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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My grandson (I'll call him Stuart) is a 19-year-old college student. A few weeks ago, I noticed that a stage play was coming to town. Because Stuart had played the lead in that play in high school, I wrote to him, offering to treat him and a friend to two tickets. I asked him to let me know which performance he wanted to see so that I could purchase the tickets and mail them to him.

Two weeks went by. I didn't hear one word from Stuart, then his other grandmother told me that Stuart was "pleased" with my offer, but he was "too busy" to accept.

I told my son (Stuart's father) that I was hurt and displeased that his son didn't do me the courtesy of giving me that message personally, whereupon my son immediately came to his son's defense, pointing out what a fine lad he was -- no drinking, no smoking, no drugs. I added, "And no manners."

Now I'm the heavy. Everyone is mad at me, and I am mad at my grandson. Your comments, please. -- THE HEAVY

DEAR HEAVY: Your grandson should have personally acknowledged your offer of the tickets with thanks and regrets for his inability to accept.

But since he failed to do so, you should not have attempted to punish him by reporting his bad manners to his father. A 19-year-old college student is old enough to take his own lumps. Should Stuart have another lapse of bad manners, sock it to HIM -- not his father.

DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine invited me out for an evening's entertainment. One of the places we went to had quarter slot machines. My friend handed me four quarters and said, "Here, have a good time."

I put the first quarter in. Nothing. The second quarter, nothing. Same with the third quarter, and ditto the last quarter. I looked in my purse and found one lone quarter, so I put it in the slot machine and turned away when the bells started ringing, and money began pouring out! I couldn't believe it. This was the first time I had ever won a jackpot. I was so excited, I was in a total fog for the rest of the evening.

The next day I told the kids at work about it and they all thought I should have offered to split my winnings with my date. Why? It wasn't his quarter I won with. -- LUCKY LADY

DEAR LUCKY: Even if you had won the jackpot with your date's quarter, the jackpot would have been all yours. When someone gives another gambling money, the winnings belong to the person who did the betting. Had you offered your date part of your winnings, fine and dandy -- but you didn't owe him anything.

By popular request, Abby shares more of her favorite prize-winning, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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