Smiley: Dead reckoning

“We love our grandkids because they’re so honest,” says John Evans, of White Castle.

Two stories from John and Algie Petrere illustrate this:

John says, “My 7-year-old grandson has always loved guns.

“One day when he was 5, looking at my collection of Model 12 Winchester pumps, he asked my wife if he could have them.

“She replied that they were Granddaddy’s, but ‘Maybe when Granddaddy dies, he’ll leave them to you.’

“Not knowing until later what had transpired, I heard his heavy-footed cowboy boots coming down the stairs.

“He confronted me and said, ‘I need to ask you something.’

“I replied, ‘What is it?’

“His question — ‘When are you going to die?’ ”

Algie says, “My great-grandson John and I were walking out in the yard a couple of years ago when he was about 5.

“Out of the blue, he said, ‘GG, I’m really going to miss you when you die.’

“I didn’t know what to say, so I just put my hand on his chest and told him I would always be with him, right there in his heart.

“I guess he has come to terms with the inevitable, because a few weeks ago, I was letting him take pictures with my camera and he asked, ‘Can I have your camera when you die?’

“The first incident made me cry; the last one gave me a good laugh.”

Priority One

A mature reader, who lives in a retirement community in Baton Rouge, reports seeing this sign on the community’s bulletin board recently:

“Bible study class canceled because of the trip to the casino.”

(But there was no doubt still some praying going on. …)

A prune juice toast!

This just in from George Lane, our unpaid celebrity watcher:

“Hugh Hefner, legendary founder of Playboy, celebrated his 88th birthday the other night when his 29-year-old wife, Crystal, jumped out of a bran muffin.”

Inquiring Minds Dept.

Alex Chapman, of Ville Platte, says, “OK, Smiley, between you and all your smart-aleck readers: Where does the term ‘shooting the bull’ come from?”

Don’t know about my smart-aleck readers, Alex, but my copy of Partridge’s Concise Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English says it’s a Canadian phrase, circa 1919, and that “bull session” derives from it.

It also says that “bull” is short for … well, another word. …

Change of heart

Patricia Neufeld has another “kids in church” story:

“By age 2, Jack had learned that it was good to give in church.

“He stuffed so many coins in his long shorts that he had to hold them up when walking inside.

“When the collection plate was passed, though, he hid under a pew to avoid giving.

“After church, he held up his pants until he got into the car.”

Price of fun

Doug Johnson, of Watson, says contributor Shirley Flieniken’s comment about the saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted,” reminded him that in Louisiana “parted” in that saying usually should be spelled “partied.”

Worthy causes

The Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge benefits when you have dinner at Bistro Bryonz between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday. Mention MHA and 20 percent of proceeds will be donated to the organization. Tickets also will be sold to the MHA’s “Beat the Odds Casino Night & Silent Auction” on May 3.

Special People Dept.

Hugh O’Connor celebrates his 98th birthday Monday at a family gathering with entertainment provided by 3-year-old great-granddaughter Gabrielle.

Edward Williams, of Metairie, celebrated his 95th birthday Thursday. He is a World War II veteran.

Sidney Roy celebrated his 93rd birthday Friday.

Check it out

Mona Bickham says, regarding our spell-check gone-wrong stories, that when she was teaching word-processing programs to high school students, she used a poem to show them that spell-check/grammar-check features “would NOT be their salvation in regard to English themes etc.:”

Poem to the Spell Checker

I have a spelling checker,

It came with my PC.

It plainly marks four my revue

Mistakes I cannot sea.

I’ve run this poem threw it,

I’m sure your pleased too no.

Its letter perfect in

It’s weigh ­­­—

My checker tolled me sew.

April fooled

“On April 1,” says Ernie Gremillion, “I stopped by my drugstore to pick up a prescription.

“My wife, Margaret, was in the car with me, and being the chocolate lover she is, asked me to get her a Dove bar.

“I thought I would pull an April Fools’ joke on her and bought her a bar of Dove soap.

“Later, I discovered that eating every meal for a whole week at McDonald’s is not that bad.”

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.