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PROBE: March 15, 2001

March 15, 2002

RECIPE FOR SUICIDE — I don't know what they put in at the Brawley drug fountain to make the Brawley Fountain Suicide but I know what we put in the Waikiki Suicide. We put a squirt of all our milkshake syrups, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and cherry into a cola to make our "suicide."

When I was a car hop we made this concoction at the Waikiki and the Twin Barrels drive-ins in Brawley. Remember, those were the days when you could order a cherry, vanilla or chocolate Coke at most fountains. I also worked at Red Shepherd's Waikiki drive-ins in El Centro and Holtville.

There may be somebody still around who worked at the fountain in the Brawley drug store who will know exactly how to make the Brawley Fountain version. Why don't you call Foster's Freeze? I am sure they made a similar drink. We all did. — Former Car Hop, Brawley


You can still get a drink with multiple flavors at Foster's Old-Fashion Freeze in El Centro and Brawley. At the El Centro Foster's you can get a slush with all the flavors for soda prices. Do they call it a "suicide"? No, they call it a "slush with all the flavors."

You can have milkshakes with two flavors for the regular price. If you want more than two, it will cost 35 cents more for each extra flavor. The same thing for the sodas.

We are in the middle of somebody's "good old days." Forty years from now somebody will think, "I crave a ‘slush with all the flavors' like we used to get at Foster's."

QUESTION: I took my tax return to an income tax service that promised my refund in 24 hours. It's been a month and I still don't have it. I paid $5 and when the refund comes in. The service will deduct $169 from my refund to pay its fees. Can you find out what happened? — No Refund, Brawley

Those 24-hour refunds are not refunds but bank loans. The Internal Revenue Service doesn't make refunds in 24 hours even if you file electronically.

But the IRS usually sends the money within a month of filing — if it's going to send it. If you owe back federal taxes, delinquent child support or student loans, the IRS may have intercepted your refund. After the bill, and if there's anything left, the IRS will send it to you.

There is another possibility. If you signed up with a fly-by-night outfit, it's possible it hasn't yet filed the return.

We couldn't do much with your question because you didn't give us the complete name of the service or a phone number so we could call to ask what happened. Leave the information on our voice mail and we'll look into this further.

KEEPING THINGS COOL — Thank you. A woman in Imperial said she will give us her old refrigerator to replace our 30-year-old fridge that quit working. You don't know how much you need a refrigerator until yours quits working.

I am sorry you misunderstood me. I am not a single mother. My husband is disabled. We have three teen-age children and we live on disability payments. — Cooling, Niland

Thank you for letting us know, and thank you PROBE readers. We got three offers of refrigerators for the Niland family. We feel more secure just knowing if we get in trouble, somebody will help us.

That's what helping others is all about. If you get in trouble, we will help you, and if we get in trouble, you will help us. It's a pact.

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