DEAR ABBY: I think the poster idea for an anti-smoking campaign is fantastic. For a number of years I've had my own idea for a poster:
Imagine a cemetery arch with these words written across the top: "WELCOME TO MARLBORO COUNTRY." In the background would be headstones. One reads "Virginia Slims," another reads "Joe Camel," then there's "Paul Mall."
What do you think about this idea of mine, Abby? -- EX-SMOKER WHO GOT SMART
DEAR EX-SMOKER: Anything that gets the message out would be a public service. How about additional headstones in the background engraved "Chester Fields," "Philip Morris" and "Benson Hedges"? Like smoking, it would take your breath away.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I built a house next door to his parents 35 years ago. The four of us farmed the land we were on. About the time we started having children, my in-laws' health went downhill. We took care of them until they went home to God. My husband was an only child, so everything went to him.
Now our children are grown and have their own places, except one son. For five years, he and his wife and young son have lived rent-free in the home of my deceased in-laws. Our daughter-in-law is demanding that we deed the house and some land to them, or they will move and we will never be allowed to see our grandson.
She told my husband that we did not work for the house and land he inherited. I'm sorry, but my husband was a loving son who took good care of his parents. It was never for the land. Not once did he demand anything from his folks. He always believed, "Honor thy father and thy mother."
Our son goes along with his wife and insists they will move and take their little boy away from us. My husband says no decent person would use a child in this way. He says to let them go, and if they make demands one more time, he will pack them up and move them out himself -- then burn down the house.
I'm afraid of what might happen, Abby. Please help me handle this. -- SCARED TENNESSEE GRANDMOTHER
DEAR GRANDMOTHER: I don't agree with his methods, but your husband is absolutely right about not giving in to blackmail.
P.S. Try to persuade your husband not to torch the house. It might come in handy for visiting guests or even seasonal help on the farm.
DEAR ABBY: I am 21 years old and my boyfriend, "Donnie," is 34. I have three kids and he has four. We have become very close over the three months we have been dating. We don't spend much quality time together, and I have a hard time talking about my feelings with him. I didn't plan on falling in love with Donnie -- it just happened.
The problem is my family doesn't approve of him. After all, he is still legally married to my cousin "Dixie" -- but they've been separated four years. The three kids I have are from his cousin "Dennis." What should I do? -- IN LOVE BY MYSELF
DEAR IN LOVE: You say you have fallen in love with your cousin's husband and your complaint is you spend little quality time together and can't confide in him? It's time to end this "family affair" and come back to reality. "Separated" does not mean divorced. The man is married.
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