Smiley Anders for Jan. 23, 2013

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Ann Rivet Marix adds to our growing collection of milk delivery stories:

“In 1968 I was invited to spend several months in Rosario, Argentina, with my sister Sylvia and her wonderful family. (My brother-in-law worked there for an American company.)

“It was quite an opportunity for a fresh-faced 21-year-old from Plaquemine, and I’ll always be grateful for it.

“I eventually learned to murder the language, made many friends, and had tons of fun. I’ll never forget my learning experience.

“Along with the family’s other dairy products, a half-gallon of delicious gunky stuff called ‘dulce de leche’ was delivered by their milkman in a plain round cardboard container.

“It was actually a half-gallon of caramel.

“I developed such an affinity for the stuff, I would make peanut butter (very unprocessed and pure) and ‘dulce’ sandwiches at night when I was watching TV. Made you want to slap your ma.

“Speaking of that, mine didn’t recognize me when I first stepped off the plane. My late-night PB&D sins had caught up with me.

“I quickly came down to earth, and joined the ‘Metrecal for Lunch Bunch’ (Google, young people!).

“I still have my unforgettable South American memories, and a few stubborn extra pounds that love me. Darn dulce!”

Want to feel old?

This note, from Brenna Allphin-Smith Perez, should make those of us in the AARP generation feel positively ancient:

“After a conversation explaining to my 6-year-old, August Perez V, why it is important to pay attention in math class, he ‘logically’ explains why he has no need to learn such material:

“‘I do not need to know how to read a clock — iPhones are digital, and so is my alarm clock. Nobody carries a clock around with them; they carry an iPhone.’”

Matter of semantics

Marvin Borgmeyer said, “You used to see signs on the interstate that fines for speeding will double when ‘Men are working.’

“Now you see signs that fines for speeding will double when ‘Workers are present.’

“I guess folks must have been avoiding the extra fines if they were speeding and the workers were not working — which sometimes seems to be a majority of the time!”

Yankees at sea

Jess Walker said, “Our department at LSU just received an approximately 150-year-old sea chest, with materials in it ranging from the time of the Civil War until the 1940s.

“Examining log books and diaries led to Raphael Semmes, who has a street named after him on the campus.

“During the Civil War he was captain of the Alabama, a Confederate raider.

“In 1862 he captured about a dozen trading vessels, burning most of them.

“Nonetheless, he admired the ships he was destroying and the seamanship of his ‘enemies.’

“He wrote, ‘The Yankee is certainly a remarkable specimen of the genus homo. He is at once a duck and a chicken, and takes to water or the land with equal facility.’”

Trashy behavior

Buck Bertrand says the full-page anti-litter message on Page 6D of the Monday Advocate “should have been on Page 1A.

“A few years ago my work took me to McPearson, Kan., for nearly 14 months.

“I noticed in my trips that any place above Dallas — into Oklahoma and Kansas — was litter free. So very nice.

“On my last trip home to Baton Rouge, I began to notice litter and trash almost immediately after crossing into Louisiana.

“So very sad, and this continues even today.

“Louisiana should have a very bold slogan against litter: ‘ONLY TRASH LITTER.’”

Inquiring Minds Dept.

George Lane asks, “Why are pizza boxes square when the pizzas are round?”

New-name blues

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, came across the minutes of a school board meeting that contained this sentence:

“The principal was given two choices, resign or be fred.”

Dan says that while Fred is a perfectly acceptable name, he figures the guy should have been given other choices — maybe Tom, Dick or Harry.

Old-name blues

Dr. Robert Kenney said this happened as Baton Rouge General was undergoing its week-long “Joint Commission Survey” recently:

“One surveyor, a wonderfully gracious Northern-raised nurse for over 50 years, explained one morning about Goddard House, an assisted living facility in Brookline, Mass.

“It seems that in the mid-19th century it began as a home and then a hospital for spinsters. “She ended by asking if Baton Rouge really has a hospital called ‘Old Woman’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.