Smiley: Don’t arm pandas

During my Well-Deserved Vacation, I ran a few bar jokes from past columns.

Betty Morris, of Denham Springs, points out that I omitted the greatest bar joke of all.

It’s so popular that it provided the title for the book “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach To Punctuation,” by former BBC radio host Lynne Truss.

I doubt this is a new joke to anyone. But here’s one version:

A panda walks into a bar and orders a beer and a sandwich.

After he finishes the sandwich he gets up, pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter.

As he’s walking out, the bartender yells, “Hey, you shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for the sandwich!”

The panda yells back, “I’m a panda, man, look it up!”

The bartender consults his dictionary and, sure enough, it says, “Panda: a large black and white mammal, native to China. Eats shoots and leaves.”

The littlest literalist

Marian Steed tells of fixing lunch for her four preschooler grandchildren — the triplets plus one of daughter Julie Steed Kammer, of Metairie:

“I called them to lunch with the admonition to ‘stop watching TV and go wash up first.’

“A few minutes later, I noticed that only one of the group had made it as far as the lavatory.

“With a loud and stern voice, I said, ‘Stop whatever you are doing and come to eat.’

“They all appeared at the table, and I was satisfied — until I heard the sound of water. Running water.

“As I approached the hall, I saw water gushing from the bathroom, rapidly flowing over the edge of the lavatory.

“I cut the faucet off and threw towels on the hardwood floor of the hall, then raced back to the kitchen to confront the perp.

“Gaven confessed (after I began a mini-Spanish Inquisition).

“I lost my head and asked the dumbest question any adult has ever asked a child: ‘Why?’

“And I got a perfectly logical explanation, which put total blame on me: ‘Because you said stop WHATEVER we were doing.’

“He was washing his hands and left the water running.

“You have to love an obedient, if overly literal, child.”

Talk about ringers!

Marvin Verbois, of The Villages, Fla., recalls his days as a playing manager for an Exxon softball team in Baton Rouge:

“The team consisted of a few straight-day mechanics — the rest of us were shift workers.

“Before our season started, I entered our team in a weekend tournament in Denham Springs.

“The day before the tournament I found out two of my players had to work that weekend due to people who called in sick. So I asked my sons Mark and Jeff to play with us.

“In the first inning of the first game, Jeff hit the first pitch over the fence. Mark was next, and he hit the first pitch over the trees, which were over the fence. I was up next, and believe it or not, I hit the first pitch over the fence.

“During this game, Mark hit three homers and Jeff hit two.

“We lost the game, but I will never forget that day playing ball with my sons.”

In other sports news…

If you’ve ever wondered, “Where in Baton Rouge can I find a good mah-jongg game?” here’s your answer:

“Mah-Jongg Madness” will be held Aug. 11, for both experienced and new players. Cost is $15, and there will be cash prizes. Register by Aug. 6 by emailing Maureen Corcoran at

Biting wit

Former Baton Rougean Carlie Winstanley, now in New Orleans, says our seminar on business slogans reminds her of one she heard “many moons ago” on Baton Rouge radio (remember Ken Winstanley of WJBO in the late ’50s/early ’60s?).

“It was a dentist’s message: ‘Be true to your teeth so they won’t be false to you.’ ”

Business opportunity

Jeanie Barnett says our mention of business names reminds her of her dream of opening “an upscale portable toilet business just so I could name it ‘Johnny On The Spot.’

“Let’s face it; I’m never going to get my stuff together enough to open a business. So, Smiley, I’m giving this idea to you. Free of charge. You’re welcome.”

Thanks — but I’ve been told by several readers that I’m already in that business…

Special People Dept.

Ola King, of St. Clare Manor, celebrates her 100th birthday Monday.

Fair warning

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, tells of seeing this warning label on a go-cart:


Inquiring Minds Dept.

Marvin Borgmeyer wonders:

“If I had a Lexus and you had a Lexus, would we have two Lexuses or two Lexi?”

Fool’s errand

Chuck Perrodin adds to our series on military pranks:

“A soldier would be sent to procure an ‘ID-ten-T’ form, only to be greeted with a smirk and directions to another office, and another office, and another until eventually someone had compassion on the poor fella and had him write it down: ID10T form.”

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.