DEAR ABBY: I just read the letter from "Ruth in Virginia Beach," about long-winded people accepting awards. There is another solution. Write a letter! Don't know the address? That's OK. There's bound to be a Web site for either the group or the record label they record for. You don't even have to use an envelope or a stamp anymore. Use e-mail.
It's time for those of us who provide paychecks for the stars to let them know what we think. I hear people complain about all the sex and nudity in films. Write a letter! There is a Web site for just about every film out there. Let's start letting our feelings be known.
Don't have a computer? Not on the Internet? Go to the library or an Internet cafe. I never used to write because I never knew the addresses. Now, it takes less than 15 minutes to get online, find a site and send a letter.
On the other hand, let's also be sure to write letters when we are really pleased with something. I believe if more people start sending letters, those who produce, direct, record, etc., will start paying attention. -- SUZETTE BOUCHER, SPANAWAY, WASH.
DEAR SUZETTE: I agree with you. A letter-writing campaign can be a powerful force for achieving change. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: "Ruth W., Virginia Beach" suggested in her letter that program committees should make rules that would prevent microphone hogs from going on and on.
One story tells of a committee that did this, telling the master of ceremonies to warn speakers that if they went past the allotted time, they would be mowed down with a sharp bang of the gavel.
The warning didn't register with one windbag, and the committee members signaled the emcee to gavel the person off the dais. He took up the gavel, but in his nervous state about performing such a gutsy move, he gave the person sitting next to him a mighty blow on the head. The injured man was heard to say, as he slipped under the table, "Hit me again. I can still hear him talking." -- BERNARD BRUNSTING, STUART, FLA.
DEAR BERNARD: Thanks for the laugh. That's an unusual cure for a pain in the neck -- and in the future, if I'm sitting next to the emcee and see him or her reach for the gavel, I'll duck.
DEAR ABBY: I have noticed the discussion of using whistles for safety and thought I had better write to you.
My daughter had one with her the other night and when I tried to blow it, she told me it didn't work anymore. It was a full-size, chrome-plated brass, police-style whistle. Upon closer examination, I noticed it had lint in the throat from carrying it around. I used a toothpick to clean it out and, lo and behold, it nearly broke our eardrums!
Abby, you would be wise to remind people to TEST these things periodically. I, for one, did not realize that maintenance was necessary. -- RALPH E. FLORI SR., CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO.
DEAR RALPH: Neither did I -- until you and a few other caring individuals wrote to point it out. One of them also cautioned that the little ball inside the whistle can sometimes deteriorate, rendering it useless, so it's a good idea to check the whistle periodically.
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