Smiley Anders for Jan. 17, 2012

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There’s a cold rain falling, and the dark clouds seem to be so low you could reach up and touch them.

You’re shivering as you dodge puddles, hoping for a quick end to the miserable weather.

Then you see a guy strolling along with a big smile on his face, humming merrily to himself.

As he passes you, he smiles and says, “Great weather, isn’t it?”

Don’t be concerned. He’s not crazy — he’s a duck hunter.

Rain-free zone

Speaking of lousy weather, Karen McLemore, of Oscar, says granddaughter Mary Ella McLemore has a solution to our current spell of damp days:

“She will be 4 in March and dearly loves LSU football, the Tiger Marching Band and all things about LSU.

“The incessant rain in Baton Rouge during the past two weeks has brought my granddaughter to her own conclusion as to how to improve the weather situation.

“We were surprised when she announced after the past weeks of constant rain that we should just go to Tiger Stadium — where ‘It don’t ever rain, EVER!’ ”

The Holy Gym

Kathryn LaFleur, of Eunice, says our story about the “Basketball Church” (St. Jude, where services are being held in its gym during church renovations) brought back memories to her and her husband:

“We were married at St. George in 1984, and the photographer was not surprised that we did not want shots of the church.

“At that time, the original old church was unusable, and Masses (and weddings) were being held in what had been the school gymnasium.

“Although they had taken down the nets, there was nothing they could do to make the church not look like a gym!”

Price increase

In the continuing saga of “Mr. Forgetful,” Cindy and Steve B. report that the young man has increased his request for money to unlock his car from the $20 to $25 range to $40.

Says Cindy: “Steve and I were in Academy Sports’ parking lot on Siegen Lane when we were approached by Mr. Forgetful.

“Same song and dance, but his Pop-A-Lock quote was $39.99. He asked us for $40.

“Being a devoted reader of Smiley Anders, I asked him if he read the paper, because his scam was published in the paper for all to see. He promised it was not a scam.

“Steve told him to call Pop-A-Lock, and said we would come back out of the store to pay the bill, changing the trust from his hands to ours.

“His parting words to us, for offering to help him, were ‘God bless you!’

“Steve left his cell number with him, but by the time we made our purchase and returned to the parking lot he was gone.

“He was very polite and very convincing — thespian talent.”

Where y’at?

That’s the question Joe Glass says motorists are asking other drivers who don’t light up in bad weather:

“In the recent rain and fog, I am convinced that 20 percent of drivers do not use their headlights.

“I wish auto makers would attach wipers to headlights, so headlights come on automatically when wipers are needed.”

Joe says state law mandates use of headlights when windshield wipers are on.

Worthy causes

“Give Back Night to Squeeze Out Cancer” will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at Bistro Byronz, 5412 Government St., by Eastside Lemonators, a Relay for Life group.

Bistro Byronz will donate 20 percent of sales from dine-in meals and 10 percent of to-go orders.

To make an online donation to Relay for Life, go to http://main.acsevents.org/goto/east sidelemonators.

Looking for people

Court Appointed Special Advocates needs volunteers, especially men, to advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care.

A 45-minute information session will explain how you can help. Sessions will be offered on a number of dates until March 26.

Contact training coordinator Garcelia Burchell at gburchell@casabr.org.

Not even for Easter?

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, credits the Rev. Mark Benge, of First United Methodist in Lafayette, with this one:

Three ministers, who met regularly for coffee, all complained of having problems with bats in their churches.

Preacher No. 1 said he tried shooting the bats with a shotgun, but all he did was blow a hole in the ceiling.

Preacher No. 2 said he was more humane — he trapped the bats, took them 50 miles away and let them go in the woods. But they beat him back to the church.

Preacher No. 3 said he got rid of his bats completely. When asked how, he said, “I baptized them, made them members of the church, and they haven’t been back since.”

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.