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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Though a frequent reader (after my wife), I've only now found reason to write to you, in response to the lady who feared her husband's habit of urinating on their lawn was inappropriate.

So it may be, but the fact remains that all men pee outdoors.

My best to you and continued good luck with your column. -- CHARLTON HESTON, BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.

DEAR CHARLTON: Thank you for the input. Your letter is but a drop in the bucket compared to the deluge of mail that has flooded my office since I printed that letter. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: After reading the letter about the woman ("The Whiz-zard's Wife") whose husband urinates in the yard, I had to write. It's what I went through with my ex-husband for 13 years! I pleaded with him to stop, but his answer was that no one could see him because it was dark.

My present husband (now of eight years) did the same thing. He'd be closer to the bathroom in our house and still go out back to urinate in our yard after dark two or three times a week. When I gave him my opinion about it, he'd ignore it.

When we moved to our new home, we had a wooden fence built. I decided to teach him a lesson. When he continued to urinate in the back yard, I decided to do the same. He was shocked! He told me I had better not do it again. I told him that as long as he continued his behavior, I would do the same.

Abby, he has not urinated in our back yard since. Sometimes when they won't listen, you have to SHOW 'em. -- HAPPY WIFE IN FORNEY, TEXAS

DEAR HAPPY WIFE: Congratulations for having curbed your husband's spraying. I was intrigued to discover that some men consider it a form of conservation! Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Marking our territory is only one reason for this age-old tradition.

Boys have long enjoyed distance, accuracy and creative urinary competitions: knocking leaves off the trees in the fall, drawing pictures in the winter snow, protecting young fir trees from hungry deer in the spring, and dousing campfires in the summer months are just a few highlights.

Some may deride this as small-minded male nonsense, but on a global scale, this ritual has significant benefits to our environment. The flush water we save is substantial. At 2.5 gallons per flush, a man urinating outside just once a day will conserve almost 1,000 gallons of water a year. If one-fourth of the men in the United States saved one flush per day, we'd save more than 4.5 billion cubic feet of water per year.

If you consider all the rainfall that's channeled into storm sewers from our streets and parking lots, we're returning valuable moisture to the soil by urinating on our lawns. At just one pint per day, American men could generate enough filtered ground water to cool the hottest passions among Washington, D.C.'s, elite. It would give the term "leak" new meaning. -- NATIVE OREGON STREAMER, TILLAMOOK, ORE.

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.)

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