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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I recently attended yet another funeral where several speakers shared reminiscences of the deceased. As charming and comforting as the stories were, it was very frustrating to listen to even the most heartfelt comments when I had no idea who the speakers were or their relationship to the deceased.

Relatives and friends came from hundreds of miles away. The church was packed with schoolmates, neighbors and friends. My family were not the only mourners who had no clue about who these speakers were. A simple, "My name is Bill Smith. Tom and I played football at Granite College together," would have been so considerate. Even the clergy remained anonymous.

One notable exception was a service that Cardinal O'Connor conducted for a longtime friend in Washington, D.C. He didn't presume that everyone knew who he was, and introduced himself and his relationship to the deceased. It made his participation poignant and personal. -- MIFFED MOURNER IN DELAWARE

DEAR MIFFED: Your suggestion is one of the ABCs of public speaking that should be remembered by anyone stepping before a microphone. However, most speakers at funerals and memorials are amateurs who are unaccustomed to speaking before an audience (most are emotionally stressed as well). I'm sure the people you heard were speaking from their hearts, so attribute their omissions to inexperience.

DEAR ABBY: This is for "Paying the Price in Phoenix," the woman who was arrested for DUI:

The reason you were locked in jail like a common criminal is because you WERE a common criminal. It makes no difference whether you are a "professional" or not. Astute officers also arrest doctors, ministers, judges and the like.

Be grateful you lost your license for only 30 days, and you didn't kill anyone! The money you had to pay as a result of your drunken actions is only money. You are alive! Get over your parents being disgusted with you. Would they have their daughter D.O.A. instead of DUI?

The stress you are experiencing will pass, once you get on with the business of living. Mine did. I also called my arresting officers after my hangover cleared to thank them for keeping one more drunk off the streets -- permanently. I learned after two DUIs, and I'm recovering from alcoholism by the grace of God and the 12 steps of AA. -- RECOVERING IN ROME, N.Y.

DEAR RECOVERING: You have written a powerful and sobering letter. Thank you for it -- and continued success in your sobriety.

DEAR ABBY: I believe your suggestion to the guy who has his name on his ex-girlfriend's posterior could be improved upon. Since everybody in their small town knows about it, why not declare her caboose a public billboard and let other names be tattooed on her backside as they qualify?

I had a shipmate during World War II who had his girl's name tattooed on his thigh. After he got the proverbial "Dear John" letter, a short trip to the tattoo artist resulted in "Patty" becoming "Batty" -- which he said he was, to have done it in the first place. -- NO NAME IN TEXAS

DEAR NO NAME: Your letter is a hoot. Fortunately, for tattooed ladies and gentlemen who've had a change of heart -- or circumstances -- laser surgery is an efficient way of erasing the evidence with a minimum of pain.

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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