On afternoons when I give up on Baton Rouge's interstate and take busy Perkins Road home, I always notice the sign at Zippy's, an informal Mexican restaurant.

For years I've observed that the holiday season in the Capital City starts when Zippy's sign announces that its eggnog daiquiri is available. (Not that I would ever drink one, but it's nice to know that they're there…)

Lately the sign has been taking shots at some other SEC institutions that compete with the LSU Tigers.

For instance, after Texas A&M's football coach, Kevin Sumlin, was let go following the  most recent loss to LSU, the sign read: "Yeah, Coach Sumlin, Zippy's is hiring."

And after Alabama's Crimson Tide went out and lost to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, this message was presented: "A loss for Bama is a win for America."

"I'm walking here!"

I was reminded of this Dustin Hoffman line in "Midnight Cowboy" (when he encountered a New York cab as he crossed the street) by David Groft's comment:

"I wrote a couple of years ago about eating 'cush cush,' and started a controversy over exactly what cush cush is.

"This was after I had lived away from Louisiana for many years. Well, after being back for a few years, I now have a definition of something that I don't think anyone will argue with: a Baton Rouge crosswalk.

"Baton Rouge crosswalk: Any place anyone feels like crossing — pushing, pulling, herding, leading, carrying anything he/she/they feel like, regardless of weather, time, day, night and certainly not traffic!

"Now, any arguments?"

Flight pattern

Alex "Sonny" Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, "One my fondest memories of teaching a nature lesson was when I pointed out a flock of geese flying in a 'V' formation to my eldest daughter, Meghann.

"I told her how the V was to create an aerodynamic advantage, and about how the birds took turns leading the V and being the wind breaker.

"It probably went a bit over her head, because another flock came flying along a little while later, and they were in an irregular formation.

"Meghann said, 'Daddy, look. Those are a check mark.'

"Gotta love the simplicity of kids."

It looks miserable 

Helen Rankin says, "Smiley, a couple of years ago I asked for your help in finding someone to clean Little Misery Cemetery on Baton Rouge's Old Hammond Highway, across from the BREC park.

"Someone graciously did clean it, and it looked wonderful. Now that fall is here and the greenery is dying, could you see if someone could clean it again?

"I would do it, but I am a senior citizen and can’t do that kind of work any longer.

"This is the most neglected cemetery in our city. Thank you for any assistance you can give."

Special People Dept.

Lamar and Carolyn Bates, of Kentwood, celebrated their 56th anniversary Sunday, Nov. 26.

Grand names

Thanks to everyone who shared their grandparent names with us. I have more than I can ever use, but here are a few I liked:

  • Ann Purnell Collom, of Kenner, says her five grandchildren chose different names to call her: two for Gammy, one for Gibby, one for Bippy and one for Mimi. "So when I'm with all five grands," Ann says, "I have to remember who I am."
  • Bambi Weinstein says her parents wanted to be Granny and Gramps when their first grandchild was born. But when Bambi's daughter began talking, she renamed them Namps and Nanee, which stuck.
  • Carol Moore, of Baton Rouge, says when her late husband Don was teaching Shakespeare at LSU, the conversation turned to what Shakespeare's grandchildren might have called him. Don had no answer for that, but when one student asked him what he'd like his own grandchildren to call him, Don said, "'Your Grace' would be nice." First grandson Paul couldn't manage that when he started talking, so Don suggested "Y.G.," which came out "YGee."
  • Along those same lines, Art (The Metairie Magician) submits one of my favorite grandfather nicknames so far: "My grandkids call me GrandDude."

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. 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.