Smiley: The baffled Frenchman

Allen J. Fontenot, of Crowley, says he and his wife were visiting in France, in the Nice-Cannes area, in 1990:

“We went to town to exchange our dollars for francs. My wife had gone in a bank, and I was standing out front on the sidewalk (‘trottoir’).

“Here comes a man with his little dog on a leash. He walks up to me and starts saying how nice the weather was.

“This, of course, was in French, so I answered in kind.

“He looked at me and said, ‘Where are you from? You talk pretty good French. Where did you learn to speak French?’

“I answered, ‘My gosh, man, I’ve been here TWO WEEKS!’ ”

Allen says the Frenchman left with his dog (no doubt shaking his head over this linguistic marvel …).

Talking Texan

Bobby Matherne says, “This story was told to me by my friend Patty.

“She was in Dallas to visit her friend Nancy, and they drove to a shopping center in Nancy’s new 1970 Cadillac.

“As the girls got out, Patty was trying figure out how to use those new powered door locks and asked Nancy, ‘How do you lock your car?’

“Without batting a long eyelash, Nancy answered, ‘I lock it just fine!’ ”

Her aunt the poet

“My 9-year-old niece had a little accident,” says Janet Leveron. “The sad look on her face inspired an ode to make her smile:”

“I think that I shall never see

A sandwich as divine as ‘Tuna of the Sea.’

My heart was filled with glee

Until I spilled my sweet tea

Upon my wonderful Tuna of the Sea.

Oh, the gloom

That filled the room.

Now my heart has a hole

As I look into an empty bowl

And see no more

Tuna of the Sea.”

Yats at play

More entries in our “You might be a Yat if…” contest.

John B. Dunlap III says you might be a Yat if “Hey Vic, watcha got dem ersters for?” sounds like a perfectly worded question.

Or if you know ALL the words to “The Twelve Yats of Christmas” by Benny Grunch and the Bunch.

Or, says Zoe Schluter, if anyone has ever axed for you at the Audubon Zoo.

Or, says David Young, if you pour your earl down the zink and watch parades from the neutral ground.

Brutally honest

“How is this for being honest?” asks Annabelle Armstrong.

“At a fall rally of Presbyterian women, with nine churches represented, I approached a little gray-haired lady from a church in Metairie and a name tag with her first name only.

“I said, ‘Hi, Linda, I’m…’

“She brushed me off with a wave and said, ‘Don’t bother, I won’t remember you anyway.’ ”

Nostalgia Corner

Earline Zoll, of Jefferson, says Jerry Behrens, a native of Madisonville, was a popular radio singer in the ’30s. His show on WWL was evidently sponsored by New Orleans’ own Dr. Tichenor’s antiseptic, because Earline sent over a little booklet by Tichenor’s containing words to such songs of his as “Mississippi River Blues,” “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine” and “He’s In the Jailhouse Now.”

Jerry later sang on KMOX in St. Louis, and also performed in Kentucky, billed as the “Louisiana Blue Yodeler.”

He returned to the New Orleans area to work in shipyards but still made music for years before his death in Madisonville in 1993.

Special People Dept.

Eunice Hebert, of Maison Teche nursing home in Jeanerette, celebrates her 107th birthday on Wednesday .

Adeline Melancon, of Bayou Vista, was 90 on Thursday, an event celebrated by her family in July.

Take it off!

Jim McCormack of the Patio Lounge says, “One of our patrons came in after a doctor’s appointment, reporting that he had lost five pounds.

“He felt proud of himself.

“As the story unfolded, it turns out he did not wear his customary cowboy boots and emptied everything out of his pockets (like at the airport).

“The boots alone are approximately five pounds.”

Put a curse on

L.P. Miller says, “I’m not normally moved to profanity, but the world being what it is these days, I had to stop in at Men’s Swear House the other day and rip off a few purple ones.”

He adds, “I wonder — where do the ladies go when extremely agitated?”

Mellow yellow

Ruth Brown tells this “Gotcha!” story from years past:

“A friend of mine worked at a savings and loan institution in downtown Baton Rouge.

“Each morning when he arrived for work, the Morning Advocate had been taken.

“It did not take him long to tire of this.

“His solution to the problem was to arrive quite early (hopefully, earlier than the ‘paper snatcher’) and place yesterday’s paper in front of the building.

“To the surprise of the paper snatcher this particular paper had been coated with MUSTARD.”

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.