Carroll Trosclair and Bernie Cleary, veteran journalists in New Orleans with United Press International (a competitor to The Associated Press back in the days of wire service wars), still enjoy playing with words.

Carroll says his friend Bernie came up with this idea for describing the current disaster-filled year:

"At what point can we just start using '2020' as profanity? As in: 'That’s a load of 2020!' or 'What in the 2020?' or 'Abso-2020-lutely.'

Great idea, guys! I'm sure my devilishly clever readers can come up with some others. Send 'em in, and I'll try to slip them by the editors…

I even came up with a couple myself: "Oh yeah? Well you can just go to 2020!" and "Gosh darn it! I just stepped in a big pile of 2020!" 

(Editor's note: We'll keep an eye out. This is a family newspaper.)

Bye, Dad

Linda Champion says our "words of children" stories "reminded me of when our youngest daughter started kindergarten a few days before Hurricane Andrew hit.

"After being at home for a week, my husband announced that she would be returning to school. She said she had had enough, and wasn’t going back.

"He told her it was a law that she had to go back or they would make him go to jail.

"She looked up at him and asked, 'Will you have to stay very long?'"

Poor Lobo!

We've shut down our seminar on dog names, but this tale, from John Richards, of Metairie, is worth reopening it for:

"I have a friend in Houston with a dog named Lobo. I asked why he was named this, since he is a rather small and pitiful looking dog.

"She answered that actually Lobo is short for 'lobotomy.'"

Criminal Yanks

Barry Dufour says, "Your column item on Wednesday about liquor stores up north reminds me of my time in England, when I was stationed at RAF Lackenheath near Cambridge.

"On base we had a Class V1 store for liquor and cigarettes. We were rationed to four fifths of liquor and, I believe, two cartons of cigarettes per month.

"If you used up all your rations, you can easily go off base and buy anything, but at a very high price for American goods.

"Some of the airmen would buy liquor and cigarettes and sell them off base, which of course was very, very illegal.

"I heard of a couple of airmen who were arrested and in a British jail."

More booze news

After Louise Poche recounted her experience of running afoul of Connecticut's confusing liquor laws, Martha Wright told of a similar experience in Tennessee:

"When I went to a Kroger in Knoxville to buy some nonalcoholic beer for the my friend Charles, I had to show my ID; and I am in my 80s and look it!

"And of course next day I went to a liquor store, and all I needed was my credit card!"

On the air

As is our long-running custom, Jim Engster and I will chat on my birthday on Friday, Nov. 20, on his "Talk Louisiana" radio show at 9:05 a.m. It's on WRKF, 89.3-FM, Baton Rouge's public radio station;; the WRKF app — or ask your speaker to play NPR or WRKF.

Special People Dept.

  • Virginia Carradine, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 95th birthday Thursday, Nov. 19. Originally from New Orleans, she has lived in Baton Rouge since she was 16.
  • Alma M. Estilette, of Carencro, celebrates her 95th birthday Thursday, Nov. 19.
  • Pearl and John Gaidry, of Lafayette, celebrate their 71st anniversary Thursday, Nov. 19.

Blissful ignorance

Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, says, "The submissions about Latin and French Masses reminded me of my years as an altar boy.

"We responded to the priest and said prayers in Latin. Not one of us knew what we were saying; however, we sure could recite those prayers!"

Pending litigation

Robert Downing, of Baton Rouge, has offered to serve as my personal attorney (sort of my own Rudy Giuliani).

Regarding my current struggle with COVID-19, here's his first offer:

"If you find out who gave it to you, we can file suit for alienation of infection."

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.