Smiley: Caution: Crab Crossing

Richard Sherlock says, “Reading about things being picked up in the road reminded me about an incident during the ’80s when we had a fishing camp in Leeville on La. 1 south of Golden Meadow.

“We were across the road at a seafood dock getting fresh shrimp when a dock worker hauling a load of live crabs with a forklift went out into the highway to move to another place on the facility — and lost the load on the highway.

“Luckily, a Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent was traveling by and stopped, putting his lights on to stop traffic.

“All of us helped round up the hundreds of crabs — a hilarious sight to say the least with lots of claw-snapping going on.”

Flamingo Dynasty

That’s the theme of the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade, based on a “reality” show about another feathered critter (look for lots of flamingo-pink beards at this event).

The parade, downtown Baton Rouge’s largest Carnival event, will be held March 1. It starts rolling at noon with floats, marching groups, lots of music and plenty of friendly debauchery.

This year’s king is Gil Leachman, co-founder of Krewes for Food, which benefits the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

His queen is the lovely and talented Laken Boudreaux.

This year’s grand marshal is the extremely distinguished Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who has been a float judge for years (I assume this is his effort to capture the wacko vote in future elections).

No pie for you!

Paul Habig, of Woodville, Miss., says, “Reading Mike Graham’s recollections of the Toddle House on Third Street brought back fond memories.

“I too enjoyed those delicious pies and hamburgers served there.

“I don’t think Mike will mind my telling you this.

“I was employed as a staff artist at WBRZ-TV when Mike came to work there. (He later joined WAFB-TV.)

“At that time, I think 1958, Mike was a much heftier man than he is now.

“Shortly after Mike joined Channel 2, he had to fulfill an obligation with the National Guard and spent a number of weeks on active duty.

“When Mike came back to work, he must have weighed 40 pounds less than when he left.

“Now, I’m wondering if this was due to strenuous exercise he was made to perform — or maybe there just wasn’t a Toddle House located where he was stationed.

“What do you think?”

(I’m not paid to think — just to write a column. …)

Living dangerously

Terri Karam Willett says the day after she sent me the story of her failed attempt to follow her sister Kelli’s king cake recipe (which resulted in possibly the world’s largest king cake), “Kelli texted me regarding an upcoming family gathering. She asked me to bring bread since her arthritis is acting up.

“She has no idea the story ran in the Thursday paper as she lives in Grapevine, Ariz., these days.

“Question is: Should I bake a single, double or triple batch? Bwahahaha!”

Double duty

“In light of the recent tales of satsumas, I thought about ours,” says Harriet St.Amant:

“We have two ‘satsuma’ trees — in quotes because satsumas, being seedless, must be grafted onto host trees, in this case, lemons.

“One of our trees suffered some damage, and as it repaired itself, it reverted to itself.

“We now have one tree which still bears only satsumas and one which bears both satsumas and lemons.

“Since the lemons are round and orangish, I frequently need to scratch the skin a little to tell the difference by smell.”

School day

Pam Downing says Volunteers In Public Schools hosts its first VIPS Sampler from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Broadmoor Elementary. It offers volunteers opportunities to support East Baton Rouge Parish schools. A special guest will be WAFB-TV anchor Donna Britt.

Great escapes

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, says, “Mississippi’s ending conjugal visits for prison inmates reminds me of the saga of Slippery Louie.

“When I was a young Associated Press reporter in Jackson, Miss., I saw this little story in a small newspaper about a guy who had escaped from jail for the fourth time and had been dubbed ‘Slippery Louie.’

“The story mentioned that his prison term, originally 30 days for a traffic offense, was now up to three years because all the escapes resulted in extended sentences.

“I also noticed that Slippery Louie always was picked up and returned to jail the next day.

“This made me curious, and I called the local sheriff to ask why the guy kept escaping and lengthening his sentence, and why it was so easy to get him back in jail 24 hours later.

“The sheriff laughed and replied, ‘Well, Slippery gets to missing his wife real bad, so when he escapes we just relax, wait until the next morning and then go to his house where he’s waiting for us — usually with a big grin on his face!’ ”

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.