Smiley: Laughing at politics

Sometimes all you can do about Louisiana politics is laugh — even when you feel like crying.

That’s why for more than 60 years the people in the media who cover state government have put on a spoof of the folks they write or tell about every day.

For a number of years, the Gridiron Show has been directed by the multi-talented and ever-so-patient Ronnie Stutes, who says dealing with media types is not like herding cats — herding cats is much easier.

The motto of the amateur thespians in the show is, “No talent, but lots of enthusiasm!”

Here are just the facts, ma’am:

The Capitol Correspondents Association presents its 63rd annual Gridiron Show on Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, at the Nicholson Post American Legion Hall, 151 S. Wooddale Blvd. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with curtain at 7:45 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for either night. Bring party food, but use the cash bar.

The address for tickets is Gridiron, P.O. Box 44131, Baton Rouge LA 70804.

Seating is limited to 400 each night, so get moving.

Secretary-Treasurer Marjorie Hasten says for more information and updates, visit the new Facebook page at

(Full disclosure — I have a small but pivotal role in the show. It COULD involve some nudity, so you might not want to bring children or persons with frail constitutions.)

A heavenly site

James Wax says, “About three weeks ago, my 5-year-old granddaughter from Texas, out of the blue, began asking her mom about heaven.

“Her first question was, ‘Mama, when we get to heaven will we have skin?’

“My daughter’s answer was, ‘I don’t know.’

“A few more questions were presented to my daughter. She continued to say that she did not know.

“My granddaughter got very upset and blurted out, ‘MAMA, WHY DON’T YOU GOOGLE IT?’ ”

She’s so old that …

Denise Savoie needs your help:

“My cousin is planning a birthday party for my aunt, who is turning 89 at the end of the month.

“My 78-year-old dad and 81-year-old uncle have been asked to ‘roast’ their sister, and they are kind of nervous about it.

“I offered to help with some material, and thought your readers were just the right source for some ‘she’s so old’ jokes.

“Groaners will be gleefully accepted — such as one of Dad’s favorite stories about his friend who was arrested sneaking under a chain link fence.

“The judge let him off with a warning and said, ‘Remember, son, you have to stoop pretty low to sneak under a fence.’

“So you see, the bar — like the fence — is not set very high!

“They need all the help they can get!”

The ultimate motto

I doubt that it’s official, but I kind of like the motto for Plaquemine that Joe Cavet sent me:

“Plaquemine — Where all the ladies are pretty, the men handsome, the youngsters polite, and we have the ferry and Joe Guilbeau.”

Fry day

The St. Aloysius Child Care Center holds its 20th annual fundraising fish fry from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the church cafeteria, 2025 Stuart Ave. A drive-thru will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pre-ordered lunches for large groups will be available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Go to

Special People Dept.

Margaret Barrett, of East Jefferson Wellness Center, celebrated her 93rd birthday on Monday, March 10.

Ann Mills, of Oakwood Assisted Living in Zachary, celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday, March 11.

Thought for the Day

From Algie Petrere: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

If you got it, flaunt it!

Sue Conran adds to our collection of Ash Wednesday tales:

“My husband, two friends from out of state and I attended noon Mass on Ash Wednesday at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

“The church was packed, but the usher found me a seat at the end of a pew in back with a young family who had two young girls. The youngest was about 4 or 5.

“The archbishop’s homily, of course, was about penance during the Lenten season.

“He quoted the ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’ phrase and asked how many of us, including himself, would feel comfortable asking that.

“He encouraged us to look within ourselves for one thing we needed to change during Lent so that we could look in the mirror and ask, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?’

“Without missing a beat, the little girl said, ‘Me!’

“No one could keep from laughing.”

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.