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by Abigail Van Buren

Not All the Action in Sports Arena Takes Place on Field

DEAR ABBY: I work for a sports arena, but please don't reveal in which state. Several times a year, people are "caught" having sex in the upper decks of the empty stands.

They are caught because television cameras are very powerful and can zoom in for a close-up of the subject from several hundred feet away.

Of course, these images never make it on the air. However, they usually do end up on videotape -- and through the miracle of satellite technology could end up in every TV sports department in the country! Abby, this is just a warning to those couples who think they are getting away with something. -- IT AIN'T A SECRET AT THE GAME

DEAR AIN'T A SECRET: Thank you, dear reader. You have just performed a public service. Amorous readers who are tempted to wink at convention should bear in mind that the lens of a camera never blinks.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I had different reactions to a couple we know. I'll call them "Jack and Jill." My husband considers Jack to be one of his best friends, so he asked him to be his best man in our wedding.

Shortly after we announced our engagement, my parents threw a party for us, inviting only family and those in our wedding party. It was such a special event that my husband's parents flew across the country to be there. Much to my husband's dismay, Jack and Jill never showed up. When we saw them a few days later, they explained that they had made other plans.

A few months before the wedding, my sister planned a bridal shower for me. Jill was invited. She never came. I saw her that evening and she said that she forgot. This really hurt my feelings.

About a month before the wedding, a couple of the groomsmen called me to find out about the bachelor party. I called Jack, and he said he had not made any plans yet. It got closer to the wedding (a week away) and a groomsman, one of my bridesmaids and I were working frantically to give my husband a bachelor party. We asked Jack to take care of the transportation deposit. The night before the bachelor party, the bus driver called my bridesmaid and told her that he never received his deposit (which had been given to Jack). We then had to track Jack down and get the deposit to the bus company. Luckily, the party went well. The same evening, we had my bachelorette party. Jill never showed up.

The rehearsal evening finally came. Jack and Jill showed up at the church 30 minutes late, with no explanation. Luckily, my husband asked Jack to come to our house to get ready for the wedding so he would be there on time.

Last week we got our wedding album back. We decided to have a barbecue and invite everyone in the wedding party. Jack and Jill accepted. Two hours after the barbecue started, they called to say they weren't coming.

My dilemma: I do not want to make any more plans with this couple because they make no effort to see us. My husband thinks I am being mean when I tell him not to invite them to any of our functions. What do you think? -- FRUSTRATED IN FLORIDA

DEAR FRUSTRATED: I think you have been incredibly tolerant. After Jack dropped the ball so many times, I'm puzzled why your husband continued to want him in your wedding party.

From their track record, I see no harm in continuing to invite Jack and Jill to your functions, because the odds are, even if they do accept, they will not show up.

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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