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by Abigail Van Buren

Bully's Mean Scheme Rolls Right Out From Under Him

DEAR ABBY: I have read with interest the letters about bullies. They brought back the memory of an experience I had with our class bully. He wasn't too smart and had not been promoted. Therefore, he was older and larger than the other boys in our class. He made up for lack of self-worth by bullying the other boys.

In front of our school was a steep hill. To keep students from falling down the hill, a metal fence had been installed at the top. There was a large metal pipe on top of the fence, and we often sat on the pipe as we ate our lunch.

One day, as I was sitting on the fence, the bully walked over with a big smile on his face. He said, "I'm going to shove you off that fence and watch you tumble down the hill."

Before I could say anything, he pushed me. In desperation, I grabbed him, and as I fell off the fence I pulled him with me. He hit the ground first and I landed on top of him. As we slid down the steep hill, I rode him like he was a sled. By the time we had reached the bottom of the hill, his shirt was almost torn off and he was scratched all over.

He continued to bully some of the other boys, but he never bullied me again. In fact, he tried to avoid me. -- MANSFIELD LATIMER, ROCK HILL, S.C.

DEAR MANSFIELD: The bully may have been a little slow, but on that day, he learned about the law of gravity.

DEAR ABBY: Excuse me, but did I miss something in the letter from "Cost-Conscious in San Francisco"? Why in the name of holy matrimony is he worried about the RESALE value of a diamond engagement ring? Is he planning to sell it or pawn it in the future? Does he expect to get it back in the event of a divorce? Does he think he will need the money for his retirement? What is this guy thinking? Hello?

An engagement ring is not a financial investment! It is an emotional investment in a lifetime relationship. If this guy is worrying about the cost of an engagement ring because he thinks the marriage won't last, then he should not be getting married in the first place.

Had he said he wanted to be nontraditional and choose another kind of ring, well -- OK. But in that case, he should have signed his letter, "Already Married to My Portfolio in San Francisco." -- DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER IN DALLAS

DEAR DIAMONDS: While many readers agreed with you, I think you -- and they -- are being unnecessarily hard on the guy. According to Dawn Moore, West Coast director of sales for Harry Winston Jewelers, his question is one that many men ask. Any way you cut it -- round, emerald or pear-shaped -- a diamond is a sizable investment. It's not unusual to experience some insecurity when buying something you know nothing about. Wise shoppers want to be educated so they are not taken advantage of.

DEAR ABBY: I have a problem. I received a thank-you note for a wedding gift, but was thanked for the wrong gift. Should I write and tell them about the mix-up? They do not live close, so I will not be seeing them. -- WONDERING IN WEST BRANCH, IOWA

DEAR WONDERING: You should definitely write -- or call -- and explain the mix-up. Believe me, you'll be doing the newlyweds a favor. If you don't, someone else will also be thanked for the wrong gift.

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

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