Smiley: Honest answer

Tommy Watts says, “My grandson Connor, 9, recently presented a crisis to his household — he managed to get a marble stuck in his Nerf gun.

“As his father struggled to dislodge the sphere from the weapon, he asked, ‘How did you do this?’

“Connor’s explanation was, ‘I’m young, I’m naive and I didn’t know what I was doing.’

“I found his honesty refreshing, and wish that certain of our national leaders had the courage to do the same.”

Buried in forms

“I bought a few shares of stock in a pipeline company last year because they were paying a higher rate of return than most investments,” says Sam Shepard.

“This week, I received a letter from the company advising I had received $43 income in 2013 as a ‘partner’ in the company.

“A form and instructions for reporting the income to the IRS and state included in the envelope were:

“1. Federal Form K-1, listing 6 of 10 different items of income to report.

“2. Schedule K-1, additional information statement.

“3. 2013 Sales Worksheet No. 1.

“4. 2013 Sales Worksheet No. 2 (for state returns only …).

“5. A 16-page IRS booklet, ‘Partner’s Instructions for IRS Schedule K-1.’

“6. Two pages listing 13 ‘Frequently Asked Questions.’

“7. A two-page ‘2013 Graphic Guide’ showing additional forms needed: Form 1040, Schedule E, Schedule B; Form 4797; Form 8903; Form 1116; Form 6251; Form 4952.

“To quote Jeff Foxworthy, if you have to go through this hassle to pay your share of the national tax revenue, you might live in a nation that was formed by geniuses but run by idiots.

“And yes, I sold the stock.”

Getting acquainted

Carl Spillman says, “The Internet went down and I had to spend time with the family. …They seem like nice people. …”

Sign language

Marvin Verbois responds to our tale about the Western Auto store in Kaplan that lost some letters and was known as the “Stern Store.”

“Years ago, I remember when two letters on the Braud’s Glass neon sign in Baton Rouge didn’t light up.”

(And that’s all I’m going to allow Marvin to say about THAT. …)

Sorry, Bob

Bob Downing started all this when he complained that the de-icer he had bought at a Western Auto (some time ago) didn’t work during our freezing rain episode.

We’ve been hearing from the few independent stores around the area that kept the name when the national chain went kaput.

John Meeker says there is still a Western Auto in Bunkie, “run by the same family, the Pujols, since the ’60s.”

And George Swan says Glass House and Supplies in Gonzales is in the old Western Auto store:

“We still have the signs — but no de-icer.”

Special People Dept.

Alma “Lil Girl” Treaudo Dennis, of St. James, celebrated her 100th birthday on March 1. She attends Mount Calvary Baptist Church and sings in the Jubilee Choir.

Raleigh? Really?

It’s always refreshing to hear of a restaurant outside south Louisiana that serves the kind of food we take for granted down here.

Michael L. Vincent, DDS, came across such a place recently in Raleigh, N.C. — The Big Easy:

“The menu lists ‘Grilled Shrimp Baton Rouge,’ ‘Alligator Bites,’ ‘Crawfish Étouffée,’ ‘Oysters Rockefeller’ and ‘A Taste of Louisiana’ (jambalaya, gumbo, fried shrimp or gator, red beans and rice).

“I was intrigued enough to walk inside. The decor made me think I was in New Orleans. But I asked myself, ‘Can they cook?’

“I asked the waitress where the chef called home. The owner and original chef came from south Louisiana.

“We sampled much of the menu. Great — make you slap your mama!

“If ever in Raleigh, give it a try.” Mass amusement

Joan W. Barré, of Metairie, adds to our collection of “kids at Mass” stories with these two:

“When my husband, Carl, and I attended Mass, we always sat in the front of the church so our four little sons could see the altar and the priest.

“Son Keith, then about 3, was very attentive, and noticed the congregation going up to receive communion.

“When we all returned to our pews and the priest began cleansing the chalice with holy water and wiping it with a cloth, Keith turned to me and in a loud voice said, ‘Is he going to make another batch?’

“That brought laughter to those sitting nearby.”

“On another occasion, while attending Mass with my granddaughter Julia when she was about 3, I carried her in my arms as I went up to receive communion.

“As the priest placed the host on my tongue, she said in a loud voice, ‘I want a chip!’

“Even the priest broke out in a smile.”

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.