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by Abigail Van Buren

Winner's Share of Limelight Is Stolen by Long Winded Partner

DEAR ABBY: I recently watched a country music award given to two men. The first to speak hogged the mike, gabbed about his sick child at home, thanked everyone in the music business and then invited his partner to speak. As the other man approached the mike, the first remembered he hadn't thanked his wife, shouldered his way back in and droned on about how many years they had been together, yadda-yadda-yadda.

The partner looked sad as the music came up and they went to commercial. I felt angry that he wasn't acknowledged and didn't get to say a word or two. It happens so often, I wanted to comment.

At every Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, etc., award ceremony, every double or group award has one windbag who grabs the mike, tells his kids to go to bed and thanks everyone from his kindergarten teacher to his mailman while the others wait patiently until the allotted time runs out. It hurts to see the pained expressions on the faces of the partners whose finest hour is ruined by a selfish, egotistical microphone hog.

Since we know we can't teach them to be considerate and to share, maybe the awards committee could make new rules that would stifle the selfish windbags and eliminate those endlessly long programs. What do you think? -- RUTH W., VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.

DEAR RUTH: Take a bow. You deserve a standing ovation for saying what a great many members of a captive audience have long been thinking. In the days of vaudeville, a long-handled hook was used to remove lingering performers from the stage.