Q: This happens every April. My husband sits in front of the TV and is glued to a golf match called “The Masters.” I don’t get it. Then every Father’s Day, he will use the U.S. Open as an excuse to play and watch golf all weekend. Who invented this game anyway? —Maria from Canton
A: Maria, there is a lot going on here. It sounds to me like your husband is hitting all the key points to enjoy select golfing weekends. The Masters and U.S. Open usually make for nice TV and both have a flair for the dramatic.
As far as who invented golf, well that’s an age-old discussion. Legend—and Wikipedia—indicate the first golf-like contest took place in 1297 where a game was played with a stick and leather ball. The winner was whoever, in the fewest strokes, put the ball in a hole several hundred yards away. Sounds like golf to me.
Except, this was just one hole. The modern game of golf, the origins for which your husband wastes Saturdays and Sundays, is considered a Scottish invention (they also gave us Sherlock Holmes and Peter Pan). An edict from King James II of Scotland banned golf and football because they were a distraction from archery practice for military purposes. Bans were again imposed in 1471 and 1491. I’ll bet you have some sort of royal blood in your heritage, Maria. Perhaps the golf ban of 2016 is being considered in your home? If you do that, be sure to get him a bow and arrow.
Q: Every year we get those prepaid Visa gift cards from companies we do business with as a rebate. My wife likes to save everything. I try to get rid of as much as possible, especially an extra card in my wallet. Can you settle an argument for us and tell me whether it’s a good idea or a bad one to throw those Visa cards away once the balance is used?
A: Listen fellas, when it comes to things like this you almost always should listen to your wife.
Your wife is correct about this, but it sounds like she doesn’t know why she’s correct.
You should save those prepaid Visa cards even after using the balance, particularly if you used it to purchase an item that may be returned to the store. Policies on returns vary by store, but many of them will issue a refund to you back to the card you used. So if you used a prepaid Visa to buy something and later have to return the item to the store for a refund, you will need to use that card again. If you throw it away, the refund will be issued to a card that is in a landfill.
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