‘Louisiana Lightning’ and Yogi
Over the years I’ve discovered that if you kick any story around long enough, you can find a Louisiana connection.
For instance, after mention of the great Yankees catcher Yogi Berra by readers, I heard from Mike Gauthier, of Thibodaux:
“I am reading a recently published book titled ‘Driving Mr. Yogi,’ which is the true story of the unbreakable bond established between ‘Louisiana Lightning,’ the Lafayette pitcher Ron Guidry, and Yogi Berra.
“The story begins … when Yogi, after a 14-year boycott of the Yankees because of an affront from Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner, once again begins attending spring training in Tampa after Steinbrenner apologizes.
“Guidry, who considers Yogi his mentor, picks him up at the airport upon his arrival.
“The story describes how over the ensuing years (Guidry has picked him up every year since!), an amazing bond has developed between the two.
“Many ‘Yogi-isms,’ hilarious descriptions of spring training experiences and some great baseball lore are included.
“A unique perspective of the personality and great warmth of Yogi is revealed.”
No mention of Yogi Berra would be complete without some Yogi-isms, and here are a few from Mike Gauthier:
“So I’m ugly … who cares? I never saw anyone hit with his face.”
“He hits from both sides of the plate. He is amphibious.”
And, when asked if fans who ran naked out on the field were men or women, Yogi replied, “I don’t know. They had bags over their heads.”
The ban wagon
Readers are still flooding my mailbox (the email one) with words and phrases they don’t much like:
- Mary McGehee says, “Would that you could ban these phrases at least for six months to see if they can become ‘normal’ again. (Would that be ‘rehab-ed?’)
“My nominees are ‘If you will,’ especially overused on news channels, and ‘We’ll have to leave it there …’ also on news channels.
“Frankly, I wish they WOULD ‘leave it there’!”
- MLM says, “It’s hard to believe no one has mentioned the phrase that immediately makes me change channels:
“ ‘Let’s get you up to speed.’
- Jim Firnberg, who started this whole business, says, “Before our seminar on words and phrases gets ‘thrown under the bus,’ here are a few more.
“Some are used by politicians, some by news media and/or other ‘policy wonks:’
“Calculus (except for a math course).
“Predicate (except as used in an English course).
“Prescription (except those written by a doctor).
“And, one that I have heard only once, ‘prebuttal’ as opposed to rebuttal.”
- Daryel Prust urges us, “Just say no to consultant-speak,” and offers some examples:
“‘Be proactive’ instead of plan.
“‘A paradigm shift’ instead of a new way.
“‘Consultant’ instead of ‘someone you pay a lot of money to look at your watch and tell you what time it is.’
“And can we all just please think inside the box and not give more than 100 percent?”
- Frank C. says, “‘Iconic’ is one such misused, overused word that needs to be banned.”
He offers this example: “That iconic journalist, Smiley Anders, has such an iconic column that revels in revisiting the iconic locations of our youth.”
Gee, I don’t know, Frank — that sounded OK to me …
Special People Dept.
On Monday, Edward and Sylvia Ann Carrio celebrate 63 years of marriage.
Works for me
This one, from Marvin Borgmeyer, goes in my “I Don’t Get No Respect” file:
“I saw the following saying and it made me think of you: ‘Work fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.’”
Marvin Verbois, of The Villages, Fla., says this one is along the lines of our “famous last words” discussion. (And sounds like a personal experience):
“No one likes to hear ‘Oops’ when your wife is giving you a haircut.”
The generous husband
J.P. Morgan, of Geismar, tells of the gent at a business meeting in Chicago who was taking a break in the hotel lobby when the cell phone rang.
He answered it, and the conversation went like this:
“Honey, I am at a jewelry store, and I found this beautiful diamond ring for only $3,000. May I buy it?”
A few minutes later the phone rang again, and the second conversation went this way:
“Honey, I am at a travel agent’s office located right across from the jewelry store. They are offering a one-person, six-month cruise around the world for only $4,500. The ship sails today at 5 p.m. May I take the cruise?”
After a few more minutes the man went back into the meeting, held up the cell phone and asked, “Which one of you gentlemen left his cell phone out in the lobby?”
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.