DEAR ABBY: The verse you printed honoring mothers-in-law on Mother's Day was bound to touch the hearts of many. I have a suspicion, however, that more than a few women felt the sentiments did not speak for them. In honor of these women, I'd like to provide you with a bit of doggerel I composed in response. Perhaps you'll want to share it with your readers. -- MAXINE DERRINGER, LAS VEGAS, NEV.
DEAR MAXINE: Your poem is an absolute hoot! I'm sure it will raise more than a few eyebrows. Read on:
TO HIS MOTHER
"Mother-in-law," they say, and yet,
Somehow I simply can't forget
'Twas you who followed him around
To grab whatever hit the ground.
And in your hand, to make it super,
A real gold-plated pooper scooper!
'Twas you who gave him his way when you
Let him demand a separate menu.
Perhaps if he had been a daughter,
You might have taught him to boil water.
His little socks and underwear
You let him throw just anywhere.
'Twas you who taught him how to say,
"What can the world do for me today?"
And so, today, beside me stands
The man that I took off your hands.
You raised him with such cunning knack,
I think I'll let you have him back.
DEAR ABBY: I'm writing in the hope that you will print a gentle reminder in your column about displaying "Old Glory," our national flag.
As we approach Flag Day (June 14), I thought it might be a good time to remind people that it may be time to replace their worn or torn flags -- after all, the American flag is an important symbol and not just an ornament.
Children as well as adults should realize there are rules and customs associated with displaying the "red, white and blue." -- NASHUA, N.H., PATRIOT
DEAR PATRIOT: There are many do's and don'ts related to displaying the American flag, too many to include in one column. One well-known rule is that the flag should fly only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs. It should not be displayed at night, unless it has been properly illuminated. The flag should be lowered in stormy weather, unless an all-weather flag is being used.
When it has become tattered, torn or faded, the accepted method of flag disposal is to burn it. Those who are uncomfortable or unable to dispose of the flag in this manner should contact their nearest American Legion post. Most posts have an annual ceremony to honorably dispose of old or worn flags.
Readers who want to learn more about the complete flag code should visit the American Legion Web site at www.legion.org/flagcode.htm.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby's "Keepers," P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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