Dear Smiley: On a recent trip to the dentist, the hygienist was using an instrument that sounds like a very high-pitched drill.

When I tensed up, she thought it was hurting me. I explained that it was just the noise I couldn’t stand.

She suggested I bring an iPod and listen to music to cover the sound. I told her I didn’t have an iPod.

She said I might use my cellphone. I told her I didn’t have a cellphone.

Her jaw dropped; she was stunned, and asked how I could survive without a cellphone.

I told her I had survived for 70 years without one, and I get along just fine.

When leaving the dentist, I handed the receptionist cash to pay my bill.

She looked around and said she didn’t have any change. She said no one ever paid with cash anymore.

I told them that I felt really good when I got to the dentist’s office, and I was leaving feeling like an old relic.


Baton Rouge

Feed your enemy

Dear Smiley: Since I landed in Arkansas in 2002, I can certainly identify with my fellow Tiger alum from up I-40 in Russellville, whose story was in last Saturday’s column.

One thing I’ve found is that if you cook for them, things are fine.

I tease them all the time about how Arkansas is the only school in the SEC whose fans eat their mascot while tailgating.

Of course, they’ve got their feet under my table and eating things they’ve never eaten before - and enjoying it all the way.


Little Rock, Ark.

Pick-up sticks

Dear Smiley: About making a chore into a fun event:

I heard this story years ago from a legal secretary from St. Martinville.

Her father, being a good Catholic, had about 10 kids.

Every fall her dad would put all his kids in the back of the pickup truck, along with cousins, neighbors’ kids and friends.

Then they would ride around their rather large yard and pick up all the branches and sticks that had fallen that year.

After the task was completed, they’d make a bonfire from the sticks and roast wieners, which he provided.

That was how the Annual Stick-Picking Party ended.


Ville Platte

Pool pea party

Dear Smiley: When reading about the mother tying wool scraps on the feet of her children and their friends to wax her floors, my son Russell “Rusty” Meador reminded me about some of the inventive ways I had to get jobs done.

Each summer Mrs. Mitchell, of Greenwell Springs Road, sold me a bushel basket of un-shelled field peas for our freezer.

I would take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, made with a whole loaf of white bread, and a gallon of Kool-Aid to the Tara swimming pool with the basket of peas.

My six children, their friends and their friends’ mothers would shell peas, then stop to swim and play.

After a couple of hours, all the peas were shelled and taken home to get ready for the freezer.

The Tara children thought it great fun when it was time for the “Pea Shelling Party” - and less work for me.


Baton Rouge

Well-dressed neighbor

Dear Smiley: I recently sent two “awe-tin-ic” LSU shirts to a friend and his wife (Jeff and Lyn) in St. Paul, Minn., at his request.

His business has him traveling and visiting companies in Louisiana and Texas, and he wants to fit in with the culture.

I soon received pictures of the husband and wife sporting those beautiful shirts, and with the pictures came a story.

The first person the two visited in St. Paul was their long-time neighbor, who is an LSU alumnus.

Upon opening the door to his home, the neighbor broke into a huge smile, laughed and said, “Now we CAN be neighbors!”



Procrastination blues

Dear Smiley: This weather is terrible! The heat has kept me from doing outside chores for so long that I can’t remember why I didn’t do the work before it got too hot.



License to speed

Dear Smiley: I think the personalized license plate I remember best was one I saw on I-55 in north Mississippi, on a sports car as it sped by.

The driver was a young lady.

The message on the tag was: “IBELATE.”


Denham Springs

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.