Smiley: Snared in the Web

“Unfortunately, this is true for a lot of people,” says Algie Petrere.

She’s talking about a holiday song she came across that deals with that thoroughly modern malady, Web addiction.

It’s sung to the tune of “Winter Wonderland,” and you’re welcome to sing along — just follow the bouncing cursor:

Doorbell rings, I’m not list’nin’,

From my mouth, drool is glist’nin’,

I’m happy — although

My boss let me go —

Happily addicted to the Web.

All night long, I sit clicking,

Unaware time is ticking,

There’s beard on my cheek,

Same clothes for a week,

Happily addicted to the Web!

Friends come by; they shake me, saying, “Yo, man!

Don’t you know tonight’s the senior prom?”

With a listless shrug, I mutter; I say “No, man;

I just discovered laugh-a-lot-dot-com!”

I don’t phone, don’t send faxes,

Don’t go out, don’t pay taxes,

Who cares if someday

They drag me away?

I’m happily addicted to the Web!”

Corvair nights

Our seminar on Baton Rouge eateries/drinkeries of the past reminded Richard Sherlock of some of the great hangouts of his youth:

“There were Hopper’s drive-ins, Rock’s Drive In on Nicholson, Rip’s Huddle and The Three Coins Inn downtown, the Last Chance in Donaldsonville, etc.

“I graduated from Baton Rouge High in ’62, and used to hang out at Rock’s with my best friend, whose brother got a brand-new ’62 Corvair, white with black interior, that we used to ‘borrow’ on Friday nights.”

Going Dutch

Continuing our Baton Rouge diner nostalgia, John LaCarna asks, “Does anyone remember the Dutch Mill on Government near the corner of East Boulevard?”

(We already mentioned the Dutch Mill on Chimes that became Louie’s Cafe.)

Says John, “We walked there from St. Agnes School, and I had my first hamburger in about ’42 or ’43.

“And what was the name of that tiny one on the north end of Third Street near the Pentagon Barracks?”

(John, if you’re thinking about the one at Third and North, our records indicate that the little diner started as a Humpty Dumpty House, which was a chain of diners almost exactly like Toddle House eateries. Later it became a Toddle House, and after that was a bar for a short time.)

Heartburn memories

Recollections about late-night dining reminded me of Tom Waits’ great album “Nighthawks at the Diner” and his droll tales of whiling away the late evening/early morning hours over sausage and eggs.

My cohorts and I, feeling nostalgic, recalled some evenings when we wound up the festivities with food seemingly designed for nighthawks like us:

In New Orleans, leaning against a Bourbon Street lamppost downing a Lucky Dog with chili and onions at 2 a.m., or dining on Krystal’s sliders — little burgers on steamed buns with enough onions, mustard and pickles to leave a taste that would be with you all the next morning.

In Baton Rouge, the big hamburger steak slathered in gravy and covered with grilled onions at the Ranchero on Plank Road.

Across the river in Port Allen, the barbecued ribs at Silvio’s, in the same building that housed the Carousel Lounge on U.S. 190. (The barbecue was a great way to wind up an evening listening to Sugar Boy Crawford and his band doing “Jockamo,” “Danny Boy” and more.)

I have to stop now and see if I can find some Tums or Rolaids around here. …

Special People Dept.

Roy Wonsch celebrates his 96th birthday Monday. He is a World War II veteran.

Thought for the Day

From the great journalist H.L. Mencken: “The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”

We’ve been mooned!

The above-mentioned Algie Petrere offers one more tale. Read at your own risk:

“Off the coast of Newfoundland, a great many fishermen do their fishing at night.

“They navigate solely by the light of the moon, scorning more sophisticated methods.

“Of course, from time to time this method fails, and shipwrecks are the result.

“The Department of Fisheries was reviewing statistics one day and was shocked to discover how many shipwrecks there were during night fishing.

“When they discovered that the fishermen were navigating by the light of the moon, they promptly installed buoys near all the dangerous shoals and reefs to aid night navigation.

“To their surprise, when the statistics came in the following month, the shipwrecks had tripled!

“The buoys were removed, and things returned to normal.

“The moral of the story: You can’t send a buoy to do a moon’s job!”

(Algie adds, “Sorry!”

I should hope so. …)

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.