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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Years ago, I purchased a "Please Call Police" banner that you mentioned in your column. It was to be used by people in need of emergency roadside assistance. I am 80 years old and all alone. I use two hearing aids and cannot use a car phone because I need a special one with "TTY."

Fortunately, when I had occasion to use my plastic banner, it was during the day. I displayed my banner in my rear window, but cars kept passing me by. Finally I got out of the car and held the sign in my hands. That caught the attention of a policeman cruising by several lanes away. He was able to double back and come to my assistance.

For someone my age, breaking down on the highway was very scary.

Would you please print the address where I can order the "Please Call Police" banners again? I need several more. I would like to order them for my daughter-in-law and granddaughters. Thanks, Abby. -- HARRIET M., PHILADELPHIA

DEAR HARRIET: I'm happy to oblige. With the holidays on the horizon, I'm also pleased to remind readers that "Please Call Police" banners make terrific stocking stuffers. Knowing they are in the glove compartment brings immeasurable peace of mind not only to senior citizens, but also to the parents of teen-age drivers. Many people order two of them -- one for the windshield and one for the rear window -- so the message can be read by cars traveling in both directions.

To order, write WCIL Banners, P.O. Box 92501, Los Angeles, CA 90009. You will receive one "Please Call Police" banner for a $5 contribution to the Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL). With each additional $4 contribution, another banner will be included. (Please send an additional $1 per order for postage and handling.)

Checks or money orders (U.S. funds only, please) should be made payable to WCIL-Banners. Allow 4 to 8 weeks for delivery.

The Westside Center for Independent Living is a not-for-profit organization that helps people with disabilities to live independently. For more information about it, the Web site is

DEAR ABBY: I just read your answer to "Carol in Mentor, Ohio," who asked if she should give up her dog in order to marry the "dog hater." As a pastor who has done marriage counseling for 21 years, may I commend you for your flawless advice.

I have studied and observed this scenario and similar others for years. The fact that a man can hate someone's beloved pets almost always serves as a huge red flag for deep problems. If nothing else, it is a revelation of selfishness that might not be exposed until after the "best foot forward" is removed.

Hats off to you, Abby. This pastor gives you two-paws-up, along with a paw-full of high-fives. -- PASTOR STUART SEGALL, BURLINGTON, WASH.


For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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