Smiley: Klutzy cities

Here’s an interesting statistic indicating that Louisiana folks are a careless lot:

In 2013, Shreveport replaced Baton Rouge on a list of the Top 10 Klutziest Cities in America, but New Orleans is still there.

In 2012, New Orleans was No. 2 on the klutz list while Baton Rouge was No. 8.

In 2013, Shreveport came in at No. 4, while New Orleans, still on the list, had dropped to No. 9.

What am I talking about?

Kevin Leahy, of Boston-based Gazelle.com, explains:

“Our company trades people cash for their used, or even broken, smartphones and tablets.

“Each year, we take a look at which cities send us the most broken devices, and the top 10 make our Klutziest Cities list.”

Kevin points out that six of the 2013 top 10 are college towns, including College Station, Texas, at No. 1.

If you can’t get an Aggie joke out of this, you’re just not trying.

Still respectful

W.J. Louviere, of Hammond, says, “In the Feb. 17 column, the reference to coach Pat Kennely having his SLU baseball players show respect to a funeral procession is still observed today.

“In January of this year, it really touched our family when we buried my mother-in-law and witnessed the players stop on the field, take off their hats and stand at attention in respect of her funeral procession.

“It made me feel pride to be an alumnus of SLU.”

Breaking bad

Rose Rolfsen says recent nostalgia items in the column “reminded me of when I was growing up in the ’30s in Kentucky.

“The night before Halloween was known as ‘Cabbage Night.’

“We would play tricks on neighbors, such as taking a bar of soap and writing words on their car or house windows. We even used dirty words such as ‘hell’ or ‘dam.’

“Occasionally a neighbor would wait for us on the second floor with a bucket of dirty scrub water.

“Then on Valentine night, we would run up to their door, ring the doorbell and yell ‘Valentine!’

“Oh, we were BAD!”

(I assume you’ve been rehabilitated by now, Rose.)

Fab sounds

After a reader recalled a “Beatles-like” Baton Rouge band in the ’60s, most readers named the Greek Fountain:

Robert Day says, “It included at least two members of some fame: Duke Bardwell and Cyril Vetter.”

But Adrian Franklin, of Baker, suggested the Inn Crowd:

“I saw them several times at the old Bikini Beach in St. Francisville, once at the Broadmoor Theater and also at the Herman’s Hermits concert at Redemptorist stadium.

“Their set included many Beatles covers and featured the fine guitar work of Hal Ellis, who would later become the guitarist for John Fred & the Playboys.”

Salty comments

George “Big Bang Theory” Lane, our unpaid science adviser, says the late cold snap brought talk of salting roads:

“It seems timely to understand some of the chemistry and physics involved.

“What is known as the ‘eutectic’ nature of a saltwater mixture allows salt spread on roads to aid in ice removal as well as mixed with ice to produce low temperatures to make ice cream.

“Salt dissolves in water and lowers the freezing point of water. The level of freezing point depression depends on the amount of salt used. The origin of the word ‘eutectic’ comes from the Greek word ‘eutektos,’ meaning ‘easily melting.’

“So now if someone asks you about the use of ‘eutectics’ in de-icing roads as well making ice cream, you can reply, ‘It’s Greek to me!,’ but actually provide an explanation!”

Day at the Museum

Frances Bennett invites you to celebrate the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade at the Capitol Park Museum on Saturday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Adult tickets are $25 and include food and soft drinks, and there will be a cash bar. Kids are free.

Tickets are available at stp-party.eventbrite.com or at the door. Call Lana Venable at (225) 238-8826 or Frances at (225) 926-4710.

Worthy causes

Family Services of Greater Baton Rouge benefits from “Sapphires ’N Spurs, A Western Night,” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the LSU Parker Coliseum. Call (225) 330-6327 or email egibson@fsgbr.org.

Special People Dept.

Ena Gordon celebrates her 99th birthday Monday, Feb. 24

Laura Dille Gautreau, of Gonzales, celebrates her 95th birthday Monday, Feb. 24.

Rooney “Gab” Davis, of Denham Springs, celebrates his 91st birthday Monday, Feb. 24.

Para what?

Marvin Borgmeyer tells of “paraprosdokians” — figures of speech in which “the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.”

For example:

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

“To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.”

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