09/11/2005DEAR ABBY: My wife and I would appreciate your help with the following question: I am driving on the interstate; my wife is sitting next to me in the front passenger seat with her seatbelt on. We are doing 70 miles per hour and there is some traffic around us. Suddenly I collapse over the steering wheel. What should my wife do, and in the proper order? -- EDGAR IN SPRINGFIELD, MO.
DEAR EDGAR: What a great question. I checked with the California Highway Patrol, and here's your answer:
1. Lean the driver back.
2. Take control of the steering wheel.
3. Hit the turn signal.
4. Passenger should keep her seatbelt fastened so that she is secure in the vehicle and begin merging to the right, making sure the driver's foot is off the accelerator.
5. Bring the vehicle to a stop on the shoulder.
6. Use a cell phone to call 911 and seek help for the driver.
I would like to add that while doing all of the above, it couldn't hurt to start praying.
DEAR ABBY: My wife insists on baking chocolate chip cookies as a "thank you" for an older couple next door who have been very nice to us -- giving gifts to our 2-year-old daughter and generally being great neighbors. The husband is overweight and diabetic.
I say it's insensitive -- even cruel -- to give food like that to someone we assume is trying -- or should be trying -- to stay away from it. I say we should just send a thank-you note instead. My wife insists it's the "thought" that counts, and that they sometimes entertain grandkids who can eat them, or they can give the cookies away if they don't want them. This question has come up before with other overweight people to whom we've owed a thank-you. So who's right? -- QUESTIONING THE GESTURE
DEAR QUESTIONING: You are. While I agree with your wife that it's the thought that counts, the gift she's giving reflects no thought at all. In fact, it could be considered diet sabotage.
A more suitable gift might be a book, CD or a lovely plant. But if she's determined that it be something from her kitchen, she should pick up one of the American Diabetes Association cookbooks and use it to prepare something that her neighbors can both enjoy. (And because diabetes can run in families, that would include the grandkids, too.)
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 13-year-old girl. I frequently ride my bike for long distances, sometimes alone and often out on country roads. I know it's dangerous for anyone -- especially a teenage girl -- to be alone, particularly out in the country where no one could see me if I was in trouble. Do you have any safety tips for me? -- CURIOUS IN KENDALLVILLE, IND.
DEAR CURIOUS: I can offer several. First, be sure to tell your parents you are leaving for a ride, where you plan to go, and what time you plan to be back. Always carry a cell phone if they work in your area. And, whenever possible, ride with a bike buddy. There is safety in numbers.
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