Smiley: Only in Louisiana

Dear Smiley: I was out at my sister Faye Cupples’ auction in Pollock when a skillet came up for auction.

It was the biggest skillet I have ever seen — about 18 inches across and 4 inches deep.

One guy kept bidding on it until he got it.

Later, I saw him looking at it and admiring it.

I walked over and asked him, “What are you going to cook in that big old thing?”

He just grinned and said, “Well, I don’t know, but first you make a roux. … ”



Thongs for the memory

Dear Smiley: I have to comment on your thongs story!

My husband Bobby and I lived in Denham Springs for a few years.

He was a youth minister at Amite Baptist Church, so we frequently had teenagers visiting the house.

A group of young girls attempted to prank us one night, but Bobby opened the door unexpectedly and scared them so they ran off, leaving their “flip-flops” at the house.

However, when he related the story to the youth group, he said he “scared them so bad they ran right out of their thongs.”

You can imagine the howls of laughter. It took quite a while to get them calmed down.

I had to explain to him that “thongs” doesn’t mean what it did when we were teenagers!


Sand Springs, Okla.

Shocking sight!

Dear Smiley: Comments about dressing up to go downtown remind me of a remark by my grandma, Jenny Chapman, back in the early 1940s, when she came home from town and told my mother she had seen a “brazen hussy” walking down Third Street wearing slacks!


Santa Maria, Calif.

You’ve got mail?

Dear Smiley: I just chatted with my mail carrier at the mailbox.

She said she had just gotten a letter from her daughter, who is away at school.

Do you think ONLY mail carriers get REAL letters from their children?

I can’t get mine to text or call, much less write.

When they run out of money, I get a phone call. What are mothers for?



Aroma therapy

Dear Smiley: As a young girl in rural North Carolina, I often had to care for my little brother, who had bad asthma attacks.

A nice neighbor lady prescribed an “asphidity bag,” and a short time later she came over with a cloth bag that had a very pungent odor and tied it around his neck.

I can’t say whether it kept the asthma away — or just everybody else.

Anybody else use asphidity bags? And what went in them?


Port Allen

Second opinion

Dear Smiley: I totally enjoy reading the comments about spirits of ammonia.

Truthfully I never heard of drinking it, but the alcoholic content of even a few drops should calm anyone’s nerves, and the tiny bit of ammonia likely evaporates from the glass before much is ingested, so it is not likely to cause any harm to one’s digestive tract.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned smelling salts. Though inhaled only, the solid salts emit ammonia gas, which irritates the nose just enough to cause a release of adrenalin and a stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system in the body.

This “wakes you up good” and revives simple faints. The salts are still sold, but are not used much anymore.


New Orleans

Dear Doc: We’ve had so many comments on medicines and cures lately that I’m inquiring to see if my readers can get part of their Advocate subscription cost covered by Blue Cross.

Emeril Jr.

Dear Smiley: We’ve probably all seen chefs on TV use their hand as a strainer when squeezing lemon juice — right?

On a recent trip to Drusilla Seafood, imagine my surprise when I looked across the table and saw my 9-year-old grandson Cole using this same trick to catch the lemon seeds as he sprinkled lemon juice on his plate of seafood!

I could only turn to my sister and say, “I think he’s watching too many cooking shows. …”



Out of stock

Dear Smiley: Several years ago a man in a nursing home in Napoleonville would tell everyone there that he had to be extremely careful in everything he did, because if he broke any of his body parts he was out of luck — they don’t make any parts for 1912 models anymore.



Who, me?

Dear Smiley: About your recent job title, “Highly Trained Professional Journalist.”

Would it be more accurate to refer to yourself as a “Very Ancient Highly Trained Professional Journalist”?



Dear Jerry: No. I’m only SLIGHTLY ancient. …

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.