Posted: December 16, 2013 at 2:37 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Here is this week’s Sound Off, about using chewing tobacco in public:

“I read your column about spitting in public being disgusting. I have something even worse! I was at a child’s birthday party inside one of those bouncing places, and a young man was sitting at our table. He started chewing tobacco, and he used his drinking cup to spit in as he was chewing,right at the table. I found it so disgusting that I had to move tables.” - G.T. in San Antonio

DEAR READER: It’s not only disgusting to watch, but it can cause cancer in the throat, stomach, tongue, mouth and esophagus, among just a few ramifications.

DEAR READERS: Other gift-wrap ideas:

Newspapers from home for someone out of town.

Sheet music for a musician; comic pages for children.

A receiving blanket for a baby gift.

Use pretty leftover fabric.

A map for a traveler.

DEAR HELOISE: My kitchen is carpeted, and I have a half-circle mat at the sink and a small mat at the doorway. Nothing I have tried will keep them from gradually moving out of position. I cannot find any product that is designed for rugs on carpet. Tape, upholstery tacks and nonslip pads don’t work, and I don’t want to nail them to the wooden floor underneath the carpet. Any suggestions?

  • J. Holloway, Indiana

DEAR READER: They do make nonslip pads specifically designed for rugs on carpeting. Look at a carpet or home-improvement store for the exact product. Also, a heavier rug will stay put better than a light one. I use a large carpet sample (you can buy them pretty cheaply) by the door as a “walk off” mat, and it stays put. So, give that a try.

If the one by the sink is next to the underside of the cabinet, you might be able to secure the edge of the rug to the cabinet. It may take a combination of things to stop the rugs from moving. Keep trying, and I hope these hints help.

DEAR HELOISE: When eating at a restaurant without tablecloths or at a counter in a diner, I use my unfolded paper napkin as a place mat and ask for another napkin. This eliminates concern about the cleanliness of tables.

  • Elizabeth E., Florida Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email


ActiveStyle, Pages 32 on 12/16/2013


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