Smiley: The three nickels

We’ve been kicking around some “hard times” stories about the Great Depression, rationing during World War II, etc.

They’ve been fairly light-hearted, but Doug Johnson, of Watson, reminds us of heartbreaking moments back then:

“In the late 1940s, when I was about 9 years old, we lived in a government housing project in Nashville.

“One day when the ice cream man came by pushing his cart, I asked my mom for some change to buy a Popsicle.

“My two younger sisters also wanted one, of course.

“Mom refused to give us the 15 cents the three treats would cost, even after some wheedling.

“Then I noticed that she was crying. She didn’t give us the money because she didn’t have that much.”

The naked truth

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, says our recent T-shirt stories remind him of this one:

“At a music festival I saw this short middle-aged guy with an Alfred Hitchcock body and not one hair on his head.

“He was wearing a black T-shirt with big white block letters reading ‘With a body like this, who needs hair?’”

Name your poison

Tom Toddy says, “While grocery shopping, I came across a couple of catchy wine names: ‘Smokin’ Loon’ and ‘Naked Grape.’

“Since your readers seem interested in unusual business names and slogans, I was wondering if they know of other attention-grabbing wine labels?”

Well, Tom, I don’t think it gets much more attention-grabbing than “Fat Bastard,” which is a pretty good wine (I’m told).

High times

Tales of sending new plant workers out to get “sky hooks” brought this response from Tom Hertwig, of Gonzales:

“I think I found where you can buy sky hooks — Ascension Fasteners in Gonzales.”

(Ascension, sky … Get it?)

Got key?

Donna Hightower says, “Recently, while cleaning out a closet, I came across a small cedar box that Kornmeyer’s Furniture gave to all seniors in my class at St. Joseph’s Academy in 1971.

“I have no idea where the key might be, but I’d love to have one.”

Donna’s at

Got boat?

Phil Frost, director of BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, says a “non-working airboat” is needed to be displayed in the Atchafalaya Basin exhibit “near the highly popular Otter Cabin.”

Says Phil: “We would modify the airboat so children can safely sit on it and imagine a ride through the swamp.

“Your airboat donation is tax deductible, and the donor will be recognized at the display.” Call (225) 775-3877, ext. 208.

Special People Dept.

On Thursday Guy Domin celebrates her 97th birthday.

Cecile Duhon Brown, of Plaquemine, celebrates her 95th birthday Thursday.

Annie B. Hawkins, of Maringouin, celebrates her 95th birthday Thursday.

That’s entertainment

Robert Smiley, of Denham Springs, says, “I was watching a dog chase its tail and thinking ‘Dogs are easily amused.’

“Then I realized I was watching the dog chase its tail!”

Got glasses?

Maw Maw Betty, of French Settlement, says, “My husband is looking forward to retirement — he is 63 and has been welding for 47 of those years.

“He knows he can’t just sit around the house all day doing nothing when he retires, so he has been checking out the classified ads to see what is out there for ‘old people’ to do.

“On Sunday he said he thought he found something — and as he tried to read the ad he was laughing so hard I could hardly understand him.

“The ad was for Squire’s Formal Wear, but it seems he read it as ‘Squirrel’s Formal Wear.’

“He was trying to figure out how he was going to catch those little suckers to make them try on clothes.

“He decided that was not the job for him. It would probably drive him nuts!”

Practical gift

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, says we all know about silver being the traditional gift for a 25th anniversary and gold being the gift for 50 years of marriage.

And, he points out, paper is traditional for a first anniversary, wood for a fifth, crystal for a 15th anniversary, etc.

But, he says, you may not know that any anniversary after your 65th birthday is considered a fiber anniversary, where you and your spouse exchange boxes of All-Bran.

Sign language

Margaret Hawkins says a bar sign, spotted in Golden Meadow on her way to Grand Isle, caught her eye: “Beer: Not just a breakfast drink.”

Good Taste Dept.

Basil Hendry ends our bar joke series with a localized one:

An alligator walks in the Rainbow Inn in Pierre Part and asks the waitress, “Y’all serve Cajuns here?”

She exclaims: “Mais oui! Of course!”

Gator says: “Great! I’ll have two!”

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.