I always enjoy hearing stories about "childspeak," the unique way kids express themselves. Sometimes their expressions are somewhat poetic.

Gail Stephenson, of Baton Rouge, has an especially keen ear for childspeak. Here's her latest example:

"While vacationing in Colorado, son Scott and family encountered a hailstorm. The ice pounding on the car didn't bother granddaughter Zelda, almost 5, one bit.

"She stuck a Frisbee out the window and collected a pile of hailstones. Then she ate them, declaring that they tasted like 'rain ice cream.'"

Cool explanation

Here's another example of the way kids view the world, from John Coleman, of Lafayette:

"One July a number of years ago, I drove my family west for a vacation.

"As we entered the cattle country of Texas, my daughter saw a windmill, and asked what it was.

"My son, then age 4, told her, 'It's a fan to keep the cattle cool.'"

Biting wit

Russ Wise, of LaPlace, found this little ditty from Debbie Vicknair on Facebook, and cheerfully stole it to pass along to us:

It's called "Louisiana Nights."

"I’m going to sit on the porch;

Hubby yells, 'Put on some Off!'

One mosquito bites me and yells to the rest,

'Hey, this one has seasoning!'"

Stuck in the middle

I'm winding up our seminar on outhouses with this memory from Gordon Greenwood, of Slidell:

"Letters about two-hole outhouses made me think back to my youth (1930-1940), when I was growing up on a farm in northern Illinois and we had a three-holer.

"This brought to mind an old saying, 'Two is company and three is a crowd.'"

Yes, Gordon, I assume the middle seat in an outhouse is no more popular than the middle seat on an airplane.

Make it right

When I mentioned unwelcome habits of motorists, such as failure to use turn signals, I figured I'd hear from other drivers with other gripes:

And sure enough, the first one quickly arrived, from Vince Caruso, of Marrero:

"Folks, you drive in the RIGHT lane (aka 'driving lane') and pass in the LEFT lane (aka 'passing lane').

"If everyone did just that, you would be able to drive at whatever speed you want. If the car ahead of you is moving too slow for you, you merely cross over into the passing lane and pass him. Then back to the driving lane.

"Think about it — we have just eliminated 95 percent of the traffic jams.

"Remember, if you are NOT passing anyone, doesn't matter what speed you are going, get your butt out of the passing lane."

The Marbles Chronicles

Jerry Sixkiller adds to our stories of marble games.

There was "banana ring” — knocking marbles out of a "banana diagram in the dirt," and keeping the ones you knocked out. A similar game, "bull ring," involved two circles, an outer one and a smaller inner one.

There was "plunking," shooting with your hand resting on your raised knee.

There was an unorthodox way of shooting, in which the marble was "squeezed" out of your hand, mastered by Jerry's friend Jerry Dupuy.

Jerry Sixkiller adds, "We took care of our marble ring as you would a nice lawn. It was raked and prepared before every game. Glenn Cupid hosted the games in his yard on South Lopez and Jena streets in New Orleans."

Creative hexes

Nobey Benoit adds to our marbles lore with this memory:

"I remember the 'gris gris' hex while playing marbles (that Lee Faucette referred to recently) as 'gris gris patassa' or 'gris gris patte ah chat.'

"'Patassa' means sunfish, and 'patte ah chat' means cat's paw. I'll go with 'gris gris patte ah chat.' That's more hex like. I guess."

Special People Dept.

Joe and Sybil Boudreaux, of Ventress, celebrate 70 years of marriage Tuesday, July 2.

Say what?

Joel d'Aquin Thibodeaux tells a story that may resonate with our more senior readers:

"My husband and I are retired, but sometimes we still have too many things to do.

"On Monday, I told my husband Ron, 'Guess what! We don't have any appointments this entire week! I'm gonna catch up on EVERYTHING!'

"He replied, 'Oh no! Ketchup on everything?'"


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.