Ask Heloise

Do fares take flight

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about airfares offered in an ad, and what it really takes to get those fares:

— Heloise

“Dear Heloise: I’ve lost all patience with travel websites that advertise round-trip airfares at significant savings. The problem: You never can actually find these fares. You can spend hours adjusting the dates, hours and departure location and still not find the advertised fare. There should be a law requiring travel websites to clearly state what days are associated with the advertised fare. Then consumers can decide if it’s right for them or not.”

— Sterling D., Dayton, Ohio

Sterling, there are laws about false advertising, but one answer to this problem would be to phone the travel agency that placed the ad and ask how you can get the advertised fare. The agency placed the ad, so let them do the work to find you the best deal possible.

— Heloise

Send a great hint to:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise(at)Heloise.com

Fast facts

Dear Heloise: I saw your recycling suggestions on amber pill bottles, so I thought I’d send you some of my uses for the empty containers:

∫ I keep one filled with mints so they don’t get scattered in my purse.

∫ I keep loose change in them.

∫ I use one to hold tiny things, such as screws for my glasses, earring backs, safety pins, etc.

∫ I also carry an additional supply of cream sunblock in one.

— A Reader, via email

And here’s another hint about amber pill bottles:

“I saw the amber pill bottle reuse suggestions, and I thought I’d send in one of my own. Here in Hawaii, it is a custom of ours to have a ‘House Blessing’ when you buy a new place. After we bought our home, my husband and I composed a prayer and wrote it out on paper, then folded it very small and placed it in a pill container. Later in the evening, we had an open house with family and friends, and the minister blessed the house. We then took the pill container, with the prayer inside it, buried it in a deep hole in the front yard and planted a mango tree on top. This house has weathered hurricanes, storms, four kids and six dogs in 15 years, and it’s still here.”

— Malia K., Oahu, Hawaii

Floral vases

Dear Heloise: When you accumulate a number of floral vases and containers that you don’t want to keep, call a local florist and ask if it would be interested in reusing them. Sometimes the florist will even pick them up and offer to pay for them.

— Linda M., via email

The key is graphite

Dear Heloise: A locksmith once told me never to use a household lubricant on a key lock. There is one very popular lubricant in a can that many people use, but on a lock, it just causes a gummy buildup. Instead, use graphite — white graphite if you can find it, black if you can’t. — Lois B. in Arkansas

Did you know?

Dear Readers: Although only about the size of a golf ball, the blue-ringed octopus has enough poison to kill an adult human in a matter of minutes.

— Heloise

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