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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Could you tell me why construction workers feel it is their privilege to have their radios and boom boxes blaring while they work on residential property? What would happen if we all felt we had this privilege? For instance, imagine what it would be like if gardeners, tellers in the bank or checkers in the markets all played their radios at high volume while they worked.

I live next door to a house that has been undergoing remodeling for four months. (The owners moved out and won't return until the work is completed, and who knows when that will be?) One day I was subjected to the noise of three radios -- from three different construction crews.

Time and time again I have appealed to the workers, the contractor and the owners to alleviate the stress of having to listen to this unnecessary noise pollution six and sometimes seven days a week -- often starting before 7 a.m. Nothing has changed.

I have no objection to the noise made by various tools they use, nor to the shouting, banging and dust attendant with the work. It contributes to the betterment of my neighbors' property and to the employment of people. But being forced to endure blaring radios is something else.

I have asked the workers why they can't use headsets, but have received no satisfactory answer. -- BOB PROUDLOCK, LOS ANGELES

DEAR BOB: Headsets could pose a danger to the workers. They would be unable to hear a cry for help or a warning of impending danger. Also, orders from the boss would be blocked.

Since your appeals have fallen on deaf ears, perhaps you should report the noise pollution to the police. Many cities have laws on disturbing the peace.

DEAR ABBY: In reference to "Sonia in Spring Lakes," who wrote complaining about "Jake," her 50-plus-year-old boyfriend who got too chummy with the hostess of a party that he took Sonia to:

You compared Jake to a bumblebee in the garden of life: entertaining to watch at a distance, but guaranteed to deliver a nasty sting if you got too close.

You advised Sonia to tell Jake to buzz off, which reminded me of the following poem:

"This is the story of the little bee

"Whose sex is very hard to see.

"You cannot tell the he from she

"But she can tell, and so can he.

"The busy bee is never still

"And has no time to take the Pill.

"And that is why, in times like these,

"There are so many sons of bees."


DEAR SIDNEY: At the risk of appearing "waspish," that poem appeared in my column in 1988, submitted by Jim Harvel, an Arizona beekeeper. But thanks for the reminder. You're a honey!

DEAR ABBY: Here's one more letter about grandmas catching bridal bouquets. I caught the bouquet at my grandson's wedding and didn't shove anyone to get it. I am 86 and not so spry. We all had a good laugh. Another grandson caught the garter.

The ladies at church have my wedding all planned. There's only one hitch -- they haven't found a groom yet. -- HAPPY GRANDMA

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600