Dear Readers: Today's sound off is about stealing people's lunches from the employee refrigerator:

"Dear Heloise: I work in a large office where we bring our own lunch. We either write a name on the lunch or we tag it so it's identifiable. Someone has been taking food that doesn't belong to them. Two employees found that someone had taken their lunches the other day. We can't seem to catch the person responsible. Any suggestions?" -- Lois L., Bonne Terre, Mo.

Oh my, the old "Who took my lunch?" dilemma. This is not new at all. Try to keep a close eye on the lunchroom, and mention it in an employee meeting. Posting a sign on the refrigerator might help.

I was at a radio station in Washington, D.C., once and commented to the program director that the "break room" was the cleanest I had ever seen in a radio/TV station. His reply was that since they had put in a camera to prevent items from "going missing," employees were cleaning up after themselves! Maybe ask management to do the same. It can't hurt! -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE


Dear Readers: Here are some uses for old blankets:

Local pet shelters need them.
Keep in the trunk of your car for an emergency.
Use to keep dirt off when storing furniture.
Use to cover a bed in the guest room. No pet hair! -- Heloise

Dear Heloise: I've read that the American dream is dead for most young people. By "American dream" I mean owning a home, having children, sending the kids to college, building a retirement fund, things like that. -- F.W. in California

Floyd, the "American dream," as it's called, isn't slipping away, but it is changing. Instead of big homes, many are opting for smaller homes that require less work and less expense. There also is a trend of multigenerational homes. It's a different time. -- Heloise

Dear Heloise: I may be the last male on Earth to know this, but I use a used dyer sheet to clean the dryer lint filter. Much better than a wet finger! -- L.H., Bedford, Texas

It's amazing that what is new to you is old hat to others. Readers, please be sure to clean the lint filter EVERY time the dryer is used. Also, check the exhaust hose. You would be shocked about how many home fires are started by a lint buildup. -- Heloise

P.S. DON'T put the clothes in the dryer and then run a quick errand! Oh, by the way, when I visited the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear submarine docked at Pearl Harbor, I learned this hint from them: When they do laundry, someone ALWAYS stays in that room while the dryer is on. Fire on a submarine is very dangerous. Lean from them.

Dear Heloise: My trash can would slide when we stepped on the lid release, so I purchased a small pet food mat. I use it under the trash can, and no more sliding! -- Lynn D., Colorado Springs, Colo.