, Lambchop

In the Tuesday column, I ran a note from a husband saying he deserved recognition for surviving 25 years with his wife, Beth.

I should have known better, and realized that this could have serious consequences for all husbands with wives of that name.

For instance, this plea from a concerned spouse:

"My wife's name is Beth. You can imagine her reaction to your column about the anniversary comment from an anonymous reader.

"Please print that the Beth referred to in that column is not Lambchop's wife. Much appreciated!"

Grammar humor

Steve Guidry, of Brusly, adds to our collection of jokes that crack up English teachers:

"A guy slides on the stool next to an attractive lady. He says, 'Over, under, around, through, in, out.'

"The indignant lady responds with, 'Sir, are you trying to preposition me?'"

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.