Smiley Anders: Snarky about snakes

When I saw the Monday Advocate headline “Snakes found in State Capitol,” my first thought was to resist making any snarky comment about it — it was just TOO easy, like shooting snakes in a barrel.

But a number of readers had no such compunction, and cheerfully weighed in on the subject.

(In case you didn’t see the front-page story, some water snakes, probably from nearby Capitol Lake, have been found in the building.)

Buck Bertrand notes that the story said weather stripping was being installed to keep snakes out of the building:

“I have a better solution to the problem: VOTE them out.”

Charles King, of Denham Springs, asks, “Would it be fair to say there are two groups of snakes at the Capitol — one which was elected to go there and one which elected to go there?”

Mary J. David, of Lafayette, says her reaction was, “Only four to a dozen or so snakes? We should be celebrating. It’s not the usual infestation.”

And Paul Major, of Livonia, says if weather stripping will indeed keep snakes out of the Capitol, “I urge every citizen to visit their local hardware store and stock up. I have a feeling it’s going to take a lot of weather stripping.”

Which reminds me

It may have just been a coincidence, but about the same time we ran the “snakes in the Capitol” story, I got this elderly gag from Shirley Fleniken:

“An old snake goes to see his doctor, and says, ‘Doc, I need something for my eyes. Can’t see well these days.’

“The doc fixes him up with a pair of glasses and tells him to return in two weeks.

“The snake comes back two weeks later and tells the doctor he’s very depressed.

“Doc says, ‘What’s the problem — didn’t the glasses help you?’

“The snake says, ‘The glasses are fine, Doc. I just discovered I’ve been living with a water hose the past two years!’ ”

Run for runza

Here’s some information for you optimists who are already planning your trip to Omaha to see LSU’s baseball team in the College World Series:

Ron Wiese, of Denham Springs, a former resident of the Frozen Nawth (“It was 16 below zero in Nebraska on our wedding day”), suggests that visitors to Omaha might supplement their diet of steaks with another local dish:

“My wife, Lois, and I have a problem finding foods we enjoyed in Nebraska: corn-fed beef, Dorothy Lynch salad dressing and runzas.”

He says a runza is “a German-Russian meat pie of ground beef, chopped cabbage and onion baked inside a flavorful bun.

“For those who may follow LSU to Omaha, I hope you will try one … mmmm.

“The closest thing we have found to this tasty treat is the ‘bierock’ German pie at the Sweet Impressions bakery and cafe in Central. We are always looking for good sources of German or northern European foods here.”

Cool caller

Paulette and Louie Brown thank EMS paramedics Steve Murphy and Lauren Denicola, and the Eastside volunteer firefighters “who responded to 7-year-old granddaughter Emily’s call when Paulette’s blood sugar went too low.

“Everyone from the dispatcher to the responders was impressed with Emily’s calm demeanor during the ordeal.”

Worthy causes

The “Reach & Teach” organization for boys and girls benefits from a “Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show” from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Scott Civic Center in New Roads.

Call (225) 324-8316 or (504) 812-7797.

Special People Dept.

Ethel Marionneaux celebrated her 100th birthday Monday.

Camille “Millie” Fichter, of Emeritus Assisted Living in Kenner, celebrates her 98th birthday Wednesday.

Memory Tidmore, of Amber Terrace, celebrates her 94th birthday Wednesday.

Emerson and Lula Anderson, of Zachary, celebrated their 71st anniversary Friday.

From bad to worse

Since I ran Shirley Fleniken’s bad joke, I suppose I should extend the same courtesy to Marvin Borgmeyer:

“With Baton Rouge’s elephant Bozie going to the National Zoo, there was an elephant joke that came to mind:

“What do you get when you cross an elephant with a skin doctor? A pachydermatologist!”

Stranger on a train

Leatus Still says our train stories remind him of the time several years ago when he was asleep on a train and “around 2 a.m. I was greeted by a lady wanting me to get the woman in the top bunk out, as that was her bed.”

“She then realized she had the wrong compartment — she had gone to the bathroom and gotten turned around.”

At breakfast the next morning, Leatus says, he and his wife ran into the lady and her husband, and had a good laugh about the incident:

“They were going to Seattle, and her husband told me that in Chicago he would buy a pair of handcuffs to keep her in bed for the rest of trip.”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.