Earl Newman says, "Over the years I’ve disputed friends from Northern states claiming Louisiana is backwoods. 

"However, my ability to muster a strong defense was challenged by a Monday headline in The Advocate: 'Alligator blood may lead to snake bite treatment.'

"The only argument I have now is, 'If you’re here and get bitten by a snake, you’ll be glad they’ve developed this treatment!'"

Name that cat

  • "I enjoyed reading about strange pet names," says Delia Taylor.

"My husband and I acquired a cat not long after we were married; it showed up on our doorstep.

"The yellow tabby kitten was rather nondescript, not lending us any creativity for choosing a name.

"But that night, we watched an episode of M.A.S.H., and both were tickled when Frank called Radar 'Grunthead.'

"Thus, the name was given."

  • Mizie Licciardi, of Metairie, says, "My mother's good friend, a real character, had two cats. She named the first one 'Damn Cat' and the next one 'Poor Dear Friend.' Hilarious!"

Worth a detour

My mention of Abear's Cajun cafe in Houma brought this recollection from Doc Rody:

"My late mother lived in Lafayette. When we came from New Orleans for a visit, she would ask if we were coming through Houma.

"It was out of our way, but we would go that route in hopes that Abear's had their signature coconut cream pie that day.

"My Mom loved that pie, and we drove more out-of-the-way miles to bring her that treat and see her smile. She passed in 2016, and it’s been a while since we have visited that cafe. I think we need to take a ride!"

Which reminds me

Evidently detouring for pie is a common practice.

When visiting my brother Louis and sister-in-law Jane in Oakdale, we always go back to Baton Rouge by way of Lecompte, so we can stop by Lea's Lunchroom for a pie (or two).

Then, instead of getting on Interstate 49 to Opelousas, we go down U.S. 71, through Cheneyville, Bunkie, and Lebeau for a glimpse of small-town Louisiana before picking up U.S. 190 at Krotz Springs, our boudin and cracklings stop.

Why am I suddenly hungry?

Speaking of pies

Jeannette Beck says, "On Saturday J.B. Castagnos, of Donaldsonville, wrote about a 'kitchen snake' his wife found in their home.

"After my husband John killed it, he and J.B. were looking at the snake.

"John said it didn’t look like a snake to him; it looked like a meat pie. J.B.’s wife Gayle makes the best meat pies!"

(Just hope Earl Newman's Nawthun friends don't see this one…)   

Special People Dept.

  • Rita Serio, of Greenwell Springs, celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday, August 27. She is a former resident of Morganza.
  • Jeannette Larrieu Thimmesch, of Woodville, Mississippi, celebrates her 95th birthday Thursday, August 27.
  • Lionel and Carolyn Keller, of Lake, celebrate 65 years of marriage Thursday, August 27.
  • Jeannie and Bob Martin, of Covington, celebrate 60 years of marriage Thursday, August 27. Both are New Orleans natives, and lived in Waveland, Mississippi, before losing their home to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
  • Linda and James Weatherford, of Denham Springs, celebrated their 54th anniversary August 19.   

Who's at bat?

Glen Naquin, of "Baton Rouge by way of Baker," says, "After seeing all the stories about mispronounced last names, I thought of mine.

"It seems if you get much north of Alexandria, my last name is going to get butchered.

"With my children growing up playing baseball or softball, at tournaments we’d hear, 'Now batting, Nay-Quin,' or 'Nah-Quin.'

"But I did learn a very important lesson. With hotel or especially dinner reservations, you can call me whatever you want; I’ll never correct you. After all, I just want a place to sleep or eat."

Acme's real!

"If you want a really scenic drive to nowhere," says Z David Deloach, of St. Francisville, "find Acme, in Concordia Parish.

"It's where Wile E. Coyote got his devices for catching the Road Runner — Acme anvil, Acme roller skates, Acme rockets, etc.

"And stop and take a selfie at the Acme Post Office."

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.