If you've done any driving around New Orleans, you know it's almost impossible to give directions without mentioning "the river" or "the lake," since you're likely to reach one or the other if you drive long enough.

Aubry Brice, of Harahan, tells of his experiences with New Orleans' unique geography:

"I have been getting some good laughs while watching the local weather broadcasts here in New Orleans. They consistently confuse 'north of the lake' with the 'north shore.' They do the same with the 'south shore' and 'south of the lake.'

"A few days back the weather person says, '… and on the north shore we had a low of 45 degrees in McComb and also in Poplarville.'

"So if McComb and Poplarville (in Mississippi) are on the north shore, then where does the north shore stop? Portland, Maine? Canada?

"I also got a good laugh when another weather person said, 'the warmest temperature on the south shore was in Grand Isle.'

"I told my wife about this and she says, 'Grand Isle is on the north shore.'

"I looked at her in dismay, and she laughed and said, 'It would be more accurate to say Grand Isle is on the north shore of the Gulf rather than the south shore of the lake!'"

English is cheaper

Sid Marchand, of Donaldsonville, agrees with our contributor Tony Falterman that "translating French to English in court in Napoleonville was a recurring problem."

He says, "In the mid-1980s, I was trying a case against an older man from Pierre Part. When the old man, who was reputedly honest and straightforward, was called to testify, his son quickly pointed out that Papa could neither speak nor understand English.

"He said that he, the son (who was not so straightforward and who could also spin a better defense than Papa), would translate for him.

"Judge John Peytavin said that would be improper and told the bailiff to call some French speaker to come to the courthouse to serve as the impartial court-appointed interpreter.

"The son asked how that worked, and the judge explained that his father would be charged $35 per hour for this service.

"The son responded, '$35 per hour? Judge, I believe Papa can speak and hear well enough to get by!'

"The old man testified, and spoke and understood English better than most of us in the courtroom."

Know thy crawfish 

Here's an "only in Louisiana" venture:

Candy Domengeaux, of Lafayette, self-proclaimed "Crawfish Ambassador," has created "Candy's Crawfish Tales," a Facebook group designed to locate the best boiled crawfish restaurants in Acadiana. (I found it by simply Googling the name.)

Members can "use the group as a platform for sharing their personal crawfish experiences at local crawfish-boiling restaurants …"

A "boiled crawfish restaurant and drive-thru directory," created with the help of Lafayette Travel website, is updated weekly. And on Fridays, there's a pricing alert.

Candy adds, "No crawfish/restaurant-shaming here. And remember, size doesn’t always matter."

He's just golden

A story for our canine collection from Paula King, of Gretna:

"Our golden retriever, Henry the Ate, went on his first (and last) duck hunt.

"After the ducks were down, my husband expected Henry to get them.

"There was no move from Henry. He was fast asleep with spent shells around his head.

"So much for the 'retriever' part."

The big stink

Speaking of dogs, Mary Pramuk, of Baton Rouge, says, "My uncle became addicted to Limburger cheese when he had too much to drink at a party, lost his sense of smell, and ate a lot of it.

"One day I was sitting on the porch with my uncle while he was eating the cheese. He offered his dog, Pete, a bite on the tip of a knife. The dog scowled, if dogs can scowl, by twisting his nose to the side of his face, but stuck out his tongue on the other side of his mouth to reluctantly accept the bite.

"It’s a fact that dogs have remarkable olfactory parts, and it seems Pete agreed with his master on Limburger: stinky — but edible."

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.