Smiley: No rest for the retiree

Dear Smiley: Family and friends, concerned about my lack of energy, constantly urge me to “get out more” since I retired.

Frankly, I don’t understand their concern.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t “get out” to see my internist, urologist, gastroenterologist, dermatologist, oncologist, dentist, pharmacist or whateverelseist.

I daily check my mail and haul junk mail to the recycler.

I take the dog out.

I “get out” for batteries for my TV remote, plus Dr Pepper, doughnuts and ice cream.

Just yesterday, I had to “get out” to take my truck for its annual inspection.

And next month, it starts all over again!!

THAT’S why I stay pooped!


Denham Springs

Hold that pride!

Dear Smiley: As a Louisianan, I think we should be proud of the athletic achievements of all the universities in the state, even the ones we have no connection with, since they reflect well on our state.

So, last week, I was proud for the University of New Orleans when I heard a New Orleans radio report that the UNO baseball team had “gone on the road and defeated the No. 1 team in the country.”

That is, until they mentioned that the top team in the nation that UNO had defeated was that of my alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns! (I’ve been proud of them all season.)


Baton Rouge

Hold that cheese?

Dear Smiley: Many years ago, my wife and I went to Europe’s on Airline Highway with another couple for a pizza before a movie.

My friend did not like cheese, so he told the waitress he wanted a pizza but hold the cheese.

She looked at him strangely and said they could not do that.

He said, “Yes you can, so please just make it without cheese.”

She went into the kitchen, and in a couple of minutes a short, stout man came out and went directly to my friend.

With a strong voice and stern look, with arms outreached, palms up and fingers touching, the man said, “You can’ta makea pizza withouta cheese! I won’t do it.”

He crossed his arms and waited for response, to which my friend said, “OK, I will just remove the cheese.”

We learned not to order a pizza without cheese at Europe’s.


Baton Rouge

Pizza nostalgia

Dear Smiley: I am delighted that folks remember Domino’s Restaurant, 701 St. Charles Ave., now Herbsaint Restaurant.

My dad took me there one weekend in 1962 for my first pizza pie. I was 7 years old.

I vividly remember the red and white checkered half-curtains and tablecloths and empty Chianti bottle candle holders.

My dad ordered a pepperoni pie, a Falstaff for himself and a Barq’s for me. The air was smoke-filled; it was a bar also.

The pie arrived in the same warped, stained aluminum pan it was baked in — real pepperoni, real cheeses and real greasy, with a generous portion of oregano. It was delicious!

Fifty years later, the closest thing that compares to my memory of Domino’s is the pepperoni pizza at Venezia’s Restaurant, 134 N. Carrollton.



Our man in Bahstin

Dear Smiley: Several years ago, I worked at a plant that used some equipment supplied by a company near Boston.

There was one engineer I often consulted with named Mike.

At least that was the name I called him, and when I phoned and asked the receptionist for Mike, I was immediately transferred to him.

Then one day there was a new receptionist, apparently not from Boston, who informed me there was no one by that name in the office.

I gave her his last name, and she said, “Oh, that is Mark,” and transferred me to his phone.

Sure enough, it was the guy I had been calling “Mike” for months, including times when I sat in his office.

Apparently, my Southern pronunciation for “Mike” corresponded with the Boston pronunciation for “Mark.”



Talkin’ Texan

Dear Smiley: This might fit in with your recent discussion of accents:

My family moved to a small Texas town in the early ’50s, during a serious drought.

Mom was invited to play bridge at a rancher’s home.

One of the ladies asked the hostess where her husband was. “He’s burnin’ pahr,” she said.

After a pause, my mom asked for clarification.

When water and food are in short supply, cattle will eat prickly pear cactus, spines and all. You can see the needles sticking out of their lips.

So the ranchers strap on backpack propane torches, and burn the spines off the prickly pear cactus. Burnin’ pahr, obviously…

Other local terms were “wahr plahrs” (what one uses to work bobwahr) and “wrench” (what one does to clothes to get soap suds out after washing).


Georgetown, Texas

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.