Smiley: Editorial comment

I’m enjoying our current seminar on funny business signs and slogans.

For instance, “Please go away!” a sign Edie Bender once saw — at a travel agency.

And Diane K. Green comes up with this gem:

“We were in New Orleans over the weekend, and stopped behind a sanitation vacuum truck at the light.

“In big red letters on the back of the tank was the following statement: ‘This truck carries a lot of Political Promises.’

“Seems like the company is not too happy with the current state of politics.”

Cuke takes the cake

Wouldn’t you know it?

Just after Ed Cullen, The Advocate’s “gardening guru” columnist, retires, I get word from John Musemeche about the world’s largest cucumber.

Well, maybe not the world’s largest, but certainly the largest John’s ever seen.

He’s been routinely growing cukes in the 5-to-8-inch range, but this one was buried in some vines and he didn’t see it until it began to bend the wire frame it was growing on.

It was 17 inches long and 9 inches around, and weighed 2 pounds, 14 ounces. (The lady at Hi Nabor who weighed it for John was so impressed that she got out her cellphone and took a picture to show her friends.)

“Usually when a cucumber is that size, they’re dried out,” John says. “But when I donated it to the St. Vincent de Paul kitchen, I had them cut it and it was tender all the way through.”

And yes, it IS a slow news day …

Which reminds me

When The Advocate was located downtown by the river, we had two regular visitors:

1. Guys who were canoeing or rafting down the Mississippi and dropped in — smelly and scruffy — to tell us about it and have a picture taken.

2. People who had grown vegetables of unusual size or shape.

We reporters always got a kick out of the funny-shaped veggies, especially ones resembling certain parts of the anatomy — and especially when the photos got past the editor and made it into the paper.

Have I told you that a newspaper is a fun place to work?

Hang ’em high

A final comment about those creeps on Atlanta radio who made fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is battling for his life with ALS:

Nick Carrier, of Napoleonville, says, “These guys should be fortunate that this atrocity didn’t occur in London:

“In a ‘Today in History’ article in The Advocate on the same day as their story, I’ll quote:

“ ‘In 1945, William Joyce, known as “Lord Haw-Haw,” was charged in London with high treason for his English-language wartime broadcasts on German radio. (He was hanged in January 1946.)’ ”

Worthy causes

A “Go Grey for Trey!” benefit will be held Sunday at Don’s Seafood in Denham Springs for Trey Thompson, an East Baton Rouge EMS paramedic being treated for a brain tumor.

Ten percent of all sales, dine in or to go, will go to the family to help with health care and travel expenses.


Clean it up

Donaldsonville’s “Stash the Trash” event is Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., with volunteers to gather at City Hall for tools and assignment areas. Scrap metal recycling will be done in the City Hall area; residents needing metal pickup in yards can call (225) 323-2555.

Gardening is needed in Louisiana Square — bring pruners.

Special People Dept.

Ike J. Dugas, a World War II Army Air Forces veteran who flew 50 bomber missions over Europe as a ball turret gunner, celebrates his 100th birthday Friday.

Margaret Alexander, of Whealdon Estates, who came to Baton Rouge from Ontario, Canada, celebrates her 98th birthday Friday. She walks in the Cancer Society’s “Relay For Life” every year.

Iray J. Breaux, a World War II veteran, celebrates his 96th birthday Saturday.

Joan Aucoin celebrates her 95th birthday Friday.

Margaret and Carroll W. Fletcher celebrate their 72nd anniversary Friday.

Theresa and Bertis Robert celebrate their 69th anniversary Thursday.

Alma Clouatre Jacob and Roland Jacob Sr. celebrated their 60th anniversary Thursday.

Alvin “Al” and Judyth “Judy” Reznik, of Slidell, celebrate their 56th anniversary on Sunday.

That’s compassion!

Bill Spiers says, “Our 2-year-old granddaughter, Sophie Grace, loves the fish pond in our backyard and loves to feed the fish. (She’s only fallen in once.)

“On Wednesday when it was raining she and her Mimi went out on the back porch, and Sophie immediately asked, ‘Mimi, where’s your umbrella?’

“Mimi explained that they didn’t need an umbrella since they would be staying on the porch, but Sophie Grace persisted:

“ ‘But Mimi, the fish are getting wet!’ ”

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.