Smiley: Growing up fast

Jim Pitchford comments on the story in The Advocate quoting Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel as excusing his antics because he’s just a 20-year-old kid:

“I thought 12 years back, to the 19-year-old who totaled an Alamo rental car by going airborne over Florida Boulevard at Flannery Road.

“The kid’s father, talking to the body shop manager, excused the action and asked, ‘What were you doing at age 19?’

“To which the manager replied, ‘I was going through jungles in Vietnam toting an M-16.’ ”

The Nick Factor

Robert Cabes says, “I enjoyed as usual your predictions for the football season.

“However, I was surprised to not see in your discussion of the game against the Golden Flashes from Kent State that one of their most famous alums is that gentleman who last coached the Tigers, old St. Nick!

“So, fans will have more motivation than just a warm-up game if they realize they can stick it to Nick.”

Mr. Psychic

Richard Guidry, of Zachary, wasn’t impressed with my Fearless Football Forecasts:

“I am so psychic that I can predict the exact score of each Tigers and Saints game five minutes prior to kickoff.

“That will be 0 to 0.”

Put a cork in it

More odd wine names:

George McLean says, “One of my favorites is the South African wine, ‘Goats do Roam’ mimicking the French ‘Cote du Rhone’ wines. It’s pretty good.”

And Brian Graugnard tells of trying “Fisheye” wine:

“It’s not what you’d call a classy wine, but it certainly has its flavor.

“Unfortunately, I can’t drink it any more.

“Seems that after a bottle or so, my wife turns into Esther from the “Sanford & Son” TV show, and I become Fred, her old ‘Fisheyed Fool.’ ”

How hot is it?

John Stein, of Mandeville, has trouble with heat indexes:

“I used to know what 95 felt like.

“When it wasn’t too humid and there was a little breeze — ‘hot.’

“And when it was really humid and no breeze — ‘awful hot,’ or maybe even ‘too hot.’

“But now they tell me that 95 feels like 105. So what does 105 feel like — 120? Does 95 ever feel like 95?

“I’m all confused — I don’t know what anything feels like anymore. Help!”

How hot was it?

Bob Downing says he knows how those guys on Angola’s death row feel:

“I didn’t realize when I lived on the fourth floor of West Stadium in the summer of ’67 that LSU was subjecting me to cruel and unusual punishment.

“I can’t imagine what the heat index was when I got back from class around 4:30 in August.

“Awnings and soaker hoses would have been wonderful.

“The room came with a free sauna.”

The littlest hero

Cheryl P. Goodwyne, of Napoleonville, says when she fell and broke her arm recently, “the only person near me was my 2-year-old grandson Parker.

“I did not want to frighten him, but I needed help.

“I asked him to get me a pillow and the phone, and he did.

“While we waited for help, Parker covered my body with his and said, ‘I’ll take care of you, Mimi.’

“I called 911, but my family arrived first and took me to the hospital.

“I will always be thankful that Parker was there to protect me.”

Special People Dept.

John D. Schwab celebrates his 98th birthday Saturday.

Jack Rogillio, of Rosedale, celebrates his 95th birthday Sunday.

Ronie Tureau, of St. Amant, celebrates birthday No. 95 Friday.

Rosalie Agosta Collins, of Plaquemine Caring, formerly of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 99th birthday July 31.

Louis and Pauline Bartus, of Albany, celebrate 65 years of marriage Sunday.

Meaty surprise

Geri Schexnayder, of Donaldsonville, says, “At a local store I picked up ‘World Famous FatBurger’ patties to grill.

“After eating and enjoying burgers, I decided to check out the package.

“Imagine my surprise when the box listed ‘Product of USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand.’

“I think the package is mislabeled — it should be called ‘Around the World Burgers.’”

Silly business

I wonder if there’s something about central Louisiana that inspires odd business names.

I’ve already mentioned Columbia’s “Curl Up and Dye” beauty salon.

And Faye Cupples found a driver’s ed school in Pineville called “Shut Up and Drive” and an auto body shop in Colfax named “Wreck-A-Mended.”

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.