The phone callers who invade your privacy in an effort to sell you stuff (when everyone knows you should only sell stuff through ads in The Advocate) are reaching new depths of deception:

Janice DeJean, of Baton Rouge, says, "The robocallers have gotten very innovative in tricking you into answering their calls.

"The other day, I received a call that said 'Burger King' on the caller ID.

"Out of curiosity (or stupidity), I answered it. It was a robocall trying to sell me a knee or back brace. I promptly hung up and had a good laugh.

"I can't wait to see whose name they will use next."

Confidence challenge

Myron Walker Jr., of Baton Rouge (a self-described "recovering lawyer"), says, "I recently learned what 'cognitive dissonance' means — when I saw a big Mercedes with a pizza delivery sign on top.

"But I think I saw the best yesterday.

"I was driving up North Boulevard from the river when I passed the new library.

"Readers may recall that this $21 million building, brand spanking new, cannot open and is being held up by hydraulic jacks (and is also being 'held up' by the lawsuit arising from the building's imminent collapse) so it won't collapse and kill us all.

"The fence on the front of the stillborn library bears a sign which reads: 'Build With Confidence.'

"Can't wait to see what the Spanish Town folks do with this one at their Mardi Gras parade." 

Mr. No-Go

We've had fun imagining a canal along the U.S.-Mexico border, but Gerard F. Gaudin reminds us of the sad saga of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal, aka MRGO or, more popularly, Mr. Go.

The 76-mile canal was supposed to be a shorter route for ships coming from the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans. 

It turned out to be an environmental nightmare for St. Bernard Parish and a "hurricane highway" that allowed the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina easy access to New Orleans.

Mr. Go was closed in 2009, and few mourned its passing.

Hatless Tom

George E. McLean, of Metairie, says Bum Phllips and Bear Bryant weren't the only coaches to doff their headgear in domed stadiums:

"The famed Dallas coach, Tom Landry, never wore a hat during an indoor game."

Dumb and dumber

Speaking of Bum Phillips, Tom Boone, of Gonzales, says the colorful former Saints coach had a way with words:

"Once, after a hard-fought win in which the Saints committed many bad plays and penalties, he had this comment in the post-game interview:

“'Well, we tried to out-dumb them, but they overcome us.'"

Spitting image

Mike Shook, of Metairie, says, "The story about Bum Phillips not wearing his hat in the Dome, because his mom taught him not to wear it inside a building, makes me wonder if she tried to teach her tobacco-chewing son not to spit on the carpet."

Lids are cool

Keith Horcasitas, noting our seminar on hats, says, "I heard on the radio the other morning that hat wearing appeared to be making a comeback, as the younger generation seeks more ways to imprint their identity."

He says he's started wearing a hat "since losing a little more on the top."

Special People Dept.

  • Lorena “Ti- Moon” Guillot, of the Ossun community near Scott, celebrated her 108th birthday Saturday, Jan. 19.
  • Audrey and Wiley Duke celebrate their 70th anniversary Monday, Jan. 21. Wiley is a World War II veteran.

A true Yat

Bill Haynie, of Slidell, says, "Last August, my wife, Mary Ann, and I were on a Holland America Cruise from Quebec City, Canada, to New York City.

"The ship’s support staff were all Indonesian, and when we met our room steward, he said his name was 'Yat.'

"I felt compelled to explain to him the New Orleans slang greeting concerning 'Y’at' (which he thought was very funny).

"So, whenever I would see my room steward in the hallway, I would shout out, 'Where Y’at, Yat?'

"No matter how far you travel, you always see, hear or experience something that will remind you of home."

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.