“As an incentive to do his chores, my son tried this on my 4-year-old grandson:
“Son: ‘You’d better do a better job of bringing your shoes and socks to the laundry room, or I’m gonna have to tell Santa you’re not being good. Then he’s going to bring you coal instead of toys.’
“Grandson: ‘OK. Sounds good. Diamonds are made from coal, so I’m just going to punch it down strong. …’
“Me: ‘Either lots of educational TV or superhero shows resulted in this.'”
No Coke for you!
David Capeheart says, “When my wife and I arrived in France for a three-year tour overseas, we were treated to a meal at a restaurant.
“While the waiter was taking our order for drinks, my wife ordered a Coca-Cola.
“The waiter immediately went into distress mode and stated, ‘No, no, Madam; you must have the wine for your stomach.’
“This argument continued for several exchanges between the two before the waiter finally threw up his arms and gave up. My wife got her Coke.”
After I told of Canadian signs asking folks to keep moose from licking cars (the road salt on them can be toxic), I heard from readers about this problem:
Sheila Strickland asks, “Exactly how does one stop a moose from licking one’s vehicle? From what I’ve seen of moose (mooses? meese?) they’re big enough critters that I imagine they do pretty much as they please.
“On the other hand, if these are Canadian moose, perhaps they’re polite enough to cease licking if you ask them to.”
Tom Boone, of Gonzales, agrees with Sheila about the difficulty of stopping a moose from car-licking, and adds, “It would present quite a problem to have a moose with its tongue stuck to your car.”
That’s the title of Chris Maxwell’s book of “Happy stories amid trying times,” a highly personal memoir of his colorful life.
Chris is best known these days as owner and ringmaster at Baton Rouge’s Red Dragon Listening Room, a treasured haven for singers and songwriters.
But he’s had quite a life: from pitching for Broadmoor High in Baton Rouge and Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, to running a video store and working for a wholesale liquor distributor before he got into show biz. He writes of wife Liz and their kids, his mom and dad, and his slew of crazy buddies he met along the way.
He’s kind to credit me with inspiring him to tell his stories, but he’s a natural storyteller.
The book’s available through Amazon, at Baton Rouge’s Cottonwood Books or from Chris if you can catch him at the Red Dragon.
After Margaret Hawkins, in the Friday column, pointed out that “decimate” refers to a one-tenth loss and not general destruction, other readers commented:
David Couvillon, retired Marines Reserve colonel, says, ”You can’t ‘decimate’ a person. The Romans decimated a unit (when it did not perform well): every 10th man was selected to be killed. Usually beaten to death by other soldiers in the unit lucky enough to not be selected.
“Currently, decimation of a military unit means that unit has lost enough men as to be considered combat ineffective.”
Joel d’Aquin Thibodeaux, of Baton Rouge, says other meanings of “decimate” in Webster’s Dictionary are “to reduce drastically, especially in number. Example: Cholera decimated the population” and “to cause great destruction or harm to. Example: Firebombs decimated the city.”
Special People Dept.
Haywood G. Bass celebrated his 91st birthday Sunday, Dec. 6.
I was on the phone giving a friend an inventory of my health issues when I had to pause for a chuckle.
I had just recalled saying, many years ago, “Don’t ever greet an old person by saying ‘How are you?’ unless you have plenty of time to listen to the answer.”
Claire Ford says, “Take this from an octogenarian; there is a plus side to wearing a face mask. It hides a lot of wrinkles. And you don’t need to wear makeup.”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.
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