Smiley: Cajun GPS

After I told of the British man’s voice on the GPS in my vehicle, I heard from Denise Savoie about her GPS voice, “Australian Karen.”

“We loved having the ever-reliable, trustworthy Australian Karen, and spoke fondly of her as if she was family.

“She was flexible, offering the ‘alternate route available,’ and was often heard ‘recalculating’ our mistakes quickly and without criticism.

“Under Australian Karen’s guidance, we became the lead car for a trip with our friends, Joe and ReneĆ©.

“At one rest stop, Joe asked how Australian Karen was doing, and I said, ‘Oh, we just love her! You should get one for yourself!’

“Joe replied, ‘I don’t need another woman in my car telling me how to drive — I have ‘Cajun ReneĆ©.’

“Instead of ‘recalculating,’ I get: ‘Mon dieu! Joe! What you doin’ da car like dat fer? Oh, mais la! Ya done gone off the wrong road, cher! Turn dis ting ’round!’”

Nosy Grandma!

Here’s another party line story, from Gail Stephenson:

“When I was growing up, my family was on a party line with my grandmother, who lived just down the road, and the neighbors who lived across the road from Grandma.

“One of Grandma’s favorite forms of entertainment was listening in on other people’s phone calls.

“The neighbors had lived in Brazil and spoke Portuguese, so whenever they heard the ‘click’ of Grandma picking up the phone, they switched to Portuguese.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t know any foreign languages to thwart Grandma’s eavesdropping.

“I soon learned, however, that while Grandma didn’t consider eavesdropping a sin, she could not tell a lie.

“So as soon as I heard the click, I’d ask, ‘Grandma, is that you?’

“She never responded, but the click of her putting down the receiver told me it was now safe to talk.”

No bugs here

Dr. Gary J. Lafleur, a retired physician in Eunice, comments on our series on old New Orleans TV ads:

“While attending LSU Medical School in New Orleans, we used to get a kick out of the ‘Miller the Killer’ commercials on TV and the little guy dressed in a Batman-type costume.

“Little did I realize that he was Dennis Miller from Eunice, who had a tremendous reputation as an exterminator in New Orleans.

“When he retired he returned to Eunice to be with his relatives.

“Around the 1990s he died, leaving a very nice residence.

“My wife, Amanda, and I retired from a medical practice in Atlanta and also moved back to Eunice.

“We decided to purchase his Eunice residence, but Amanda was worried about termites.

“I told her the owner was the infamous Miller the Killer of New Orleans, and I’d wager there was not a bug or varmint within a hundred yards of the home.

“She finally agreed.”

In British circles

Charlotte says she sent stories about Baton Rouge’s old traffic circle at Florida and Airline, and Louisiana’s new ‘roundabouts,’ to Chris, a friend in England.

She got this reply:

“I used to work with a lady named Isobel Crown many years ago, and her husband worked for the local council designing roundabouts.

“A short while after he was made redundant he went to America to design a roundabout (I think in Denver), and it was so good they kept asking him back.

“He was training people to be roundabout designers, so you never know — he may have designed your circle!

“You could have a little bit of England quite close to you soon, created by one of my friends.”

Special People Dept.

Annette Thomas Bowman, of Berwick, celebrates her 102nd birthday Sunday.

Frances Muffoletto Vicknair celebrates her 97th birthday Saturday.

On Sunday Alice Lockhart, of Walker, celebrates her 95th birthday.

Noalie McLin Stevens, of Ponchatoula, celebrates her 94th birthday Sunday.

Elaine Chandler, 90 on Sunday, will be honored at a family celebration Sept. 28 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Kenilworth BREC park. She is a World War II veteran.

A.J. and Janelle Jacob Breaux, of Gonzales, celebrate their 60th anniversary Friday.

Violette and E.F. “Pappy” Sibille, of Opelousas, celebrate 56 years of marriage Friday.

Printed matter

Phyllis Besse, of Rayne, says our mention of flour sack garments brought back this memory:

“On windy days my mother would tell me to hold my dress down. She did not want anybody to see ‘Flour’ written on my panties.”

The ultimate slogan

David Dagle adds to our collection of memorable business slogans with one he saw in the September issue of the West Bank Beacon, a monthly serving West Jefferson, Algiers, Plaquemines Parish, etc.:

“Regis Radiator Service, Marrero — The Best Place To Take A Leak Since 1962!”

Write Smiley at Smiley@the advocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.