Smiley: Who Dat? tree

If you just can’t bear to take down your Christmas tree, Keith Horcasitas offers this suggestion:

“Why not extend the Christmas tree until the Super Bowl — where we KNOW the Saints will go, right?

“At work, I converted my Christmas tree to a ‘Who Dat?’ tree before the Eagles game — put pics from previous Saints victories over the other dirty birds (not just Atlanta!) and the next ones, the Seahawks!”

He says Shelia, a co-worker, “added some great fleur-de-lis ornaments,” and others contributed to the Saints tree — which after football season can become the traditional Mardi Gras tree, then the traditional Easter tree etc.

Less than perfect

Alex Chapman, of Ville Platte, says our “cut your own” Christmas tree stories “remind me that modern-day kids don’t know the terms ‘hide the bald spot’ or ‘make the tree face this way.’

“In their worlds, Christmas trees are symmetrical and perfectly full.”

Armed and ready

Ron Thibodeaux says he was talking with a friend about football, bowl games, recruits etc., which they mentioned the Under Armour All America Game, an all-star game for high school players.

“All of a sudden my friend’s grandson (age 5) asked, ‘Why do they call it the Underarm Game?’ ”

Fruitful conversation

Regarding our mandarin-satsuma question, a reader says, “Satsumas are a seedless variety of the mandarin. The mandarin is a citrus fruit. It is not an orange.”

Bear up, Tide

Andy says the piano bar at Pat O’Brien’s iconic French Quarter watering hole “had a plate on the wall by one of the tables that read ‘RESURVED FOR BEAR BRAIN.’

(I assume this refers to the late Alabama Coach Bear Bryant and his admirers.)

Andy asks, “Is it still there? If it is, then anyone can go to the front of the line and say the Bear told them to meet him there, and they wish to go in and wait for him at his table.

“This year Bear would have left early, as Alabama didn’t do too well (in the Sugar Bowl), but some fans might have stayed.”

Meaningful gifts

Janet Davis describes “our new idea for Christmas gifts for our 24 great-grandchildren.

“Instead of giving the moms money to buy gifts for the kids and add to the mountain of stuff under the trees, we gave each great-grandkid money directly, told them not to spend it for self or family members, and use it to help others.

“Each child was directed to tell us at the Christmas party where they put the money, and how they felt about doing this.

“Great excitement by the children — and 24 responses, such as the Salvation Army, St. Jude’s, an orphanage in India, a charity in Haiti etc.”

Nice People Dept.

Deanie Rumfola, of Port Allen, thanks two ladies “for helping me back out of a pretty tight spot in the parking lot at Parrain’s Seafood restaurant on Perkins Road.

“They spent about 15 minutes of their precious time signaling me forward and backward until I could maneuver out of the tight spot in the parking lot — packed, of course, at lunchtime before Christmas.

“We’re all busy and wrapped up in ourselves these days, but I honestly don’t know what I would have done if not for these two women willing to help me that day.”

Carol Knight says when her mother was in an auto accident on O’Neal Lane that broke her sternum, “one wonderful lady stayed with her until the ambulance came, and also called me twice.

“Her phone number was accidentally erased from my phone. We hope she reads your column and accepts our greatest thanks for all her help and concern. Mom would love to speak to her.”

Special People Dept.

Serena “Weenie” Gibbens Borne, of Thibodaux, celebrates her 99th birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Mattie Jarrell celebrated her 96th birthday on Dec. 25.

Ralph H. Wilder celebrated his 93rd birthday on Sunday, Jan. 5, by dining and dancing with special friend “Honey B.” He is a Navy veteran of World War II.

Nolan and Rosemary Graham celebrated 59 years of marriage on Thursday, Jan. 2.

Remember what?

John says, “If there is a book of ‘golden years’ conversations, I submit this one for inclusion:

“I asked wife Pearl, ‘Where is the address I gave you yesterday?’

“She said, ‘What address?’

“I said, ‘I guess you forgot.’

“She said, ‘I didn’t forget; I just didn’t remember.’ ”

Aging process

Joe Balfour, of Metairie, says, “You know you’re old when you’re playing Trivial Pursuit with your kids and they ask you a history question, and you think it’s current events.”

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.