DEAR ABBY: People who are in treatment for infertility in California must be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Much to our shock, my husband tested positive for hepatitis B, which is typically transmitted via sexual contact. Because we knew that he had not been exposed, we requested that our doctor perform the test again to be sure that the test result was correct. Our doctor complied -- with great reluctance -- and sure enough, the test came back completely negative!
We had a terrible time convincing our doctor that the test should be repeated. I hope no one else has to go through that. Please, Abby, encourage your readers to have important tests repeated to ensure the results weren't false. -- RELIEVED IN SANTA BARBARA
DEAR RELIEVED: I've done it before, and I'm pleased to do it again. Readers, never hesitate to have important tests repeated, or to ask for a second, or even a third opinion, if there's a question about a diagnosis.
DEAR ABBY: Please print this on behalf of all the short, older people who enjoy dining out but who feel dwarfed sitting at tables built to accommodate taller people.
Restaurateurs: Please give us a lift! Those of us who have shrunk with age, are crippled with arthritis or have lost range of motion in our shoulders would certainly appreciate a "boost" in the form of a cushion to allow us to sit higher at your tables -- or a chair that sits higher off the floor. We would have more leverage and could manipulate the cutlery much easier.
As long as there are special areas in restaurants for smokers and non-smokers and accommodations for the disabled, why not be innovative and accommodate us? The older population is increasing by leaps and bounds, infirmities and all, and many of us are tired of feeling that we're sitting in a hole while we eat!
Restaurateurs who heed this cry for help would stand 10 feet tall in the eyes of us little people. -- SHORTY FROM WISCONSIN
DEAR SHORTY: As a person who is 5-feet-nothing, I feel your pain. However, I'm surprised that a pillow or "booster" wasn't available upon request. I'm printing your message for restaurateurs to see -- but a better solution might be to bring your own cushion when you dine out, in case the restaurant owner misses this column.
DEAR ABBY: I have noticed that from time to time you print jokes in your column. I'm wondering if you ever heard this one? -- CHARLES PIERCE, TOLUCA LAKE, CALIF.
DEAR CHARLES: How generous of you! As a matter of fact, I hadn't heard it. However, I'm sure many readers will relate to it, as I did:
Talk show host Larry King was interviewing the devil. When Larry asked him what his greatest achievements were, the devil responded by saying, "The world wars were fun to do. That iceberg didn't just 'happen' to be in the way of the Titanic. I put it there! Then, of course, there were some monumental earthquakes, floods, mudslides -- and the Hindenburg. That was a blast!"
Larry thought for a moment and pressed further: "I know, but what was your GREATEST achievement?"
The devil's horns began vibrating. His eyes flashed neon red. He leaned across the desk into Larry's face and said, "Call waiting."
To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600