Dear Heloise: I read your recent column where a person who RENTED A CAR was held liable for alleged damage to the car’s roof. I experienced a similar event and believe it was a scam, even though the company was reputable.

I contacted my insurance company, and it backed me totally, saying that the burden of proof of damage was on the car-rental people. When I called their bluff, they dropped the claim immediately. I now believe it was designed to scare me into handing over $600 to them. Be careful out there! -- Rebecca, via e-mail

Wow! How interesting. Readers, if you have had an experience like this, let me know! Send your response to:; fax to: 210-435-6473 (HELOISE); or write to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. Please put “Rental Car” in the subject line and on the envelope. I look forward to hearing from you. -- Heloise

P.S.: Speaking of rental cars, the following is another helpful hint.


Dear Heloise: A few years ago, I was driving a rental car on an interstate highway when it started to snow heavy, wet snow. I could not locate the windshield defrost control before the visibility went to zero.

Luckily, there was no accident, but believe me, I now check all controls like that before driving on the open road in a rental car. -- Doug J. in Watson, La.

A very important safety hint, and one that could save lives! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I’ve discovered an easy way to keep our cat’s hair off the bed. I drape a large sheet on the bed. It catches shedding hair and can be tossed in the washer and dryer more easily than a huge spread or quilt. -- R.F. in Dallas


Dear Readers: Here are a few easy ways to save water and money:

* Run the dishwasher and clothes washer only when you have a full load, or adjust the water setting to the size of the load.

* Taking a shower typically uses less water than taking a bath.

* Use cold water whenever possible (to wash hands and laundry).

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I saw the coolest movie poster at a restaurant. It was in a shadow box, about 3 to 4 inches deep, and at the bottom they had placed several cups of popped popcorn (unbuttered, of course!). What a fun and clever project. I may have to try this one myself! -- Elizabeth in Pennsylvania


Dear Readers: If you spend long hours at the computer, here are some hints to help avoid neck strain and back pain: Your feet? They should be flat on the floor. Elbows? They should be at a 90-degree angle. Your chair? It should give you good back support. Take breaks frequently throughout the day. Stand, walk and breathe! -- Heloise

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate