Smiley: A roundabout way

Roundabouts are the newest cool thing in traffic circles (pardon the pun).

Traffic experts tout them as a great way to move traffic through intersections.

Recent Advocate stories have told of them being built or planned in Slidell, Abita Springs, Lacombe, Gonzales, Youngsville, Denham Springs/Walker, Port Vincent, on the LSU campus, etc.

Laura Bond Arruda, of Head of Island, says a new traffic roundabout in Port Vincent reminds her of “the original traffic circle in Baton Rouge at Airline and Florida many moons ago.

“Even folks who used it on a regular basis would have to make an extra circle or two if they weren’t paying close attention.”

Which reminds me

Alexandria has long had a traffic circle, and I’m one of those who has to circle it more than once before heading off in the right direction.

The problem is that it’s on a four-lane road, and I’m always in the left lane when I need to be in the right lane to exit it.

And there’s always a car in the right lane, so I can’t pull over.

When I broach this subject to a lady related to me by marriage, I get this: “So you’re a bad driver. Get over it.”

Me and Rodney Dangerfield. …

Falling crustaceans

Denise Hannon, after reading about the “red stick drop” that will welcome in the new year in downtown Baton Rouge, tells me, “I preferred your idea for a crawfish drop!”

Honestly, Denise, I don’t recall this idea — but then, I have so many great ideas that it’s hard to remember them all.

Planned confusion

Doug Lee says, “No run of bathroom stories would be complete without mentioning McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, Fla.

“Under the word MEN on the bathroom door is a smaller sign with an arrow pointing to the left and in small letters ‘use door to the left,’ and under WOMEN is a smaller sign with an arrow pointing to the right and in small letters ‘use door to the right.’

“Expecting the confusion they hope to create, there are doors inside each of these doors telling you to ‘WAIT!’ with directions to the proper restroom.”

Hot and cold

When I ran the complaint from the reader about leaving Toronto off our new weather map, I should have known I was opening the proverbial can of worms:

“The Port Hudson Plodder” says we are neglecting temperature extremes:

“It is important to me to know that the hottest place in the U.S. is about 110 degrees in Death Valley or some unheard of place in California, and the coldest place usually is Stanley, Idaho (around 29 degrees).

“This always made me feel that I would not trade our 90 degrees (plus or minus) for either of these two! (I might like to spend a couple of hours in Stanley in August.)

And Dawn Tisdale doesn’t like Anchorage, Alaska, being omitted. (We do run Fairbanks.)

She says, “We are Louisiana natives who spent 34 years in Anchorage and have returned to Louisiana.

“We have children and grandchildren in Alaska, and like to check on the temperatures there.”

Fame game

Larry Sylvester adds to our list of famous high school graduates with a basketball and baseball player from Catholic High, John Fred Gourrier, who led John Fred and the Playboy Band to national fame in the early days of rock with such hits as “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses).”

Name game

Laura Robertson, of Pine Grove, continues our discussion of names for quilters:

“There is one guild in Louisiana named ‘Rumpled Quilts.’

“There once was one who dared to call themselves the ‘Fat Quarters.’ (To those who don’t know quilt-speak, you get a fat quarter when you cut a yard of fabric in fourths, down the middle and across the middle like a window pane.)

“I belong to one called the ‘Queen Bees.’ ”

Special People Dept.

John and Nancy Musser celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday. John, a chess champion, has been teaching the game to children at Baton Rouge’s Main Library on Goodwood Boulevard since 1996.

Robert and Alicia Carr celebrate 54 years of marriage Thursday.

Coin that word

Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut, says, “Your recent story on kid language reminded me of son Michael’s description of my vacuuming.

“When I pushed the upright Hoover around, he declared that ‘Mommy is lawnmotoring the rug.’ ”

Light humor

Mike Dunn, of Port Allen, says about our car songs:

“My wife Roxie found it hard to believe that no one nominated ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ by Meatloaf as a great car song.

“I’m not sure I need to hear all the past details concerning why that song is her favorite. Some things are best left alone.”

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.