Smiley: Passion, ice and brooms

With the Winter Olympics in full swing, this is the proper time to confess in the name of full disclosure:

I’ve got a thing for women curlers.

I don’t mean hairdressers (not that there’s anything wrong with hairdressers), but the athletes on curling teams competing in the Olympics.

Curling is something like shuffleboard, but it’s on icy lanes, and heavy granite stones are pushed on the ice to get scores, according to a scoring system I’ve yet to figure out. What makes it unique are the sweepers who use brooms on the ice in front of the stone as it makes it way down the lane to speed up its progress.

My spouse knows of my crush on women curlers and blames it on the presence of sweepers. She says men like to see women doing housework.

The last time the Winter Olympics was on TV, the guys at the Pastime bar got interested in women’s curling, and I’d sit with them as they quaffed root beers and discussed the finer points of the contest and the skill levels of the athletes.

Then, guys being guys, the conversation moved on to the subject of which team had the most attractive ladies on it. I even heard the word “hot” being used at one point.

I’ve seen some strange things around the Pastime bar, but this was one of the most bizarre.

Since I haven’t been able to find any curling venues in south Louisiana, I only get to see the women of curling from a distance, on TV every four years.

So my marriage is safe. …

Talk about color ...

Speaking of the Winter Olympics, Mike Ledet offers this suggestion:

“I’m not a big fan of Olympic figure skating, or ice dancing, or whatever they are calling it now. But I thought of a way that might make it more interesting.

“If Larry the Cable Guy would do the color commentating, it would be so much more entertaining. What do you think?”

(I think he would be as good as Buck Laughlin, the clueless dog show color commentator played by Fred Willard in Christopher Guest’s hilarious spoof, “Best In Show.”)

Music makes Mardi Gras

After I mentioned in the Friday column some of my favorite Carnival tunes, I heard from Grant Smith, of New Orleans, who added to the list:

“Professor Longhair’s ‘Big Chief’ and ‘Hey Pocky Way’ by the Meters are classics.

“And all those terrific Mardi Gras Indian songs: ‘Meet De Boys On The Battlefront’ and ‘Indian Red,’ by the Wild Tchoupitoulas; ‘Big Chief Likes Plenty of Fire Water’ and ‘New Suit,’ by the Wild Magnolias; ‘Shallow Water’ by the Treme Brass Band, to name a few.”

Help Pinky!

“Pinky” comments on the big wooden flamingos put in Baton Rouge lakes by anonymous decorators just before the Spanish Town Mardi Gras:

“Long before moving to Baton Rouge, I’ve been a fan of the ever tacky, never inappropriate pink flamingo.

“Earrings, clothing, knick-knacks — you name it, I own it!

“Imagine my surprise the first time I saw giant flamingos in the LSU Lakes! I almost crashed on I-10.

“Every year I promise myself I’ll own/pilfer/adopt one of those beautiful birds. Every year I’ve been disappointed.

“I need an accomplice in this ruse.

“So, here’s the deal. If any of your courageous readers is willing to help an old lady gain ownership of said bird, I’ll furnish and drive the truck.

“I don’t own a pirogue, so that would be a plus for any miscreant applying.”

If you can help, the address is

Special People Dept.

Elisa “Grandmere” Comeaux celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday, Feb. 10.

Jessie Thompson, formerly of Prairieville now living in Baton Rouge, celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday, Feb. 7.

Bess McBride, formerly of Shreveport now living in Baton Rouge, celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday, Feb. 7.

Myrtle Hardison, of Franklin County, Miss., celebrated her 97th birthday on Sunday, Feb. 9.

Joe Kowalczuk, of St. Francisville, celebrates his 93rd birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the BREC Milton J. Womack Center’s afternoon Tea Dance, which he has attended for more than 15 years.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, Betty Torbert celebrated her 90th birthday.

Carol and Marguerite Aucoin, of Paincourtville, celebrated 50 years of marriage Feb. 1.

Clear the shelves!

Patsy Kelly says, “Read in The Advocate that the nation’s second largest drug store chain, CVS, is phasing out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco as it continues to focus more on health care.

“Does that mean the next thing we will see on its shelves is medical marijuana?”

In opposition

My list of oxymorons, two words used together but with opposing meanings, was added to by Joe Balfour with “safe sex” and “bagpipe music.”

And Mark J. Lineske, obviously a night person, told of one “glaring omission” in our list: “Good morning.”

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.