Smiley: Fun with GPS talk

We’ve had several comments about dealing with non-humans when making business calls.

Algie Petrere says we shouldn’t forget the “people” who talk on GPS (global postioning system) in our cars.

“The strangest pronunciations are probably from the computer ‘lady’ on GPS.

“If you’re in New Orleans, you should get directions that include Tchoupitoulas Street.

“The butchered pronunciation will give you a good laugh.

“Closer to home, I was driving on the Central Thruway and the computer told me to continue south on the Central ‘Thwee.’

“I said, ‘What did she say?’ Then I realized it was seeing the abbreviation “thwy,” so that’s exactly the way it was said.

“I found it very funny — I guess I’m easily entertained.”

(Of course you are — you’re reading this column, aren’t you?)

Night at the opera

I was surprised, and a bit alarmed, when Leanne Clement asked me to be in the Friday performance of “Die Fledermaus” by Opera Louisiane.

Since, at the request of my spouse, I sing only in the shower, I was wondering how she had heard my renditions of such doo-wop classics as “Duke of Earl” and “Blue Moon.”

She explained that I was to be one of the guests on stage during the party scene in the second act. Since this appears to involve sitting and drinking champagne, I readily agreed.

Still, I’m a little disappointed that I don’t get to sing — this morning I worked up a killer version of “Little Darlin’. ”

(If you’d like to see a great show, and me sitting and drinking champagne, go to operalouisiane.com.)

Greeting or beating

Jim and Judi George were on a cruise when they saw a newspaper article in Bermuda about a gent who struck a blow for civility — literally.

It seems Basil Stewart, 55, got no reply when he greeted Harry Landy with “Good morning.”

The story said “tempers flared” when Stewart approached Landy about his lack of response, and wound up “kicking Mr. Landy in the legs and punching him in the face, bloodying his nose and knocking him to the ground.”

Stewart pleaded “guilty with an excuse” and was fined $500.

Shakey’s band

Our nostalgia items about the piano player at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Baton Rouge drew this note from Dennis Mitchell, of Laurel Hill, Fla.:

“I am the piano player, who had way too much fun as a graduate student at LSU playing at Shakey’s.

“The two banjo players who worked with me were both students of mine.

“Allan Darouse is currently working on the Kissimmee River Restoration project near Okeechobee, Fla., and Dr. Mark Lejeune and his wife are physicians in Birmingham, Ala.

“We’re still close friends, and see each other and talk about Shakey’s after one too many Rusty Nails.

“Some of the best years of our lives were playing at Shakey’s.”

Dennis, a QEP (qualified environmental professional), says, “I still run into people, 40-plus years later, who are able to identify me as the piano player at Shakey’s. Apparently, I really did give away a lot of beer!”

Golf for a cause

Adult Literacy Advocates has a “Links for Literacy” golf tourney Monday at Copper Mill Golf Club in Zachary. Former Gov. Edwin Edwards is the celebrity guest. Visit www.adultliteracyadvocates.org.

Family Services of Greater Baton Rouge has a golf tournament from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at The Island course in Plaquemine. Call René Taylor, (225) 927-9810.

Special People Dept.

Mary Helen Barkei Marler, of Allen, Texas, celebrates her 100th birthday on Friday. She is a former resident of Algiers, and a World War II nurse.

Elba Bay celebrates his 100th birthday on Sunday.

Adolph Winter, of New Orleans, celebrates his 98th birthday on Friday. He’s originally from Milwaukee and Chicago.

Naomi Mann Copeland, a native of Arkansas and a resident of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 95th birthday on Saturday.

Leonard Gautreaux, of Gonzales, celebrates his 93rd birthday on Sunday.

Mavis Day, of Zachary, celebrates her 91st birthday on Saturday.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary on Friday are Dennis and Dianne Delatorre.

Donald and Pat Longino celebrate their 50th anniversary on Friday.

Wake-up call

Shirley Seymour tells of a memorable breakfast:

“I prepared my husband Bob’s toast with peanut butter, then added sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

“Bob took a bite of the apples and asked what I put on them.

“I asked him what it tasted like, and he said garlic.

“I checked the bottle on the counter and it was garlic powder! Looked like cinnamon and sugar when I sprinkled it, and it was in the place on the spice rack where the cinnamon and sugar belong.

“Guess that woke up his taste buds!”

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.