Dear Smiley: When my now grown daughter Casey was 3, we were visiting family in Baton Rouge.
While sitting with her grandma in church, Casey was handed a Bible to occupy herself and keep her quiet.
Turning to the back pages she found maps of the Holy Lands, and said loud enough for everyone around her to hear, “Look Grandma, pirate maps! You can find gold in the Bible.”
Laughs broke out, and I suspect her erudite observation got more attention than the preacher’s sermon.
Dear Smiley: Another tale about someone not liking crawfish:
During my mother’s childhood years in south Georgia in the early 1900s, her mother ran a boarding house on the edge of town.
There was a Louisiana man staying there who worked at the sawmill.
One day when Granny had gone to town, Momma and her siblings discovered some crawfish in a ditch near the house.
Someone told the Louisiana man about them, so he got up a work party of all the kids and they went out, caught all the crawfish they could, and brought them home.
They got one of Granny’s cooking pots, and put them on the stove to boil.
When Granny came in and saw what was going on, she pitched a fit!
She threw out the pot of crawfish, ran off the Louisiana man, and gave all the kids a spanking — because everyone knew that crawfish were “deadly poison” and only good for fish bait.
That’s what I was taught as a kid (I’m 77 now), so you can see why I was a little apprehensive the first time I tried crawfish here. I also ate my first raw oyster here in Louisiana.
I love them all now!
Dear Smiley: On the subject of road signs that cause whiplash:
I decided to take the scenic route from Lafayette to Opelousas one day, and came across a billboard that sent the right side (logic) part of my brain into overdrive.
The sign read “Vatican Baptist Church” and gave service times.
I quickly recovered when I next saw a good old green Louisiana highway sign that welcomed me into the community of Vatican.
ALEX ‘SONNY’ CHAPMAN
Dear Smiley: You have been running interesting names of businesses.
Churches often have interesting names too.
Three from Louisiana are Occupy Baptist Church No. 2, The Powerhouse Temple of Deliverance and Straight Life Baptist Church.
And when I was living in Central and working in Clinton, while taking the short cut home, I passed Philadelphia Baptist Church. And then New Philadelphia Baptist Church. And then Greater Philadelphia Baptist Church.
I kept looking for Even Greater Philadelphia Baptist Church.
Dear Smiley: When my husband started working offshore, our oldest son, Brandon, was 4 years old and our youngest son, Caleb, was 4 months old.
The night before my husband left for work, he told Brandon that he would be gone for a week, and that Brandon was the man of the house and needed to take care of his mom and baby brother.
The next day, all Brandon talked about was being the man “in the house.”
I just smiled and thought it was cute.
That night after his bath, I dressed him in his pajamas.
When I saw him going to my bedroom, I said, “Excuse me. Where do you think you’re going?”
He looked at me with this serious look on his face and replied, “I’m the man in the house and this is where the man in the house sleeps.”
Dear Smiley: Our new preacher, Matt Robinson, was proud of his tomato experiment — he planted four plants in heavily fertilized hay bales.
When he had to leave town I watered them for him.
Upon his return he found two bright red tomatoes on his bushes. (Plastic, however.)
Dear Smiley: Your “Christmas in July” article reminded me of a joke my husband’s father, Hilton Robertson, used to tell.
It was about the mule that one year, when it was so hot all the popcorn in a field popped and fell on the ground, thought it was snow and laid down and froze to death.
Dear Smiley: The wife and I were out doing errands when, at a red light, she pointed out an 18-wheel tank truck.
A large black and gold fleur-de-lis was painted on the big silver tank, along with “57” (Rickey Jackson’s number) and “HAUL OF FAME,” all in black and gold, of course.
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.