You may recall that Brent St. Blanc, in the Oct. 15 column, told of reading interesting police reports in the Kalispell, Montana, newspaper during a stop there.

Mary Nell Barringer, of Baton Rouge, had the same experience:

"Evidently, the Kalispell community has a severe crime problem. Here's what was going on when I was there in July."

The "Law Roundup" in the local paper reports:

"Someone told the Kalispell Police Department he found a ferret wearing a collar outside Kalispell Center Mall and waited with it until law enforcement arrived."

"Police received a complaint about a man apparently banging on a mailbox and screaming loudly at no one in particular."

"A maroon Ford Explorer was seen suspiciously driving up and down Airport Road."

"Someone reported a suspicious-looking lawnmower."

Housekeeping 101

Linda Shaffer, of Baton Rouge, says, "You might be a redneck lady if you use a leaf blower to clean house!"

She explains, "The wind is always blowing leaves into my front foyer when I open the door. Same thing happens at my back door, and also, newly cut grass gets tracked in.

"So I have been using a battery charged leaf blower for several years now. It's very fast and efficient."

Nice People Dept.

John Cunningham says, "I want to thank the half dozen or so noble citizens for lifting me off the floor at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans' City Park Friday evening. Embarrassed, not injured, but grateful for the assist."

By the way, John, you're fortunate this happened at a coffeehouse rather than some other New Orleans establishment, where more explanation would have been called for … .  

Silent treatment

Walter B. Merrill, of Plano, Texas, adds to our list of methods for dealing with unwanted telephone calls:

"My new tactic to torment telemarketers is to answer the phone and say nothing! Think it drives them bananas!"

Close encounter

Nobey Benoit adds to our seminar on armadillos:

"I once read that armadillos had very poor eyesight and, if startled by a car, would pounce straight up against the undercarriage, often doing damage.

"I experienced that poor eyesight firsthand once while walking through knee-high weeds. I stumbled upon an armadillo and he did pounce straight up.

"Coming eyeball to eyeball with an armadillo is something I will never forget. Judging by the speed at which he scuttled away, he was as frightened as I was."

Special People Dept.

Estelle Smiley, of Pride, celebrates her 96th birthday Wednesday.

Little runaways

Mark W. "Cuz" Verbois says when he was 4 and his brother Keith was 3, "We had a bad day; got in too much trouble and thought our parents were being too mean to us.

"I convinced Keith to run away with me to my grandparents' house on Kenwood Avenue in Baton Rouge. We lived on Chalice in Red Oaks subdivision.

"I told him I knew the way and we would be fine. We walked for what seemed like hours; then one of our neighbors picked us up on Airline Highway after recognizing us.

"He drove us home. My mom came out, and he said, 'I think these two belong to you?'

"Good thing my dad, Marvin Verbois Jr., was at work! But it all ended well … ."

Bruce Hirstius, of the Storyville Jazz Band ("In our 33rd year playing for the Saints!") tells of his youthful attempt to run away from home: 

"I was 5 or 6, and after a conflict with my dad, I yelled I was going to run away.

"As I was heading out of the alley, my dad calls out a second floor window, 'Hey, wait; you forgot your suitcase!'

"I laughed so hard it ended the episode!"

Unhappy Hump Day

After a couple of stories from readers about riding camels, we got this "Bah! Humbug!" reaction from an anonymous critic:

"I'd walk a mile NOT to have to ride a camel … ."

(You see, children, this refers to an advertising slogan for a brand of cigarettes called Camels: "I'd walk a mile for a Camel." Cigarettes were once a popular method of getting smoke to your lungs.) 

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.