Smiley: The Texas language

“Louisianians do not have a lock on peculiar elocution,” says James Bagley, of Covington.

He says he and his family moved often during his 35-year career with the Shell oil company:

“On one such move, to Houston, our quest for a dentist was answered by a neighbor, who recommended Dr. Bale and gave us his phone number.

“My wife, Lucy, made an appointment, arrived at a two-story office building and searched for Dr. Bale to no avail.

“Finally she asked a lady, who declared, ‘Honey, you’re in front of his office.’

“My wife took our daughter in to see Dr. Bell.”

That’s incompatible!

Attorney Kyle DeJean, of Opelousas, says, “I doubt that Tony Falterman realized the Pandora’s box he was opening with his story about a client wanting a divorce.

“Many years ago, a 97-year-old client came into my office and wanted a divorce from his 68-year-old wife.

“I asked if he was sure.

“He replied, ‘I thought I needed a divorce the second time I fell in the yard and she came out and said, “That’s good for you, you old (bleep), you ought to stay down there and die.”

“‘But I knew I needed a divorce when she made me a hamburger and it smelled funny and I fed it to the cat, and the cat died!’”

Fair question

Speaking of somewhat iffy marital relations, Pam Downing tells this story:

“In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the fortune teller delivered grave news:

“‘There’s no easy way to tell you this, so I’ll just be blunt. Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year.’

“Visibly shaken, the woman stared back at the old woman’s lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her shaking hands.

“She took a few deep breaths to compose herself. Her mind raced. A question forced its way out … she simply had to know.

“She met the fortune teller’s gaze, tried to steady her voice, and asked, ‘Will I be acquitted?’”

Language barriers

Charmian Kendrick says, “I couldn’t help but smile reading about the reader who was having trouble understanding some of the accents in the BritCom shows on LPB.

“If it’s any consolation, we Londoners have the same problem understanding some of the northern accents!”

No help

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, adds to our seminar on TV commercials with one he finds baffling:

“A woman is lying on the floor and says, ‘Help me, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.’

“But the photographer is right there. Why doesn’t he pick her up?

“But no, he just keeps on running the camera.”

Reminds me of those “reality” shows in which we’re invited to witness the most private, personal moments of the participants — all alone except for the camera, sound and lighting crews.

For the Union

After a post-Civil War monument to Union supporters in Comfort, Texas, was described as being the only Union monument in the South, Al Bethard, of Lafayette, told of one in Jennings:

“Jennings was settled by Midwestern families who moved south in the 1880s to grow rice.”

Greenwood Cemetery contains a monument reading “To the unknown dead, who fell that the Union might live.”

There are 59 Union graves there and only three Confederate graves.

Mah Jongg Madness

That’s the title of a mah jongg tournament for new and experienced players Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at B’nai Israel on Kleinert. Contact Maureen Corcoran at mocorcoran@bellsouth.net.

Special People Dept.

Emily Doyle, a native of St. Bernard Parish, living in Plaquemine since Hurricane Katrina, celebrates her 90th birthday on Thursday, Aug. 14.

James and Dorothy Lieux celebrate 69 years of marriage on Thursday, Aug. 14.

Sharkey Vance and Marie Zulma Chaney celebrate their 69th anniversary on Thursday, Aug. 14.

The vision thing

Schlomo Pielstick-Kennedy says, “I have recently read that medical research shows that poor eyesight is associated with high I.Q.

“All my life I have wondered why I was blessed with such good eyesight.

“Now I know — I’m stupid.”

Don’t be cruel

L.P. Miller says, “When I was a smart-aleck teenager in Myerstown, Pa., I and my pals would laugh, snicker and sometimes chortle at Old Jim, who walked around town in his ill-fitting pants, talking to himself and to stray dogs.

“Mom heard us one day, and was not amused:

“‘Don’t make fun of Old Jim — you’ll be old yourself one day.’

“So, if you see me in ill-fitting pants, mumbling — don’t laugh.”

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.