Q: Can retailers not collect Ohio’s sales tax? — Dan Ritter, McComb.
A: “Ohio law (R.C. 5739.29) prohibits a vendor from advertising that it is selling a product without collecting sales tax, or that it is rebating or otherwise paying the sales tax, etc.
“If the Ohio Department of Taxation receives information that a vendor is doing this, we generally send an enforcement agent out to check and make sure the vendor understands and complies with the tax law.
“To report suspected tax fraud or other violations of Ohio tax law, please call … 1-800-757-6091. Caller confidentiality is protected.” — Matt Chafin, chief legal counsel, Ohio Department of Taxation.
Q: Who designed those ugly black postage stamps? — Carol McKitrick, Findlay.
A: The Star-Spangled Banner Forever Stamp shows two bursts of fireworks and a 15-star flag against a night sky.
It was issued Jan. 28 to commemorate “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key, written during the battle for Baltimore on Sept. 13-14, 1814.
Photographer Gary Clark’s picture was taken at Fort McHenry last year. See it at USPSstamps.com. — U.S. Postal Service.
Q: There are some brick/stone pillars with a pipe sticking out at Lima Avenue and Hancock County 9 in Liberty Township. What’s their story? — J.R., rural Findlay.
A: They are probably an old property marker, but we’re not sure. Perhaps a reader can help. — Mark Donaldson, Hancock Historical Museum, Findlay.
Q: What is “ennui”?
A: Ennui (ahn-wee) expresses profound boredom, weariness, or even a spiritual emptiness or alienation from one’s place and time.
Songwriter Cole Porter used it to introduce his classic, “I Get a Kick Out of You” (1934):
“…when I’m out on a quiet spree, fighting vainly the old ennui, and I suddenly turn and see your fabulous face.” — dictionary.com.
Q: Remember the burger commercial where the woman says, “Where’s the beef?”
A: That classic aired 30 years ago, making Chicago manicurist Clara Pellar a star, and her quip part of the language.
It was even used by former Vice President Walter Mondale in a debate with Sen. Gary Hart for the 1984 Democratic nomination for president.
Pellar made the Wendy’s commercial when she was 81, and did interviews and parodies until she died at 84.
See it again at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dnUs2AqWvs — Various sources.
Q: What about those U.S. flags that have an eagle, peace sign, or even Elvis on them?
A: “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature,” states Title 4, United States Code. — Congressional Research Service, 2008.
CORRECTION: Skeptical Denny Scales of Fostoria questioned whether writer H.G. Wells’ epitaph reads, “I told you I was sick,” as reported in “Just Ask” of April 7.
It cannot because Wells has no tombstone. He was cremated and his ashes spread at sea in 1946.
However, several sources indicate Wells once wanted his epitaph to read, “Goddamn you all: I told you so!”
We even like corrections to Send an E-mail to justask, or Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.