After Paul Major asked a weather question on Friday about the difference between a drizzle and a sprinkle, I received some thoughtful and marginally helpful replies.

I also received a really bad joke from Steve Koehler, of Metairie, about Depends, but never mind that …

Janis Schear, of Zachary, says, "The answer to his question about sprinkle vs. drizzle is something the English in Cornwall call mizzle."

Mike Eldred, of Tylertown, Mississippi, had a good answer: "In response to Paul Major, a drizzle occurs when it is gloomy, and dark, foreboding thoughts drift by. A sprinkle occurs when it is much brighter and cheerful, and you meet the day with corresponding thoughts."

Frederick Kroenke asked, after the rain question was posed, "Why didn't you answer this?"

I explained that my contract specifies I personally deal only in questions, not answers …

What's that stick?

Bob Rivard, of New Orleans, continues our discussion of breaking into cars:

"To prevent anyone from driving off with our cars, we purchased them with fail-safe anti-theft devices: manual transmissions."

Right. The only time my car was ever stolen, it was found a few miles away, with a stripped stick shift.

Coffee chronicles

Nancy C. Van Den Akker says, "When my parents married just after World War II, travel was difficult, so the first time my mother met her in-laws in Chicago was on her honeymoon.

"When her mother-in-law served them, Mama asked for lemon, and Grandma said, 'You take lemon in your coffee?' The liquid was so thin, she assumed it was tea.

"Grandma was Dutch, and years later when I visited Holland I ordered coffee in a restaurant with my meal. It came with a doily and a cookie. When I asked for a refill, the waiter got very flustered. More than one cup was apparently unheard of!"

Well, they're filling …

Audrey F. Schilling, of Baton Rouge, says our beans stories reminded her of this:

"A friend told me her dad made their family dressed red bean sandwiches. They were so tasty she still makes them.

"And I recall way back in the day when my husband and I spent the day in New Orleans and tried dressed fried potato po-boys. They were great, and very easy on the tight budget."   

Electrifying response

Our tales of clueless clerks reminded John Murphy, of Baton Rouge, of this event:

"My string trimmer was misbehaving. So at the parts counter at the local lawn and garden center, I asked the young man for a carburetor rebuild kit for a GTI19 string trimmer.

"He typed something into the computer and asked, 'Is it gas or electric?'

"I replied, 'I want a carburetor rebuild kit for a GTI19.'

"The young man replied, 'I heard what you said, but that model number comes in both gas and electric!'

"At that point a middle-aged lady behind the counter said, 'Rex, go stock the shelves. I’ll handle this customer.'"

Special People Dept.

  • Dora Summerell, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 95th birthday Saturday, April 3. She is a retired CPA.
  • Josephine "Jo" Zito, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 93rd birthday Sunday, April 4. She is a retired state employee with 36 years service.

Togas and mung

Winding up our series on the soon to be gone Kirby Smith Hall at LSU, we heard from "Boogie," who lived in that dorm from 1988 to 1993, making "a ton of friends I now consider to be family."

He recalls "Our weekly volleyball Thursdays that involved a keg of beer and never a net or ball," and toga parties:

"The easiest way to clean up after a party would be to flood the hallways and push everything down the stairs. Add a little soap and you had people in wet togas sliding down the halls …"

And David "Theo" Theophilus' favorite stories are about "the female student calling the front desk to complain about the AC not working (this was before Kirby was 'officially' coed), and the substance that gathered on the floor after each party. We called it mung, and I am sure it would defy chemical analysis."

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.