Ethel has worked for 137 long years as Sandra Boynton’s perky personal assistant. Her advice is truly beyond invaluable. You wouldn’t BELIEVE the things she knows. Or knew. Or has a feeling that she knows, if only you’d just hold your hippos and let her think, will you? She’s really good at seeing into the future, or the past, or making things up. So ask Ethel, and every month or year or so, she’ll choose some questions to answer right here. Or she might just delete the whole lot and go buy a nice pair of shoes.

Ethel Answers

A reader from the Berkshire Hills of New England asks:

Q: Do you have a last name?

A: Yes, of course.

Q: What is it?

A: What is what?

Q: Your last name?

A: You're asking what my last name is?

Q: Yes.

A: "Yes" is not a question.

Q: Um. Yes?

A: A simple solution of warm water, baking soda, and vinegar will usually do the trick. If not, seek professional help. Meanwhile, I think I'll head out shopping for a pair of roguish yet sensible sling backs, size 9-1/2 or 10.

Yours oh-so-truly,
Ethel T. Lethe
Senior Administrative Assistant
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