“Portmanteau word” was coined by Lewis Carroll in “Through the Looking Glass” to describe a combination of two words — such as “smog,” combining “smoke” and “fog.”

Mack Aldridge, of Gonzales, says that after reading The Advocate article “How Legislators Voted on Key Issues,” disclosing that some area legislators “exhibited either abysmal voting records or exemplary ‘not voting’ records, I am considering a new portmanteau word — ‘absentator.’ ”

Mack wrote later to say that in addition to combining “absent” and “senator” to make “absentator,” he came up with a few more:

“Sinful” and “senator” makes “sinator.”

“Not” and “voting” makes “noting.”

And “gone” and “government” make “gonevernment.”

Rest of the story

Roy Miller says when he wrote in to thank the folks at Po-Boy Express in Denham Springs for pushing his truck out of the drive-through lane after it died there, his computer left out the ending:

“As I waited in the parking lot for help, I decided to go in and buy a large drink to go with my po-boy.

“When a clerk rang it up, a man in the back of the restaurant — I assume the manager — stopped her and told me there was no charge.

“ ‘You’ve had a tough enough day already,’ he said.

“What a way to brighten my day.”

Stamp story

Cathy Mixon responds to my question about the value of old S&H Green Stamps:

“Green Stamps are still redeemable at 120,000 stamps for $1.20 from the S&H Greenpoint Co.

“Readers can check eHow.com and type in ‘redeem green stamps’ for a search term.

“Old books of stamps will bring more on eBay as collectors’ items.

“S&H does not give stamps anymore, but you can get Greenpoints for gift cards.”

Good Samaritans

Fran Pietri, of Prairieville, thanks “the folks who stopped to help me when I had a hit-and-run.”

These include “the 18-wheeler driver who was at my car with a fire extinguisher before I could get out; the lady who kept me in her air-conditioned car while waiting for the police; the two witnesses who followed the person who caused the accident and came back to give witness; the sheriff’s deputy who was just passing, and others who offered their help.

“I have been truly blessed and will pay the goodwill forward.”

Thank-you note

Samantha Frey says she and her parents, Andrew and Peggy Frey, thank the people of this community for their thoughtfulness:

“One month ago we lost my little brother A.J. in a car accident.

“Since then we have gotten a tremendous amount of cards, donations, prayers, love and support from everyone in our community and surrounding areas.”

Special People Dept.

Harold and Noralee Patton of Central celebrate 58 years of marriage Tuesday.

Thought for the Day

Jack Kemp says, “I don’t eat organic foods. At my age I need all the preservatives I can get.”

The Gambo Files

Jeanne Schexnayder has a “Louisiana food abroad” story:

“My husband Wayne and our son Stephen were working at the U.S. Embassy in Russia a few years ago.

“They went to an ‘American’ restaurant close to the embassy. On the menu was ‘Authentic Louisiana Gambo.’

“Stephen was intrigued and wanted to try it just to see what ‘gambo’ was to a Russian.

“It was a tomato-based soup with large chunks of fish in it. Not very tasty!

“(Wayne got the hamburger.)

“Sounded more like a redfish court bouillon to me, but I guess they couldn’t spell that.”

Getting crabby

Cade Ruiz says, “When my brother David was stationed at Fort Polk, he brought a friend home with him when he was on leave.

“To celebrate his homecoming the family got together for a big crab boil.

“However, we quickly found out that David’s friend was not from Louisiana.

“When he looked at the pile of crabs on table he asked, ‘How do you eat them?’

“We said, ‘You have to break open the back first.’

“So he placed one on the table, back side up, clenched his fist and then ‘Wham!’ — he hit the crab full force.

“Shell, meat, fat and everything splattered all over us and the walls.”