Smiley: Title says it all

As you might have read or heard, our legislators have paused from their efforts to keep us safe from alcoholic ice cream and Charles Darwin to ponder the need for an official state book.

They seem to favor the Bible, possibly because it’s the only book they’ve all heard of.

But George Cochran suggests some other books they might consider:

Says George, “I note that our esteemed Legislature desires to improve the literary awareness of the citizenry by adopting an official state book.

“Without intending any disrespect to 2,000-year-old authors from the Middle East, it seems to me that a Louisiana state book should at least be written by a native Louisianian.

“Some examples that might come to mind are ‘The Awakening,’ ‘A Gathering of Old Men,’ ‘A Lesson Before Dying’ and ‘A Confederacy of Dunces.’

“I’m sure you or your readers could come up with perhaps even better examples.

“Perhaps the bill should be amended to make the choice of book be the one selected by a vote of readers of Smiley Anders?”

(If that were to happen, George — and it’s not bloody likely — my readers already have overwhelmingly voted for “A Confederacy of Dunces” — with some suggesting that it also be the official book of the Legislature.)

The big three

Linda Dalferes says, “A good friend of ours was no longer able to drive, and when I went to his house to pick him up I noticed a grocery list on the refrigerator: ‘tp, bourb, cigs.’

“Three essentials of life, I guess.”

The right stuff

Mention of “mynez” in a recent column reminded Mercedes Doré of this tale:

“When my sisters and I went to summer camp in Virginia in the ’60s, we amused a lot of people there by asking for ‘mynez.’

“We tried pointing at what we wanted, but everyone wanted to hear us say ‘mynez.’

“The joke got old for us after a while.

“We finally resolved the issue by saying, ‘Please pass the white stuff.’ ”

Which reminds me

On occasion, I’ll stop by Serop’s Express on Jefferson Highway to pick up a Middle Eastern dinner to take home.

I usually get what they call the “Vegetarian Plate,” which is a more decadent dish than the name suggests

After loading up on eggplant mousaka, spinach pies, feta salad, hummus and pita bread in the cafeteria-style serving line, I decided to try the mujadarah, a hearty lentils-and-wheat dish.

After I told the young man serving me that I wanted the mujadarah, I asked him, “Did I pronounce it right?”

He grinned and replied, “Just ask for the brown stuff.”

Nice People Dept.

Phyllis Lastrapes tells of an act of kindness by an anonymous stranger:

“While in the checkout line at a Wal-Mart on Airline Highway, my neighbor Connie B. offered a young lady behind her to proceed ahead of her because the lady carried only three items. Connie, on the other hand, had many more things.

“To Connie’s surprise and delight, when the cashier completed ringing up the customer’s bill, she stated aloud to the cashier, ‘I’m paying for this lady, too!’

“Connie was awe-struck by the woman’s kindness and motivated to ‘pay it forward’ and pass on her generosity to others.

“Connie hopes this kind woman reads this and knows she is appreciated.”

Special People Dept.

Ed Guedry, of Brusly, celebrated his 95th birthday Sunday. He is a World War II veteran, serving in the 41st Infantry Division in the Pacific.

Marie “Tweetsie” Landry celebrates her 93rd birthday on Tuesday.

Eudorah White, of Covington, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Tuesday, April 15.

Knight and Elaine Roddy, of Ethel, celebrated their 55th anniversary on April 4 — at Our Lady Of the Lake. (He’s now home, “celebrating with something other than hospital food!”)

Such a night

Marsha Reichle says our seminar on misheard song lyrics reminded her of one from her youth “that was not misheard, but definitely mis-sung.”

It involves the great Smiley Lewis (no relation) and his blues lament, “One Night of Sin,” in which he says that’s what he’s now paying for.

Marsha emphasizes, “Never the Elvis version. We called him ‘rockabilly’ and always chose the R&B originators.

“We were teenage girls in boarding school at the convent in Covington, and we all lustily sang: ‘One night of sin … that’s what I’m now PRAYING for.’ ”

The sound of silence

After Charles Castaing in the Friday column called the mute button on the TV remote one of our greatest inventions, Bill Wade offered this comment:

“It might be a good idea to warn Mr. Castaing that pointing the TV remote in the wrong direction and hitting the mute button can cause domestic disharmony.”

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.