DEAR ABBY: I work in a small office with about 20 people. One lady often brings homemade cookies, cakes, candies and breads to the office. We all eat and enjoy everything she makes.
Yesterday I had to drop off some work at her home. She said she was making a batch of cookies and invited me in. Abby, her house and kitchen were filthy! Cats everywhere, some sticking their noses in the cookie dough. All she did was push them away and continue without washing her hands. Insects were crawling over stacks of unwashed dishes and on the kitchen floor. I can't understand why no one became violently ill from eating what she prepared.
There is no way I will ever again eat anything she brings to the office. How can I stop eating her food without explaining why? Should I tell my co-workers what I saw? I don't know how I should handle this. -- FEELING ILL IN ILLINOIS
DEAR FEELING ILL: If you tell your co-workers what you saw you'll only humiliate the woman. A more effective solution would be to tell the office manager what you saw and request that a new policy be instituted that discourages bringing homemade goodies to the office.
DEAR ABBY: Twenty-eight years ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and treated with cobalt radiation. He was cured. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer again. His doctors agreed it was a radiation-induced cancer.
There were no symptoms other than "indigestion," for which our family doctor prescribed antacids. All the while, the cancer was getting larger. My beloved husband died three months ago.
If we had only been warned of the risks of radiation therapy in later years, we would have insisted on yearly screenings.
Abby, please urge your readers to see their doctor if they received radiation treatment years ago. It could save their lives. -- CHARLIE'S WIFE
DEAR CHARLIE'S WIFE: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your husband.
I am printing your letter with this advice: People who have ever had cancer should have routine checkups for the rest of their lives.
DEAR ABBY: There is this gal I see all the time. She works in customer service departments at two places I often patronize. She has a nice smile and seems very friendly, and I'd love to ask her out for lunch or dinner sometime. However, the only time I ever see her is when she is at work, and I worry that asking her while she is busy with other customers would be inappropriate. I thought about handing her a note but also thought that would be inappropriate. I'd really like to ask her out, but don't know how. Any suggestions? -- A BACHELOR IN LONDON
DEAR BACHELOR: I see nothing inappropriate about handing the "gal" a note. Include your telephone number so she can reach you after working hours if she wishes. If you're her type, she'll be delighted you asked her. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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