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Grand Central: Advice from the masters

By PATTY RYAN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 28, 2002

ANN LANDERS has left us.

ANN LANDERS has left us.


Woe are we, the advice-challenged of South Tampa.

But here on the pages of City Times, one can at least pretend.

* * *

DEAR ANN AND MARTHA: Whenever it rains, the little fish in South Tampa's Lake Kipling die. I've asked the mayor to help but he won't. What should I do? -- Exasperated Ellie, Sunset Park.

Dear Exasperated: Bravo, Ellie, for your civic conscience. But something smells fishy to me. Until you show City Hall that little fish matter as much as big ones, you'll never get anywhere. -- Ann

P.S. from Martha: Ellie, why not collect those dead fish? String them together with dried pine needles. They'll make a delightful centerpiece for a special seafood supper.

* * *

DEAR ANN AND MARTHA: I'm desperately trying to find a new store for our shopping center. Any suggestions? -- Persistent Pat, Old Hyde Park Village

Dear Persistent: These are tough times, Pat. Hang in there. If there's a will, there's a way. -- Ann

P.S. from Martha: A large Kmart could be just the solution for this unexpected summertime worry.

* * *

DEAR ANN AND MARTHA: We'd like to build a pool behind our waterfront mansion so that our sons do not grow up deprived. A nasty neighbor stands in the way. Is it wrong to throw water balloons? -- Bone Dry, Sunset Park

Dear Bone: Every week, I read letters from parents of unfortunate young children whose lives were full of hope and promise until an accidental fall into a swimming pool. Count your blessings. -- Ann

P.S. from Martha: You won't need a pool with my new sunless tanning cream. A tan without a burn: That's a good thing.

* * *

DEAR ANN AND MARTHA: I live in a senior citizens mobile home park. The state wants to put a 17-foot-high overpass right next to us, ruining the pool area. The whole place has gone to heck in a handbasket. What do we do? -- Stunned at Regency Cove

Dear Stunned: You're a gem, Stunned. Thank you for the lovely crocheted Elvis. If you stand your ground, no one can build on it. -- Ann

P.S. from Martha: Why not make the most of that concrete overpass? You could delight grandchildren by attaching a homemade basketball hoop fashioned from Popsicle sticks stained orange with carrot juice. And remember the sunless tanning cream.

* * *

DEAR ANN AND MARTHA: I've noticed that people in Hyde Park don't seem to cover their windows at night. I find myself standing in the bushes sometimes, watching. Sometimes I don't change position for weeks at a time. Is this normal behavior? -- Name Withheld, Bayshore Boulevard

Dear Bayshore: I'm greatly concerned about you, N.W. Cases of skin cancer have soared in the United States. Please be sure to wear sun block. -- Ann

P.S. from Martha: I'm often lost in the garden myself. Aren't leaves lovely?

* * *

DEAR ANN AND MARTHA: I seem to run out of gas nearly every day. I'm forced to carry an empty antifreeze jug, just in case it happens again. And I don't even have a car! What's up with this side of town? -- Out-of-gas man, at large

Dear Out: I smell a problem, Mr. Gas. Get counseling. You won't regret it. -- Ann

P.S. from Martha: Turn that empty antifreeze jug into a patriotic iced tea pitcher with an old pair of blue jeans and a couple of Target bags.

* * *

DEAR READERS: That's all for this week. With July 4 so near, I can't help but say, "Cheers." Have a safe holiday. -- Ann

P.S from Martha: Don't forget to save those used sparklers. With a little cotton, they become handy Q-tips for every occasion.

-- Tampa's Kennedy Boulevard was once called Grand Central. Now Grand Central is a weekly City Times column. Writer Patty Ryan can be reached at 226-3382 or

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