By smiley anders
September 15, 2012
Dear Smiley: I would like to comment on the question, “How old does a bridge have to be before news people quit calling it the ‘new bridge?’ ”
My question is, “How old does a bridge have to be before the media start calling it by its proper name, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge?”
Horace Wilkinson was from West Baton Rouge Parish and served in the Louisiana Legislature. I knew Horace well. He was a wonderful man who deserves this honor.
Dear Pat: Actually, the bridge is named for three generations of Horace Wilkinsons, all of whom served in the Legislature.
The no-sting method
Dear Smiley: My wasp story:
One summer (I think it was 1975) I worked, between semesters at LSU, with fraternity brothers Wallace McClendon and Dennis Gingles on Luke Laborde’s large family farm in Avoyelles Parish (Luke was another fraternity brother).
One afternoon Luke, one of the others (don’t remember which one) and I were on a lake running a trot line when the wind pushed the boat toward a close-by deadfall that had on it the largest red wasp nest I’ve ever seen.
With no chance of avoiding the imminent collision and resulting swarm of angry wasps, Luke (who had experience with wasps) ordered “DON’T MOVE!”
But we thought differently, and were going to dive into the lake. Luke grabbed me by the shoulders to prevent me from doing so.
After the swarm cleared, the result was Luke and I not being stung, but the diver having been stung several times between the bateau and the water.
Even with that lesson, I’m still not sure I could hold still in a similar situation.
Dear Smiley: In response to the note on tipping from Candy McDonald, I would like to offer my humble opinion on this matter.
I think it is a crime for restaurant owners to pay these hard-working people such a meager salary and expect the dining public to pay their salaries by tipping.
Here is the way I think it should work: Pay them a decent wage, and let their customers tip them for excellent service.
The problem here is the restaurant owners, not the public.
I do tip, but don’t like the idea.
Not in her backyard
Dear Smiley: I think your Spanish Town neighborhood is charming, and when you moved there you knew the Interstate was in your backyard.
But I was raised in St. Amant for 50 years on a dead-end street, where kids played outside even after dark.
Now those kids cruise their neighborhood on their golf carts with their grandchildren.
So, we choose to stay here and we don’t want an Interstate in our backyard.
In the last 20 years lots of people have moved to the country and still work in the city, so commuting is their choice and their problem.
What will a loop through my backyard accomplish?
Someone from Texas will make it to Mississippi 20 minutes faster.
Solution — leave earlier.
Beware of old sailors
Dear Smiley: It is so much fun being old. We can get away with things that we would have never tried 40 years ago.
I was talking to a 25-year-old bartender and mentioned that I had spent my youth in the Navy.
She asked if I had ever been in combat.
I showed her my smallpox vaccination scar and told her that I had been shot in the arm once.
Apparently, she had never seen a vaccination scar.
Dear Smiley: Another term that has seen its day, but is still seen at every gas station, is “unleaded.”
Leaded gasoline has been illegal in the United States for more than 16 years, and was being phased out for years before that.
It’s ALL unleaded now, so why do service stations still use the term?
There are many young drivers who have never pumped a drop of leaded gasoline.
Dear Smiley: My sweet groom is from Kentucky.
His vocabulary is chock full of strangeness therefore — unlike mine, which is perfectly logical.
Like when I have a desire for something I say I have an “envie.”
On the other hand, he has a “hankering.”
When we had a cat up in a tree he said, “She clumb it, and when she gets hungry enough she will climb down.”
“Clumb?,” I questioned. “What the heck is ‘clumb?’ Spell it for me.”
He couldn’t believe I’d never heard the word.
Apparently it is the past tense of “climb” in Kentucky.
It’s a border state after all. What can you expect?
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.