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Dear Readers: Today's SOUND OFF is about the cellphone obsession that's so present today. - Heloise
"Dear Heloise: I was dining out with a friend recently, and she said: 'Look around the restaurant. Nearly everyone is glued to their cellphone screen.' It was true. There's a time and place for everything, but in the company of friends, why do people feel the need to check their phones every two minutes?
"There's a whole world out there waiting to be lived and discovered, but if you have your eyes and attention glued to a tiny screen half the time, you'll miss an important part of life. You'll drive away friends and family who wonder why your social media account was so much more important to you than they were.
"According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving causes over 1 million accidents each year. And talking on a cellphone while driving is equally dangerous because your attention is not on your driving." - Meghan in Florida
Dear Readers: Here are some new uses for things around the house:
• Removing silk out of corn on the cob? Use a clean toothbrush.
• No shoe polish? Try a little vegetable oil to shine and clean shoes.
• Use a matchbox as a mini sewing kit.
Dear Heloise: I hate the static cling we get here during the winter months. I discovered that if I rub a light, fast-absorbing lotion into my legs, my clothing won't stick to them. I can even rub it over pantyhose and it works! - June in Arizona
Dear Heloise: My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon, and now I have to write my thank-you notes. Would it be all right to just send an email or text saying: "Thanks so much for your gift. I'm sure we'll find it useful"? Short and sweet. My mother says it's tacky, but I have about 210 thank-you notes to get out! - Samantha B., Cedar Grove, N.J.
Samantha, your mother is right. You can buy some inexpensive thank-you cards that look nice and are blank on the inside. Thank them for the gift by mentioning what they gave and how you will use it. If you were given money, for example, you might say: "Thank you for the gift of $75. It'll go toward our new refrigerator fund." Take your time, and the both of you can sit down and write a few every night. Try setting a goal; each of you could write 10 per day until you're done, and you'll be done in no time! - Heloise
Dear Heloise: I hate it when I buy a package of bacon and all the bacon sticks together. Is there any way to prevent this and make it easier to get out a couple of strips at a time? - Jason V., Marion, Iowa
Jason, to help the bacon not stick together, just roll the package into a long cylinder and wrap a rubber band around the package before you refrigerate it. -Heloise
A direct problem?
Dear Heloise: My daughter was looking for an opportunity to earn extra money. She was invited to join a DIRECT SALES company, sometimes called multilevel marketing, pyramid selling, a home-based business or network marketing. I would advise your readers: Be wary. This type of business touts itself as a wonderful chance to host parties, meet people and sell products you use and love. So what's the problem?
She was a salesperson, which is fine, but she purchased the products from the company, then turned around and tried to sell them, either online or at home parties. This required a large outlay of cash. Storing the merchandise and participating in training also were problematic and time-consuming.
In addition, a huge part of the job is recruiting others to join her team, or "downline." She then earned money from their sales; it is not easy. - Helen M. in Michigan
Helen, many people who try this come up short and are left with merchandise they can't sell. Readers, check out the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov for more information. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: I make deposits early in the morning for my employer at my bank's night drop. It's still dark out, so I am super-aware of my surroundings. The night drop has a camera, but I carry my phone with me, make the deposit, ensure it gets into the building and get back in my car quickly. - Heidi W. in Cincinnati
High-five, Heidi! Readers, also be aware of your surroundings when taking cash out of the ATM. - Heloise
AGE PAYS OFF
Dear Heloise: I have a brother, sister and six nieces and nephews ages 25 to 73, all who live far away. On their birthdays, each gets an online gift card in the amount of twice their age. This way, everyone is treated fairly and can get what they really want. And they look forward to my gift! - Aunt Tillie in Connecticut
A NICE NO
Dear Heloise: Kudos to telemarketers who are eking out a living at an honest but extremely difficult job! I respect them for that. They deserve our courtesy, not our rudeness, regardless of our annoyance.
If you answer the call, it takes no more time to say, "Please remove me from your list" than to cuss them out. Also, you'll be in a better mood after making someone's unpleasant job a little easier. - Bunny B., Lancaster, Calif.
Bunny, how right you are! Readers, kindness is contagious - these folks are working for a living. Don't feel pressured to buy what they are selling; just say no nicely and then say goodbye. - Heloise
(c)2020 by King Features Syndicate Inc.