Smiley: Who’s on third?

Gordon Greenwood, of Slidell, tells of his short but eventful career as a baseball coach.

The second time he went out to watch his son play T-ball, the coach of his son’s team told him his third base coach was out of town, and asked him to fill in.

Says Gordon, “Everything went fine until the third or fourth inning, and then it happened.

“We had three runners on third base, and their shortstop was standing in his position holding the ball.

“I yelled at the lead runner to go home, then I yelled at the second runner to go back to second base.

“But the runner going home heard me say ‘Turn around,’ and started back to third.

“All this time, the shortstop was standing there watching me, while his coaches were yelling at him to throw the ball to third.

“He finally did, but the ball sailed over the third baseman’s head and into the dugout.

“Net result, all three runs scored, due mainly to my expert coaching.

“The next game, I gave a sigh of relief when I saw the assistant coach was there — and my career as a substitute coach was over.”

Theme song

George Lane observes that “New Orleans lost a Super Bowl bid for the first time to Minnesota, who bought, excuse me, won, their second Super Bowl with their new $1 billion stadium and its advanced lighting system.”

Recalling the infamous 34-minute blackout in the last Super Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, George says he had a flashback of “Dandy” Don Meredith on the early “Monday Night Football” broadcasts crooning “Turn out the lights, the party’s over. …”

Star struck

Sarah Stravinska tells of meeting an idol:

“My first husband, Larry, was reporter/photographer for the Poughkeepsie Journal in upstate New York when the cast of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ took over the small town of Garrison, N.Y., to make the film.

“Larry was sent to interview Barbra Streisand, or maybe Gene Kelly, who was directing.

“Naturally he took me along, as he valued his life too much to not take me!

“He got a few photos of Barbra, but couldn’t publish them, as she had a strict policy about which photos got published.

“But there was Gene Kelly, riding around on a bicycle!

“We stopped him for the interview, and he was just as sweet in person as he appears in his films.

“I stood there with my eyes bugged out. I had reverted to my 10-year-old self, who had gone to every film he ever danced in.

“I finally gushed, ‘Mr. Kelly, I have been in love with you my whole life!’

“I was 29 years old, so I must have made him feel like an old geezer!”

Have a crawfish hoagie

Ronnie Stutes found some interesting statistical information on the Revolutions website about U.S. dialect variations.

Joshua Katz, at North Carolina State University, took some data from the Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes to determine that Louisiana is the state where the word “crawfish” is most universally applied to the crustacean.

Other terms on the survey were “crayfish,” “crawdad” and “I have no word for this critter.”

He also found that “sub” (for “submarine”) is used for that large sandwich in all but two cities in the U.S.

In the Philadelphia area, it’s a “hoagie,” while in the New Orleans area, it’s what the survey calls a “poor boy.”

Worthy causes

The Brusly Lions Club sells barbecued chicken dinners from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at 202 E. St. Francis St. Proceeds support Lions charities. Go to www.bruslylionsclub.org/ or call Melvin Abbott at (225) 200-3561.

That’s not nice!

Linda Hughs Whitman, of Denham Springs, says our mention of Mississippians “brought to mind an old family saying.

“My late aunt, Lucille Hughes, was from Mississippi, and my daddy picked at her the first time he met her.

“He said, ‘Oh, you’re from Mississippi? I thought you’d been sick.’

“She was ‘vertically challenged,’ and he would tell her, ‘Lucille, if I were you, I’d sue the city of Baton Rouge.’

“When she’d ask why, he’d say, ‘They’ve done gone and built the sidewalk too close to your bottom.’ ”

Sleep on it

L.P. Miller is a dissatisfied mattress owner:

“I bought one of those high-tech mattresses — the kind where you dial in a number — and it worked fine. Very comfortable. Slept like a baby is supposed to sleep.

“Then I had to take a business trip, one that would have made me a lot of bucks.

“Had to catch an early flight, so before retiring, I dialed in 5:30 a.m. on the mattress, giving me plenty of time to make my flight.

“Alas — the mattress didn’t wake me.

“So I missed my flight, my appointment and a lookerative business opportunity.

“Question is: Do I have a case?

“And does ‘lookerative’ have two or three O’s?”

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.