Smiley: Joke’s on the joker

Doug Johnson, of Watson, says, “Stories of practical jokes reminded me of one pulled on me in the summer of 1956, when I joined the Tennessee National Guard at the end of my junior high school year.

“We went on a two-week camp just after I joined, so I was the newest recruit.

“When we arrived at the woods where we were to set up camp, the sergeant who was directing us called to me and instructed me to go to the supply truck and get him a left-handed monkey wrench.

“I took my time strolling through the woods to the supply truck, where I asked Cpl. Wallace for the wrench.

“He informed me there was no such thing; that they were pulling a joke on me.

“ ‘I know that,’ I replied, ‘but he’s my superior, so I did what he told me to do. Besides, unloading supplies and setting up tents is a lot harder work than a leisurely stroll over here to ask for it and walk back.’

“When I got back the truck was empty and the tents in place.”

Can you hear me now?

This is the first time I’ve heard this wifely complaint:

Charlene Esposito says her husband, Dave, practices “convenient hearing,” described as “a malady some of you guys get after years of marriage.”

I assume she means that Dave hears only what it pleases him to hear — football scores, pleasant music, songs of birds and the hum of bees — and not, say, talk on such subjects as taking out the garbage and doing various household chores on the weekend.

As I said, this is a new one to me, but if anyone else can advise Charlene on how to deal with the problem, they’re welcome to chime in.

I mentioned this to my spouse, and she told me …

What WAS that she told me …?

Library visit

Carol Anne Blitzer says mention of The Library on Chimes Street brought to mind this tale:

“My husband’s uncle, Charlie Kantrow, was a well-known Baton Rouge character.

“When he reached his upper 80s, his children convinced him that it was time to stop driving, so he got his housekeeper to drive for him.

“Several times a week, he would put together a one-page ‘newspaper,’ mainly clippings from The Advocate and medical news, take it to Kinko’s to be copied and have the housekeeper drive him around town delivering it to family members.

“One afternoon they were at Kinko’s, next door to The Library, and the driver left the motor running while she went in to make the copies.

“While she was inside, a man knocked on the window and asked Uncle Charlie if he would mind moving the car a little so that he would have room to pull into the adjoining space.

“Uncle Charlie gladly moved into the driver’s seat — but in the process of moving the car, his foot hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and he drove right into The Library.

“My mother-in-law, Helene Kantrow Blitzer, who lived two doors down from Uncle Charlie, her oldest brother, frantically called our house with the words, ‘Come quick! Uncle Charlie has run into some kind of library!’ ”

Living dangerously

Paul Vincent says when he filled up his gas tank at Sam’s Club, “the person in the next lane was using his cellphone.

“I mentioned to him that static electricity kills, but he just ignored me.

“Recent explosions in our area made me realize that I could have been a victim, with all the other patrons.

“Hope he is a reader of your column and decides to stop using his cellphone next time.”

(I doubt he’s a reader, Paul — my folks are smarter …)

Ice cream days

Companion Animal Alliance offers special deals on dogs and cats Monday through Sunday at an “Animal Independence and Ice Cream Social” event.

Kleinpeter Dairy ice cream is available for $1 Saturday and Sunday at the shelter and at Friends of the Animals sites.

The CAA is at 2680 Progress Road, near Baton Rouge Metro Airport. Go to or call (225) 774-7701.

Special People Dept.

Enola Sanchez celebrates her 98th birthday Friday. A native of Paulina, she has lived in Baton Rouge 65 years.

On Friday Carl and Mary Ann Mistric celebrate 61 years of marriage.

Buck and Frankie Blouin, of Prairieville, celebrated 55 years of marriage Thursday.

Walter and Pat Prince celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday with a renewal of vows and reception at Mansurs on the Boulevard.

Initial reaction

Algie Petrere says, “One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt.

“Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, ‘What setting do I use on the washing machine?’

“ ‘It depends,’ I replied. ‘What does it say on your shirt?’

“He yelled back, ‘LSU.’ ”

The End

Rose Rolfsen says she laughs every time she sees this:

“There is a gastroenterologist on Jefferson Highway with a sign that says ‘Get Behind Checking.’ ”

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.