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Would a parrot be the right pet for you?

Dear Heloise: During the quarantine, I’ve seen lots of people touting the merits of parrots. Parrots are marvelous, intelligent animals, but they are not good pets for everyone, for many reasons.

Chief among them, these guys can live for 50 years or more. You must make a contingency plan for the bird in the event of your death.

They require specialized and potentially expensive veterinary care, they must be cleaned up after constantly, they can be loud and destructive (by chewing), they are social animals (they need interaction with people), they need exposure to sunlight, and the list goes on. I’d advise your readers to think before adopting a parrot. — Tara E. in New York

Tara, I concur! Readers, do your homework before bringing home a bird. — Heloise

Pasta water

Dear Heloise: I always reserve some pasta water after boiling pasta. It helps to thicken sauces without adding extra calories and fat. — Merrit K. in Ohio

Squeeze this

Dear Heloise: We always had trouble getting the rinse aid into our dishwasher. Much of it would run out of the receptacle because it was hard to aim the bottle.

My wife had the brilliant idea to use a plastic squeeze bottle with a tapered, conical tip. She had an old hair tint bottle. It had a very narrow tip, so I snipped it off a little with wire snips. We put the rinse aid into it, and it works beautifully — no more wasted fluid! — Arthur M., via e-mail

Wash right

Dear Readers: When washing your hands, don’t forget to wash the backs of your hands, in between your fingers and under your fingernails as much as possible. Turn the water off when washing, and rinse thoroughly. — Heloise

Lock it up

Dear Heloise: I enjoy your articles every day in my Little Rock, Ark., newspaper. Regarding your article that appeared in our paper on Dec. 15 about parking lot safety, you mentioned to get in the car, fasten your seat belt and leave. That reminded me of something I always say to people.

I used to hold cooking classes for a group of ladies some years ago, and during one of our conversations I asked the class, “What is the first thing you should do when you get in your car?” Of course they all answered, “Fasten your seatbelt.” I said, “No; lock your door.” — Nick, Little Rock, Ark.

(Heloise is a columnist with King Features Syndicate.)

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