Smiley: Long way home

My mention of roundabouts (traffic circles) caused Carl Spillman to recall “a story told many years ago by one of Baton Rouge’s finest:

“He was on duty one morning about 2 a.m., sitting in a marked car by the old traffic circle at Florida and Airline.

“The only traffic was a car driven by a guy who had enjoyed himself until closing time. He kept going around and around the circle.

“The policeman watched him until he got bored, then he pulled in behind the guy and followed him around and around until he got bored with that.

“He then turned on his red lights and pulled the guy over.

“The guy slowly rolled down his window and said, ‘You so- and-so! You let me get almost home ...’ ”

Lea’s of the North

Roy Pitchford, our unpaid Monroe correspondent, says, “One of my most unexpected discoveries upon moving to Monroe was a cafe called ‘Lea’s of Lecompte.’

“It’s run by descendants of the legendary Lea Johnson, and, of course, features ham sandwiches and fresh-baked pies.

“But it has a much more varied menu than Mr. Lea had at his famous restaurant south of Alexandria.

“One item on the menu is a ‘Rollover Hamburger.’ The staff confides that it is called that because the late Mr. Lea ‘would roll over in his grave if he knew that a cafe named after him was serving hamburgers.’ ”

Which reminds me

I’ve told this story before about my first visit to Lea’s, but it’s worth repeating:

When I ordered a hamburger, Mr. Lea himself took me by the arm and directed me to the front window, where he pointed out a drive-in down the road.

“Now, son, if you want a hamburger, you go to that place, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to fix you one.

“But if you want the best ham sandwich you ever had, you sit down right here and I’ll get it for you.”

I did, and he did, and we were both happy.

You go, Chuck!

Thanks to all those who contributed their favorite car song. Sorry I couldn’t run them all, but it was time to move on to something even sillier.

It wasn’t really a contest, but named Best Car Song Ever was “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry.

It was chosen by a panel of experts. OK, not exactly a panel — more like, well, me.

I selected it because it was about the first rock song I ever heard, along with “Honey Hush” by Big Joe Turner.

I’ve always liked it; it has a great beat and you can twerk to it. So there. …

Vote for Mike

Frances Bennett says LSU’s Mike the Tiger needs your support in the Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge, a contest to select the nation’s most popular college mascot.

To vote for Mike, go to (There you’ll find that other colleges have really silly-looking mascots. …)

Perfect name

Al Bethard, of Lafayette, says he was perusing an old issue of the Louisiana College alumni publication when he came across the news that an alumnus had joined a law firm in which one of the partners’ last name was “Sues.”

I would make some smart-aleck crack, but I figure that person has suffered enough.

Good Samaritans

Ray Termini says, “My sister Joyce, who is 85, was in a minor car accident at Greenwell Springs and Frenchtown roads.

“A man stopped and directed traffic while a lady and her husband came to her aid.

“Seeing that she was very upset, the lady drove my sister home while her husband followed.

“We would both like to thank them for the kindness they were so willing to give.”

Thought for the Day

From Doug Johnson, of Watson: “Failing memory may be nature’s way of seeing that we get enough exercise as we age. This thought occurred to me as I sat down to read for the third time in five minutes after getting up for something I’d forgotten.”

Braking bad

Leroy Colter says, “Just met a guy at an AA meeting who is addicted to brake fluid. But he said he could stop any time he wanted to.”

Ancient history

Perry Anderson Snyder says grandson Anderson is picked up from pre-kindergarten on Mondays by grandmother Cindy for a “doughnut date.”

On his fourth day of school, he informed Cindy that he was “gaining knowledge.”

To illustrate this, he showed his grasp of technology:

“ ‘Nini,’ he asked, ‘Did you have remotes for your televisions when you were a little girl?’

“ ‘No, Anderson, we had to get up and turn a knob on the front of the television.’

“ ‘What kind of computer did you have when you were my age?’

“ ‘Anderson, there were no computers back then.’

“ ‘Did your family have electricity?’

“ ‘Anderson, finish your doughnut. It’s time to go home.’ ”

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.