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Here's a story that made me guffaw loudly:

Dees Veca, of Kenner, says, "Years ago we took our three sons to a popular seafood restaurant overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. The restaurant was crowded, but we were able to secure a table.

"While we were enjoying our meal, the man at the next table began to sneeze. Within a short time his sneezing became uncontrollable.

"Other diners were staring, and some were on the verge of laughter.

"Then we noticed our 7-year-old son had his back to us and was shaking pepper into his hand and blowing it in the air to the table where this unfortunate man was seated.

"I can't recall ever exiting a restaurant as quickly as we did that night."

No choice

"Years ago, my wife and I were fortunate to be able to tour France," says John Taylor. "Throughout our visit, I attempted to practice my high school and college French, but was unsuccessful.

"As soon as I began in my broken French, they evidently felt compassion for me and switched to English!

"I was getting frustrated when we visited a village perched high on a mountainside. We were shopping for a little oil painting to remind us of the south of France. In one shop, the conversation was all in French between the shop keeper and me.

"As we were leaving with our painting, my wife said, 'Your French must be getting better, since the shopkeeper didn't switch to French!'

"I laughed, and confessed that she had told me she had just bought the shop and didn't know any English at all. So much for my ego!"

Cars to love

From the reactions of our readers, it appears sports cars inspire a devotion that time cannot erase:

Karen Poirrier, of Lutcher, says, "When attending LSU in 1970-72, I parked in the Kirby Smith parking lot. Walking to and from class, I admired the beautiful pale blue with silver undertone Jaguar XKE parked in front of the dorm. I fell in love at first sight, and am still in love with its sleek design."

In my case, it was a black and silver Austin-Healey 3000 with red leather seats, the big brother of my Austin-Healey Sprite. I saw it at RS&S Sports Cars in Baton Rouge in the ’60s, on sale for $2,500 (at that time a hefty portion of my salary). I have few regrets in my long life, but not being able to buy that car is a major one.

Soso cheer

Rhett Bunch, of Baton Rouge, adds to our collection of memorable cheers:

"When I was a chemical salesman in the ’80s, I called on a refinery manager who was from Soso, Mississippi, just northwest of Laurel. He told me in high school football games they would shout:

"'If you are from Soso — say so!'"

Special People Dept.

  • Leonard Rachal, longtime resident of Mansura now living in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 98th birthday Wednesday, August 25.
  • Marguerite Baribault, of Bellevue, Washington, formerly of Metairie, celebrates her 93rd birthday Wednesday, August 25.
  • Jim and Mary Ashford, of Prairieville, celebrate their 65th anniversary Wednesday, August 25.
  • Paul and Maureen Frey celebrate their 50th anniversary Wednesday, August 25. They were high school sweethearts at Notre Dame High School, Crowley.

Sweet talk

Bill Jacobson, of Baton Rouge, says, "I read in Monday's 'Ask the Doctors' that honey was used by the ancient Egyptians to heal wounds and also to embalm the dead."

Bill says at 94 he's willing to give it a try. Here's what he figures:

"If the honey feels sticky, it's healing. If it doesn't feel at all, it must be embalming."

Earl Newman adds, "I would issue a warning to those people who are susceptible to bear attacks or ant invasions to be very careful and completely remove the honey before venturing into the woods."

Doing hard time

Algie Petrere, of Central, makes this public service announcement:

"A cement mixer and a prison bus crashed on Interstate 10. Police advise citizens to look out for a group of hardened criminals."

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.