Smiley: Who needs a watch?

Dear Smiley: Example of irony:

Retirement is an event that frees a person from years of making appointments, meetings and other forms of forced time management.

Why then is it that a watch is the No. 1 gift for retirees?

If I ever make it there, I’ll be happy with a calendar!



Thar she blows!

Dear Smiley: I am the proud granddad of 4-year-old Elizabeth Grace Rice. She does not live in this area, and I see her far too seldom.

During one of my late spring visits, we were in one of the botanical gardens that dot the city she lives in.

There were a couple of controlled wild acres included in that garden, and there were dandelions in every stage of development, including the wonderful puffball seed heads.

We were allowed to pick these. She delighted in the little parachute seeds released when I blew on the seed heads.

I held one up about an inch from her face and encouraged, “Now blow hard!”

She promptly puffed up, and with all her might BLEW HER NOSE.

With a little direction, she did get it right.



Backfiring prank

Dear Smiley: I was on a ship undergoing overhaul in an East Coast shipyard years ago.

A chief had a crew working on a winch when he told a new kid to run up to the rigger’s shop and get him a sky hook.

The kid left and wasn’t seen for about two hours.

Then he showed up directing a mobile crane down the dock.

No one ever figured out how he was able to con the shipyard workers into sending that crane down there, but it cost the ship about $500.

I am certain that lad went on to bigger and better things during his career in the Navy.



Latin lesson

Dear Smiley: It appears we didn’t waste all of the money on my son T.J.’s college education after all.

Our graduation gift to all of us was a cruise through the Mediterranean.

Soon after we sailed, I gave him a small present of my own — a T-shirt similar to the “Loyola Dad” one I’ve worn for the last four years and can now proudly retire.

As he put his on, he pointed out something that neither his mom nor I — or anyone at Loyola either, for that matter — had seen.

“It says ‘Loyola Alumni’,” he said. “That’s plural. It should be ‘Alumnus’.”

I guess the Jesuits don’t spend enough time studying Latin anymore, or something.



Living dangerously

Dear Smiley: While cellphone usage in public has surpassed a level of courtesy in this country, I’d much rather see someone using a cellphone pumping gas than SMOKING while hovering over the gas pump and nozzle.

While I do not condone either practice, the cellphone use is just rude (I don’t want to be a part of their conversation) where the smoking could be deadly to all that are around.


Little Rock, Ark.

Dad’s lesson

Dear Smiley: My daughter and I were recently on our way to visit my parents in Crowley.

She’s a new driver, so I was sharing my father’s words of wisdom when I was a beginning driver.

He said he would come to my rescue if the car should break down, but to NEVER call if I ran out of gas.

Coincidentally, when we arrived at my parent’s home Dad had just been on an extended walking tour of Crowley after having run out of gas in his GMC truck.

Interestingly, my mom blamed the designers for placing the fuel gauge on the newer trucks where the passenger is unable to see it.

Dad’s words of wisdom have now and forever been tainted.


Baton Rouge

Transportation inquiry

Dear Smiley: Virginia was sitting in church with Emre, 5, and she gave him some money to put in the offering plate.

Emre: “Nana, why are you always giving your money away?”

Virginia: “We are giving it to God.”

Emre: “How are we going to get it up there?”

She then had a theological conversation with him on his level.


Columbia, Tenn.

A dog’s life

Dear Smiley: I was recently having a beer with friends at Donz on the Lake in Mandeville when I saw a flier on the wall.

Being a pet lover with eight cats and two dogs of my own, I went over to read it.

It said: “LOST DOG. Three legs, blind in one eye, missing right ear, tail broken and recently castrated. Answers to the name of ‘Lucky.’ ”

I guess everyone in the place got a kick out of me reading the flier with such sincerity and concern.



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.