Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: I am a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Crime Prevention Officers Association. I am concerned about the letter signed "Ohio Nightmare Without End." She said her in-laws often show up on Sunday morning uninvited and let themselves into their home. The in-laws use the emergency key the couple keeps hidden near the door of the house.
Please, Ann, tell your readers not to hide keys outside their homes. No matter how secret they may believe a hiding place is, a criminal is sure to find it. Burglars know exactly where to look. After all, breaking into homes is their business.
No one should leave an extra key under the mat, over the door, in the mailbox or anyplace someone could find it. If your readers feel they MUST have an emergency key, it should be left with a trusted friend or neighbor. May I also suggest that they not leave the key in any of the commercial devices advertised as "hiding places" because, believe it or not, criminals read those advertisements, too. — Richard D. Pontes, security specialist, Boston
Dear Richard Pontes: Your letter is sure to prevent a great deal of anguish. Thank you for giving my readers some extremely valuable advice today for the price of a newspaper.
Dear Ann Landers: I need help — fast. I have a very dear friend who will be flying to California next month to visit her family. She has never flown before. This woman is large — I am talking nearly 300 pounds at least.
"Ruth" is not going to fit into a coach seat, and I am not sure she could fit into a first-class seat either. I don't want her to be embarrassed when she boards the plane. You know how cruel people can be about those who are overweight.
How should I approach her? Should I ask if she is flying first class? I don't want her to be humiliated, Ann. Thanks for your help. — A Heavy Problem in the Motor City
Dear H.P. in M.C.: Call the airline, and explain the situation. Ask if they would advise Ruth to buy a first-class seat or two coach seats. Then, tell Ruth you have heard that airline coach seats are getting smaller, and let her know what the airline recommended. It is important that she call ahead so there will be no surprises at the airport. You are a thoughtful friend to be concerned. Bless you.
"A Collection of My Favorite Gems of the Day" is the perfect little gift for that special someone who is impossible to buy for. Send a self-addressed, long, business-sized envelope and a check or money order for $5.25 (this includes postage and handling) to: Collection, c/o Ann Landers, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
ANN LANDERS (R)