Dear Readers: Do you own a lawn mower? Have you ever thought of it as a piece of machinery that could disfigure, maim or kill someone? Well, neither have I. This letter will open your eyes.
Dear Ann Landers: The idiot season is upon us again. I have been a physician in a large children's hospital for more than 20 years. Every year, we see at least a half-dozen victims with horrendous injuries from lawn mowers. For some insane reason, parents, grandparents and older siblings seem to think that a lawn mower is a toy upon which to give a child a ride.
Please, Ann, tell your readers that a lawn mower is a dangerous yard tool capable of injuring, permanently disabling and even killing someone. Over the years, I have seen children lose fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms and legs. One 5-year-old girl arrived in the emergency room with her face split down the middle. I have seen two children who were killed by flying objects just because they happened to be in the yard when the grass was being cut.
Please, Ann, get this message out. Children should not be allowed in the yard while the mower is in operation. And under no circumstances should a child under 12 years of age be permitted to use a lawn mower. Thank you on behalf of all the people you have helped today.
-- Doctor in Barberton, Ohio
Dear Doc in Barberton: Letters such as yours are invaluable. I'm grateful to you for taking the time to share your wisdom born of experience. And now it is my turn to thank you for all the people you helped today.
Let your fingers do the walking
Dear Ann Landers: I went to a house party in Brooklyn many years ago, and it was there that I met one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen in my entire life. We had a few dances, and I asked if I could take her home. She said she was sorry but she always goes home with the fellow who brought her.
The following conversation took place:
"Where do you live?"
"What is your phone number?"
"It's in the book."
"What is your last name?"
"Cohen. Good night."
That evening when I got home, I discovered there were three pages of Cohens in the Brooklyn phone book. I started with Abbot Cohen and made 40 calls every night until I found her.
Ruth and I have had a wonderful life, and we just celebrated our 64th wedding anniversary.
-- Norman in Sunrise, Fla.
Dear Norman: It's a charming story, though you could have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble by phoning the hostess and asking her for Ruth's phone number. But getting it the hard way probably made a big hit with Ruth. Mazel tov on your 64th!
Jogging for dollars
Dear Readers: If you are a jogger, it pays to keep your eyes open. Craig Davidson of Phoenix, Ariz., has picked up $5,170 in loose change since 1978. (I heard about this and phoned Mrs. Davidson, who confirmed it.)
Gem of the day
"I can't speak for other marriages," said Mamie Eisenhower, "but the secret of our marriage is that Ike and I have absolutely nothing in common." Source: "How to Talk With Anybody About Practically Anything" by Barbara Walters (1970).