Dear Smiley: My husband Ed and I are enjoying your “kids say the darndest things” items.

This happened quite a few years ago.

At the time, I sent it to The Saturday Evening Post, which published it with the title, “He wouldn’t let poor Grandma join in any reindeer songs.”

I picked up 4-year-old grandson Brandon from kindergarten, and as we drove along he began singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

I like the song too, and though I’m well aware I cannot carry a tune, I started singing along with him, thinking a 4-year-old would certainly not be critical.

He stopped singing and said, “Grandma, please don’t sing. You’re making my stomach have a headache.”


Baton Rouge

Solve the mystery!

Dear Smiley: Your mention of “pre-read mail” reminded me of a story told to me by the late Elemore Morgan Jr., the famous Louisiana artist, about a mail delivery occurrence between his father, Elemore Sr., a photographer, and my grandfather, Edmund Gomez, a Baton Rouge mail carrier.

One day, I’m assuming in the 1930s or ’40s, Paw-Paw Gomez delivered a package to Mr. Elemore. After handing him the package, the two stared at it, then at each other, and again at the package.

Finally Paw-Paw said, “Well, aren’t you going to open it?”



Heated discussion

Dear Smiley: I went to a mediation seminar in Metairie last week, and there was an IHOP attached to the motel.

I asked for hot sauce for my eggs, naturally, and I was brought hot sauce made in Mexico.

What is the world coming to?


Baton Rouge

Dear Bob: Yeah, what do Mexicans know about spicy food?

Truth seekers

Dear Smiley: We all know that children do not have to have expensive (say “electronic”) toys to amuse themselves.

A few years back, a friend related this story:

At a family reunion several of the elementary school age cousins were laughing and cutting up back in a bedroom.

My friend stopped at the open door and asked the kids, “What y’all got going?”

One of the older girls replied, “We’re playing detective.”

Pointing at her younger cousin, sitting there with a kitchen colander over his head, she added, “We had to give him a lie detector test.”


Baton Rouge

Awe, shucks!

Dear Smiley: While enjoying my children’s elementary school talent show, where various audience members were often shouting “Awesome!” this occurred to me:

Why is it when something has a little awe it is very good — that is, awesome.

Add some more awe, though, and at some point you reach saturation and hence awful, very bad.

If there was such a word as aweless, how good would it be?


Baton Rouge

Happy returns

Dear Smiley: Boudreaux, Thibodeaux and Boudreaux’s cat, Fideaux, were sitting on Boudreaux’s porch.

The two friends were having a discussion about important things like politics, weather, how many cups of rice do you put in jambalaya, how much hot sauce in gumbo, etc.

When they got around to religion, Thibodeaux asked Boudreaux if he believed in re-incarnation.

Boudreaux told him, “No, but I used to in a prior life.”



Private religion

Dear Smiley: Dan Burkhalter’s comment about Catholics and “Pedestrians” reminded me of the colorful Louisiana political powerhouse of years ago, Leander Perez.

Some guy once said he was so powerful he even founded his own religion — the Perezbyterian Church.


Baton Rouge

No gnus, etc. …

Dear Smiley: The letter about the “cantaloupes” at the zoo reminded me of a trip to the New Orleans zoo years ago.

One field had a sign that said “Gnus.” None were in sight.

They must have been good ones. …



The urge to click

Dear Smiley: I think I may be spending a little too much time on Facebook.

I was reading your column, and after one of the stories, I instinctively tried to click on “Like.”


Baton Rouge

Dear Hal: At least you didn’t try to click on “Unfriend. …”