June 05, 2012
I glanced at my calendar the other day and realized June 4 is a special date for me — I started this column on June 4, 1979.
After 19 years of business writing, it was quite a switch for me, and I wasn’t sure it would catch on.
So my editors and I agreed if it didn’t work, I could return to the business desk.
But the experiment seems to be going OK so far.
In my new book, “Smiley! A Laughing Matter,” — forgive the blatant plug — I discuss why the column has lasted so long:
“I’m extravagantly grateful to all the wonderful, talented, funny, weird people who write my column for me every day. They do all the work and I get all the credit, plus a paycheck. Works for me. ... ”
Paul Bourg, of Ethel, says although she’s a nonagenarian (no, that’s not her religion — look it up) she gets a kick out of young people:
“At a baby shower, I was impressed with the gifts, including the unfamiliar gadgets on the current market to make a new mother’s life easier.
“However, the highlight of the party for me was the remark the honoree made when she read a card attached to one of her gifts referring to a stork being sighted flying low over her house.
“She said, ‘What’s a stork?’”
My recent use of the Latin phrase “sic transit gloria mundi” baffled a few readers, and they asked for a translation.
Here’s my English version:
“Gloria fell ill on the bus and won’t be in until Tuesday.”
Inquiring Minds Dept.
Harry Clark, of Lafayette, makes this inquiry:
“Every few days I read about some government worker who has been put on ‘paid administrative leave.’
“What is the difference between that and paid vacation?”
(Easy — on paid administrative leave you don’t have to bring back souvenirs to the people in your office.)
Nice People Dept.
Elizabeth Burns, of Asbury Park, N.J., thanks Steve Gautreau, of Ralph’s Market on Jones Creek Road, “for his kindness to my 81-year-old mother when she lost her keys while shopping at the store.
“Steve worked diligently to help her find the keys. When they could not be located, he gave her a ride home.
“He is definitely one of the good guys!”
Barbara Begnaud says when she, husband Ralph and granddaughters Jordyn and Carley Parrish toured the new Woman’s Hospital, it was a special occasion:
“We were honored to have Jordyn conduct a tour for us. She works in the lab where her mother, our deceased daughter Lori Parrish, worked for 18 years.
“Jordyn had mixed feelings about leaving the old hospital where she and her sister roamed the halls and cafeteria.
“After seeing the new facilities, she has changed her mind.
“She may be leaving the old building, but her extended family from Woman’s will be going also.
“Her mom is smiling down on everyone. ... ”
Carolyn K. Arrington-Howard, of Zachary, says this about our reader’s search for information about the bricks used to pave North Boulevard.
“I have never heard of the Thurber Brick Co. he mentioned, but what about the Lake Brick Co.?
“My resource says they were located near where the State Capitol is now.
“My ancestors’ (the Latils) home on North Street was built with these bricks circa 1860s.”
Shall we dance?
“Way before there was ‘Dance Moms’ on TV, there was 2 M’s School of Dance,” Ann Severance says.
Ann says former students, and their moms, will attend a gathering at 6 p.m. Saturday at Highland Porch to honor dance teachers Madalyn Montegudo and Marianne Hebert.
You can get details on Facebook under “A Tribute to 2 M’s School of Dance,” or contact Ann at 1severance@ cox.net or (225) 931-4674.
Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, says, “My hometown was so small that the owner of our local motel was stealing the towels back from the guests.”
Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, says, “You know you’re ‘getting on in years,’ as my dad used to say, when an elderly friend e-mails you a joke about aging and senility, and you promptly relay it to your elderly friends — including the one who just sent it to YOU!”
The cure that failed
Shirley Fleniken came across this tale:
A man goes into a drugstore and asks the pharmacist if he can give him something for the hiccups.
The pharmacist promptly reaches out and slaps the man’s face.
“What did you do that for?” the man asks.
“Well, you don’t have the hiccups anymore, do you?”
The man says, “No, but my wife out in the car still does!”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.