Smiley: This takes the cake

Faye Hoffman Talbot, of Jackson, offers an example of extreme season-jumping.

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, she sent me this message:

“Every year people write in to report the first sighting of a purple martin or a hummingbird.

“I want to be the first to report the sighting of a king cake in a grocery store.

“Couldn’t they have at least waited until after Halloween?”

The Louisiana connection

As I mentioned earlier, my Well-Deserved Vacation involved a drive to Hilton Head, S.C., and the consumption of an embarrassing amount of seafood.

Just about every place we dined had some reminder of our state — dishes with “Cajun” or “Creole” or “New Orleans” or “Louisiana” in their names.

Blackened fish, á la Paul Prudhomme, was on most menus as a choice along with grilled or fried.

At Skull Creek Boathouse, a fine waterfront seafood joint, their private brand hot sauce was a “Certified Cajun” concoction from the Panola Pepper Corp. in Lake Providence.

And probably the happiest morning of the trip came on our way to Hilton Head after we stopped for the night at a little motel on the outskirts of Tallahassee, Fla. (Homecoming festivities for Florida A&M had filled most of the hotels in town.)

I didn’t like the look of the in-room coffee, so I wandered out to see what was being served in the complimentary breakfast room.

There, to my delight, were three shiny red urns of Community Coffee Café Special.

When I thanked the young man behind the counter for serving Community, he remarked, “Yeah, everybody from Louisiana who stops here gets excited about our coffee.”

Of course they do …

Reality Doug

It appears Doug Johnson, of Watson, has been watching too much “reality” TV:

“Having noticed some TV shows about eating, I have an idea for one that could be done with a very small investment.

“A 5-pound bag of potatoes costs only about $2.95. My idea is to boil the potatoes, then challenge someone to eat them all at one sitting.

“Who would watch such a show? I don’t know who they are, but I’m guessing the same ones who watch while someone is challenged to eat an 8-pound hamburger or 10-pound steak. Tastiness of the food is of no concern.

“Another idea is a haunted-house show.

“Any house will do since they all seem to be haunted, but the big problem is to find one of those video cameras that take very fuzzy pictures. Even cellphone cameras are better.

“No writer would be needed. The actors would just keep repeating the line, ‘Did you hear that? Did you hear that?’ ”

From T-Moon to Choon

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, says when he attended the reunion of the surviving 11 grandchildren of Victoria Prejean and Armand Guilbeau (they had 76 grandchildren), he and his cousins recalled some of the great nicknames in that Cajun family.

A few of them: Po-Lo, Choon, Bay-Bay, Ta-Too, Boze, Te-Mae, T-Moon, Ca-Belle, Lo-Lo, Toot, Gro-Pet, La-Soeur, Noo-Noon, Sue-Sue, Pou-Chot, Boo-Key.

Happy returns

Marvin Borgmeyer, a board member of Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo, was helping out with the “Boo at the Zoo” event when a visitor reported that her purse was missing:

“When she tried calling the number of her cellphone, which was in the purse, someone answered the phone and said they had just found the purse and wanted to return it to the proper owner.

“We can learn two things from this story. There are many honest people in this world who do what is right — and the nicest people come to visit the Baton Rouge Zoo!”

Wearing thin

Richard Sherlock recalls a description that amused his family for years:

“In the ’50s, my mom drove a ’49 Chevrolet that my dad didn’t exactly spend as much time maintaining as he did his new cars.

“I remember one time she filled up on gas at the Billups gas station near the Baton Rouge General.

“The tires were recaps from a shop on North Acadian Thruway.

“The attendant saw her tires, which were getting thin, and said, ‘Lady you are riding on maypops.’

“She said, ‘What do you mean?’

“He said, ‘Because they may pop any time now.’ ”

Correcting the correction

You may have noticed that newspapers (even this fine paper) sometimes have to run corrections.

Dan Burkhalter, the Carencro Curmudgeon, came across this correction to end all corrections:

“The Ottawa Citizen and Southam News wish to apologize for our apology to Mark Steyn, published Oct. 22.

“In correcting the incorrect statements about Mr. Steyn on Oct. 15, we incorrectly published the incorrect correction …”

Says Dan, “Wonder what he did and what they said.”

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.