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After reading my banana column, Fred Buchanan, an old friend, wrote to me with some additional bites of "banana-iana."

When he was a boy in Scotland he heard that bananas (instead of grease) were often used on the launching slides of ships built on the River Clyde."Probably a lot healthier for the fish than grease!" says Fred. "Maybe they just did it with banana boats! Of course, the practice stopped with the onset of the war when bananas completely disappeared from our diet. I can remember, however, when the first bananas entered the UK after the war. The event was announced over the radio in the BBC's sonorous tones, but the announcer had a hard time getting his tongue around `banana.' He said something like "bananana' and apologized because he had not used the word for so many years!"4

At last we have a way to avoid laundry disaster - with all the whites turning a suspiciously dark blue. Whoops. Guess that blue shirt sneaked in there again.

Well, according to Mark Bateman of Magna, the bothersome bleeding blues can be eliminated. Bateman invented the Pre-Sort Hamper, a clothes hamper with several compartments so clothes can be sorted according to darks, whites and colors. The Pre-Sort Hamper allows the clothes to be sorted at the time they're put into the hamper.

No more tedious, time-consuming sorting before putting clothes in the washing machine. Really great for large families.

Bateman is now working with patent attorneys, engineers, technical writers and graphic artists to see his project hit the streets.

Since I do the laundry at my house, this new development really interests me. Only thing is - how do you get your kids to put their clothes in the hamper?4

Do you have the same problem I do with magazine subscriptions?

I just got a lengthy note from Sports Illustrated saying they are "willing to re-negotiate" with me for renewal. They're willing to give ma a "Muhammad Ali" video free PLUS a big professional discount.

That's because I'm "the kind of subscriber" they "want to keep around for a long time." They're interested in "extending" my "contract - and rewarding" me "with tremendous incentive bonuses to do it extra early" - would you believe 7 months early?

Sounds like I need to retain the services of a sports attorney.

If I accept the offer I can save 72 percent off the cover price when I subscribe for the "3-year super-saver plan" - and it means that SI will keep coming to my house for just 75 cents an issue. That is compared to $2.75 an issue when I actually buy SI at a newsstand.

This is also a cheaper rate than is advertised on TV, in the mail or through the magazine clearinghouse. But who cares about what it costs an issue - what does it cost a year?

That information is apparently unavailable.

Then I just got my second notice from Time for renewal, even though I'm good for four more months.

Because I'm a "valued customer," they want to make sure that my home delivery does not suffer an interruption.

They remind me that I have not responded to their first notice and that it takes "three or four weeks to process" my payment when they receive it.

Panic is setting in! Then they quote me $119.95 for 104 issues. All I want to know is how much a year?4

So it's finally happened. Welti is through giving the weather at Channel 5. After a career of 41 years, it's hard to believe.

I, for one, will miss him and think the weather scene on local television will never be the same.

I can even remember, ever so faintly, his initial appearances on the old station W-6XIS. I was a kid and we had no TV of our own, but sometimes we would go to Aunt Myrtle's house to watch U.-BYU basketball games - and there was Welti.