Smiley: The Ugly Years

Does anybody else remember how shockingly BAD we guys looked in the ’70s?

I was reminded of this when my daughter Tammy posted on Facebook a photo of me taken during that decade.

I was sporting puffed-up hair (sort of a white-guy fro), with what seemed to be an attempt at a mullet in the back, plus a shaggy mustache and tinted aviator glasses.

I was wearing a shiny shirt that appeared to be made of Naugahyde, with a wide, garish tie.

I looked like:

1. Your neighborhood cocaine dealer.

2. An extra in a porn movie.

3. One of the gang in “Goodfellas” who gets whacked early in the film.

After I finished writing Tammy out of my will, I looked back on some Advocate clippings from the ’70s, and found I wasn’t alone.

Bankers, lawyers and businessmen of all types were wearing polyester sport coats with wide lapels, plaid pants with big belts, and sporting sideburns and mustaches.

Their hair was either wild like mine or so sprayed down that it resembled a leather cap.

Why weren’t women telling us how hideous we looked?

Did they find us attractive like that?

Or were they secretly getting together over a pitcher of Harvey Wallbangers and having a good laugh at our expense?

I strongly suspect the latter…

No French accent

Continuing our tales of encounters with Global Positioning Systems, here’s one from Doug Johnson, of Watson:

“The lady on my GPS has some strange pronunciations.

“She pronounces Versailles Avenue, the street where I live, ‘Ver-sales.’

“It occurred to me that this may be on purpose, as that is how most people here say the name.”

Dead end

Eleanor Howes offers another GPS story:

“Late one afternoon, my faithful GPS lady (who has a kind of Eastern European accent) was skillfully guiding me through a series of small towns in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia, area to avoid a major tie-up on the interstate.

“As I moved steadily more-or-less southward, I turned a corner to find myself facing the ‘Helping Hands Cemetery.’

“I’m not sure what town it was in or how it got its name, but it provided me with lots of food for thought as I meandered toward I-95!”

Ultimate multitasker

Tommy Watts says, “Your contributor’s reference to the business sign advertising ‘Computer Repair and Woodworking’ prompted me to retrieve from my catch-all desk drawer the card of a client offering the following services: ‘Fishing — Carpenter — Metal Detector — General Maintenance — Professional Extra.’

“A pretty talented fellow.”

Man vs. Squirrels

Charles Delony, of Baker, joins our seminar on how to keep squirrels out of bird feeders.

He says he hangs his feeder on a wire, and puts a thin board, 24 inches wide, on top of the feeder:

“The squirrels can’t get under it to the feeder.”

The color purple

Pat Hoth says the purple bins are back at Kean’s Fine Dry Cleaning locations.

These are the bins in which you’re encouraged to drop your previously read books, to be sold at the Friends of the LSU Libraries Book Bazaar.

“Please bring us the books!” says Pat.

Looking for people

Groups and individual volunteers are needed for Work/Play Day by the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges on Saturday. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Friends headquarters in Lacombe, at 61389 La. 434, to assist with grounds maintenance on the 110-acre property.

Lunch will be provided, followed by a canoe outing on Bayou Lacombe. RSVP by Thursday by contacting David Stoughton, (985) 882-2025 or david_stoughton@fws.gov.

Old news

Elwyn Bocz, of Gramercy, says a recent “Today in History” column in The Advocate noted that comedian Don Rickles was 88 on Thursday.

Says Elwyn: “It just goes to show you how well he has aged. He looked 88 25 years ago, and he looks the same today.”

Divine reaction

Charlene Wolf says, “Can you tolerate another story about colorful language on the golf course?

“My husband Bill, a friend, Bill’s uncle and our pastor were often a foursome on the golf course.

“Bill’s uncle used a lot of bad language.

“After a bad shot and some words one doesn’t use in front of the pastor, he apologized.

“Our pastor, a fun and understanding man, told him that was OK, because when HE would hit a bad shot he didn’t say anything.

“He would just spit — and where he spit grass didn’t grow.”

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.