As a Highly Trained Professional Journalist, I pride myself on being able to meet deadlines regardless of the situation.
Over the past 33 years of doing this column, there have been relatively few times when I just couldn’t do it.
This was due to deaths in the family or bouts with pneumonia or cancer, which I consider pretty good excuses.
But once in a while there are days when I just can’t get my mind on my job, and marvel that I can pull myself together enough to write anything.
I’m feeling that way now, because I was in the hospital Saturday.
No, I wasn’t sick — far from it.
I was in Slidell Memorial Hospital with Lady K, holding my fourth great-grandchild (and third great-granddaughter), Macy Lynn.
Granddaughter Mandy and her husband, Corey, begat the little lady, who weighed in at just over 7 pounds and arrived with a full head of black hair.
And try as I might, I just can’t concentrate on anything else right now …
An erudite friend, pondering the state of state government and the legislative session that just ended, suggests this new slogan for our state:
“Louisiana: Will the last one leaving please turn off the lights?”
Lately we’ve been kicking around phrases we could live without.
Readers also object to words that seem to intrude on our ability to communicate clearly.
They usually object when a $2 word replaces a shorter, just as effective (or more effective) 50-cent word.
Rhonda Browning says one such word is “awesome.”
She says, “That one was once used to describe God, but now it is overused for everything from a hot date to a good-looking outfit to a spectacular vista, and has lost its meaning.
“People need to expand their adjective vocabulary, and not use one word for everything.”
- Pauline Bohannon, of Jackson, says a least-favorite word is “utilize” as a substitute for “use.”
For example, “I tried chopping firewood with my ax, but in the end, I had to utilize my chain saw.”
Or “When mixing up my corn bread batter, I discovered that I was out of baking powder, so I had to utilize baking soda instead.”
Pauline asks, “What’s wrong with the word ‘use’?”
- James Minton nominates “signature,” as in “his signature dish.”
“The trendy people use it too much,” he says.
- And Doug Johnson, of Watson, says a word he wishes would go away is “actually”:
“Actually, it seems that some people must assure you with every sentence that what they are saying is actual.”
Yeah, it’s kinda like “to tell you the truth” or “to be honest with you.” It makes you wonder …
The chocolate diet
Harriet St.Amant, our nutrition expert, says, “Knowing how health conscious Louisianians are, I thought they’d like this reminder.
“It’s easier to stay on a healthy diet now that chocolate, red wine and coffee have all been proven to help prevent heart disease and strokes.
“Maybe one of these days crawfish will be added to the list, too.”
It ain’t me, babe
Thanks to “Higgalot” for sending me the website of Smiley’s Flea Market in Asheville, N.C.
Seems to be an interesting business, but it must be run by some other Smiley.
The only fleas I deal with are generated by our three cats …
“Ant” Lesley Guillot, of Gonzales, says Baton Rouge native and 2004 LSU grad Bradley Furnish is second assistant editor for Pixar’s latest animated movie, “Brave.”
Lesley says, “Of course the ladies went to see it last Saturday at Rave, sporting our very own ‘Brave’ T-shirts. And you know, we cheered when his name appeared during the credits.
“We are all so proud of Bradley. He studied hard, he followed his dream, and look at him now!”
Special People Dept.
- Lena Cardinal, of Williamsburg Retirement Community, celebrates her 94th birthday Tuesday.
- Harold Roscoe, a World War II veteran, celebrated his 94th birthday Monday.
- Bill “Beagle” and Lucie Mae Dupré, of Belle Rose, celebrated their 67th anniversary Sunday.
How hot is it?
Ralph Drouin adds this one to Algie Petrere’s weather report in the Monday column:
“It is so hot the birds in my yard are using pot holders to pick up their worms.”
Let’s make a deal
Rose Rolfsen says, “My daughter was telling my 12-year-old grandson, Jon Aaron, just what he should do one day.
“He tried to tell her why he shouldn’t have to do it.
“She said, ‘Don’t argue with me.’
“He said, ‘I am not arguing, I am negotiating.’ ”
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.