Smiley: Where y’at?

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, has noticed that since the institution of the New Orleans Advocate, I’ve been getting more stories from persons of the Yat persuasion:

“Do you want to do a ‘You might be a Yat if …’ contest?”

Back in 1996 Dan, borrowing (OK, stealing) Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck if …” routine, suggested a “You might be a Cajun if …” contest in this column.

We got hundreds of suggestions in a contest that went on for weeks.

Finally, we presented the winner, Ed Barron, with the grand prize — pizza and root beer at the Fleur-De-Lis. With us.

Ed’s winning entry: “You might be a Cajun if you start an angel food cake with a roux.”

So feel free to send in your Yat entries — you might win a similar valuable prize.

I’m leaning toward an erster po-boy at Deanie’s …

Almost unforgettable

“I have another memory story,” says Ruth Brown.

“My husband was to buy five items from the grocery store after attending Sunday Mass.

“As I listed, verbally, the items needed, he would associate each with a special object — milk, a tree branch; bread, a bicycle, etc.

“He returned with a broad smile to greet his family.

“My question to him: ‘What did you forget?’

“He again listed all five items beautifully — but added, ‘I just forgot to go to the store.’”

False alarm

I’ve often described the Patio Lounge as one of Baton Rouge’s last true saloons.

It’s patronized by colorfully opinionated gents who sit around quaffing root beer and grousing about the government, their wives, their golf games and Nick Saban — not necessarily in that order.

So when Jim Dumigan read in our “Around Baton Rouge” column that a wine and cupcake tasting event was being held at the Patio Lounge, he was naturally alarmed and distressed.

He was greatly relieved to learn it was being held at the “patio lounge” of a local hotel.

Dem Catlicks

Gary Hebert has a “small town Louisiana” story:

“I had to be in court early Monday morning in a small Louisiana town, so I drove up Sunday afternoon.

“I had missed Mass in New Orleans, so I found a 5 p.m. Mass near the small town where my hearing was to take place. Counting me, there were 11 in the congregation. The priest asked me, the only person unknown to him and the others, to introduce myself. I gave my name, and said I was from Metairie.

“After my hearing the next morning, I started home. This little town is about 40 minutes from the interstate, and I think I encountered 10 different speed limits on the various two-lane roads.

“When passing through one of the hamlets, I got pulled over for going 42 in a 35. I was guilty. Not much to do but be polite and take my licks.

“I handed over my license, and the officer (who turns out to have been the chief of police) says, ‘Metairie?’

“‘Yes sir,’ said I. ‘I was just here for some early morning business at the courthouse, and now I’m headed back home.’

“He then says, ‘Hmph. You was in Mass las’ night?’

“‘Yes sir,’ said I.

“He said, ‘Cuz there’s not too many Catlicks ‘round here; mostly it’s dem Baptists and some what choo call fundamentalist types.’

“No ticket given. Not even a warning. Just a 15-minute chat, mostly about the weather.”

Nostalgia Corner

Robert K. Morrill, who says he’s a 95-year-old New Orleanian, joins our discussion about the ferries that used to cross Lake Pontchatrain:

“My father would rent a cottage in Mandeville for the summer months.

“There were two ferries, and it was a two-hour trip.”

He says there were also ferries from Slidell to the Rigolets and the Chef Menteur area.

Special People Dept.

Pauline Cassel, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living, celebrates her 101st birthday on Sunday, Aug. 17.

On Sunday, Aug, 17, John D. Schwab celebrates his 99th birthday.

Lena Calais Cormier celebrates her 97th birthday on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Emile Rufin, of New Orleans, celebrates his 97th birthday on Sunday, Aug. 17.

Martha S. Brantley celebrates her 95th birthday on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Pauline “Polly” Richard, of Scott, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Friday, Aug. 15. She is the mother of Cajun music star Zachary Richard.

Velma Staples celebrates her 91st birthday on Friday, Aug. 15.

Marie Brou Richard celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday, Aug. 16.

J.B. and Estelle Smiley, of Pride, celebrate their 62nd anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Teachable T

Chet Siemion, of Denham Springs, says, “In the latest ‘What on Earth’ catalog I noticed a T-shirt with the following inscription: ‘Those who can, TEACH. Those who can’t pass laws about teaching.’

“Seems it might be quite popular in the Baton Rouge area.”

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