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Hints From Heloise: Bar code bottoms out

Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about heavy items at the store:

“Today I bought a case of bottled water that was on sale. When I went to pay for it, I had to turn it over so the cashier could scan it. I thought that the bar code should have been on the top instead of the bottom so you don’t have to turn it over. -- R.A., Baytown, Tex.”

You are so right! Heavy and bulky items are difficult to handle. Try to leave the big items in the bottom of the cart, and ask the clerk to come around and scan them. The clerk may have to flip them over, but at least it saves you from having to pick up heavy items. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Readers: Other things you can slice with an egg slicer:

* Potatoes for potato salad

* Mushrooms into uniform slices

* Large olives

* Strawberries

* Bananas.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Help! I accidently got ink on the outside of my leather purse. It is a line about 2 inches long. How can I get it off? -- Irma in San Antonio

Oh no! Unfortunately, removing ink from leather can be a challenge. You need to be careful, but here is what to try. Use rubbing alcohol (90 percent). Get a cotton swab wet, and gently dab the stain. Dab only once or twice. If the ink comes up, continue. If the ink isn’t coming up, stop. When done cleaning, wipe with a damp cloth. When dry, use leather conditioner on the area.

If the alcohol doesn’t work, you might need to consult a leather-cleaning specialist, who may be able to dye the purse. If you can’t remove the stain, don’t throw away the purse. Just keep the stained side toward the inside, or tie a scarf around the handle to cover, if you can. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have a small child in diapers. No matter how prepared you think you are, every mom or dad at some point runs out of diapers, and this is not a good situation. To try to prevent this from happening (again!), I stuffed extra diapers and a package of wipes in my glove box. I use them only when necessary, but having a backup is always helpful. -- A Mom in Kentucky


Dear Heloise: It really frustrates me that the tube of toothpaste doesn’t stay rolled up after you squeeze it. I hated having to reroll it every time I wanted to brush my teeth. I took a binder clip and clipped it on the tube once I rolled it. Now it stays put. -- Amy, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: When going to the beach, put your cellphone in a plastic sandwich bag to keep it safe from sand, salt and water. -- Ron in Virginia

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

, King Features Syndicate

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