Best of Smiley
Best of Smiley
good, better, best columns 1979-1990
Dust Jacket Hardcover
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Sometimes people ask Smiley, “When are you going to retire?”  He answers by telling this story:  “I once asked my former publisher, David Manship, ‘When can I retire?’  His response was ‘retire from what?’  I don’t guess I’ll ever retire, after all, I love my work, my readers supply me with great material, and there’s no heavy lifting.”

Life around Smiley is never dull.  Whenever he goes out, whether in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, even Orange Beach, Alabama, and San Francisco, California, people recognize his face and just have to get to him to tell him a joke or a story.

Smiley is a joyful little cherub of a man and his work exudes wit and character.  He’s the kind of guy you just want to “belly up to the bar” with.  And you really haven’t lived until you’ve seen him at Spanish Town Mardi Gras in his pink tu-tu and red pumps.

Katherine Scales Anders, “current wife”

aka “Lady Katherine”


Those smart-aleck Texans!  A bearded friend writes about a recent trip to Houston, where he heard a TV editorial on gambling in Louisiana end with this crack:

“What do you say to a well-dressed Louisiana politician?

“The defendant will please rise...”

Definition of the week:  Jack Wardlaw came up with this definition of an atheist:

“Someone who doesn’t care who wins the Notre Dame-SMU game.”

Sign of a slow economy:  Marshion Bonaventure of St. Francisville says her granddaughter, 4, spent all day Saturday trying to learn a poem for nursery school.

She was concerned, says Grandma, that she would be “laid off” if she didn’t know it.

The wrong man:  This guy I know was walking near the Capitol complex. A car pulled up, and the lady driving asked, “Where can I find the Good Management Building?”

He replied, “I wouldn’t know, ma’am—I’m a state employee.”

You can bet Yogi Berra never said that:  John Musemeche coaches an American Legion baseball team for kids 10-12. He’s amazed at the intelligence of the youngsters.

“The other night during a game,” he says, “a kid walked up to me and said, in all seriousness, ‘Coach John, it is imperative that we retire this fellow as soon as possible.’” 

Kindred spirits: This is true. A guy I know brought a car to a repair shop. After looking it over, the mechanic said it would take three days to fix.

"But it''s my mother-in-law''s car," said the man. "She can''t leave town until it''s fixed."

The mechanic said, "In that care, it''ll be ready today at 5."


The ripple effect: It didn''t sound like much of a story, but the more I thought about it the better I liked it.

Beth Pence recently went out to buy a newspaper. When she got to the machine, she found she had no change.

She asked a young man walking by if he had change for a dollar.

"No," he said, "but I''ve got a quarter."

He gave her the quarter and walked away.

Beth was so impressed by this small act of kindness that when she got home she sent a donation to a children''s home.

Rampant feminism: Dear Smiley: I overheard this between two ladies at a bar:

"The Bible says that on the fifth day God created man."

From Bunkie to Baton Rouge, from Aggies to Cajuns, Smiley Anders reaps the harvest of Louisiana humor and sets it on the table for his readers six days a week.  This, his first book, features excerpts from some of his best columns 1979-1990

For more than 25 years Smiley Anders has been writing his six-days-a-week column for The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La.  The column has received three first place awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (in 1985, 1996 and 2004) in the items category.  In 1997 the name of the category was changed to the Herb Caen Award to honor the San Francisco Chronicle''s long-time items columnist.

Smiley (yes, that is his "real" name) started the column after a 13-year career in business journalism, and was The Advocate''s business reporter before becoming a columnist. For his business reporting, he was named the first "Communicator of the Year" in 1975 by the Public Relations Association of Louisiana.

A native of Natchez, Miss., he received B.A. and M.A. degrees in journalism from Louisiana State University.  He and his wife Katherine live in a 1922 home in Spanish Town, Baton Rouge''s oldest neighborhood.



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