Smiley: Fight DWEIC!

Who says our legislators don’t tackle vital issues?

Why, at this very moment, they’re pondering a matter of great importance to all of us — alcoholic ice cream.

Our elected leaders are concerned that “driving while eating ice cream” may become a problem.

Well, I’ve never been elected to public office, but I can advise the legislators on how to deal with this issue.

Simply sell the alcoholic ice cream at Louisiana’s many drive-thru daiquiri shops.

Since motorists can’t drink their daiquiris and drive — the shops put a piece of tape over the hole in the top of the cup where the straw goes — booze-laden ice cream could easily be dealt with in the same manner.

No need to thank me — public service is my life.

Which reminds me

My mention of not running for public office reminds me of the time I ran into Mert Smiley at an event in St. Amant when he was running for the Louisiana House (He’s now assessor in Ascension Parish).

I got him to give me one of his “Vote for Smiley” yard signs, and put it up on the fence by our hot tub.

But it didn’t stay up long.

Lady Katherine made me take it down — she said it was just too scary. …

Spell check strikes again

When I started writing on computers, it didn’t take me long to realize the “spell check” feature could be a two-edged sword.

It was a handy way to catch spelling errors, but sometimes a word would get by because it was spelled correctly, but wasn’t exactly the one you wanted to use.

Gail Stephenson came across an example of this in a news story on the website of a Baton Rouge TV station (I won’t say which one — they’re nice people and I don’t want to embarrass them) about Exxon Mobil’s problems with its gasoline.

She sent me a copy of the story telling us that “Exxon Mobil released a statement to the public this morning apologizing for the incontinence. …”

We’ll take Manhattan

It seems Baton Rouge writers are moving into the New York literary scene these days.

The Advocate’s Danny Heitman had an article, “Keep It Short,” in the March 24 Draft, The New York Times’ weekly feature on writing.

And local freelancer Mary Ann Sternberg had a story on nutria meat being processed to feed dogs, titled “Louisiana’s Swamp-Rat Dog Treat,” in The New Yorker’s online site on March 27.

Doggone close

Georgeann Chaffee asks, “Remember that Nestlé’s commercial sung by the dog puppet, Farfel?

“All through my childhood, I thought the last line of the little song was, ‘Nestlé’s makes the very best … dog food,’ followed by Farfel snapping his mouth shut.”

(Farfel’s actual lyrics were, of course, “Nestlé’s makes the very best choc’late.”)

Worthy causes

The Taste, an annual fundraiser for Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, will be held May 1.

Laurée and Jim Bob Moffett have announced they will match all donations made to The Taste from April 2-12, dollar for dollar up to $10,000, in honor of Laurée’s mother, Betty LaFleur Zachariah, who was treated at the Cancer Center.

For information on The Taste or the “Fundraising Challenge,” visit or call (225) 215-1221.

Printed matter

Rose Rolfsen asks, “Is there somewhere I can take recent issues of magazines? I hate to just throw them in the trash.” She’s at

An Istrouma High grad needs Pow Wow yearbooks for 1954, 1955 and 1956. Call (225) 752-7798.

And Marion Hogan Forbes addresses the reader looking for Istrouma High yearbooks from 1935, 1936 or 1937:

“My mother always told me that the 1938 Pow Wow was the first yearbook issued by Istrouma High.

“The dedication page reads, ‘To you, the faculty of Istrouma High School, we take pleasure in dedicating our first annual to be published by the students of this school.’ ”

Special People Dept.

Betty and Iverson Gandy Sr. celebrated their 63rd anniversary on Tuesday, April 1.

Old news

Melvin Daigle says, “For many years I was asked, ‘How old are you?’

“I always answered with my age — sometimes the right one.

“Now, approaching 80, I answer this way:

“ ‘I’m older now than I’ve ever been.’ ”

Ignorance is bliss

A reader comments on our “misheard lyrics” discussion with the observation that it’s better NOT to understand some lyrics:

“A few years ago there was a song on the radio that I really enjoyed because of the beat.

“Knowing I’m a bit of a prude, one day my daughter asked, ‘Mom, do you KNOW WHAT HE’S SAYING?’

“Next time I heard the song, I listened carefully.

“That really ruined the song for me!”

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.