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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: The year 2002 is a palindrome. We had the last one in 1991, and the next one will be in 2112. Very few of us living today will experience that one.

My wife and I now reside in a retirement community. While we are seniors, none of us is ready to "graduate" quite yet. We have met many wonderful people here and made many new friends.

There have been rumors circulating that Julie Andrews did a concert for AARP. Among her selections was a song from "The Sound of Music," "My Favorite Things." She altered the lyrics to fit in with the AARP theme. Here are the new words to that famous melody:

"Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,

"Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,

"Bundles of magazines tied up in string,

"These are a few of my favorite things.

"Cadillacs, cataracts, hearing aids, glasses,

"Polident, Fixodent, false teeth in glasses,

"Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,

"These are a few of my favorite things.

"When the pipes leak,

"When the bones creak,

"When the knees go bad,

"I simply remember my favorite things,

"And then I don't feel so bad.

"Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions,

"No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,

"Bathrobes and heating pads, hot meals they bring,

"These are a few of my favorite things.

"Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin',

"Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',

"More of the pleasures advancing age brings --

"When we remember our favorite things.

"When the joints ache, when the hips break,

"When the eyes grow dim,

"I simply remember the great life I've had,

"And then I don't feel ... so bad!"


DEAR DEAN: The rewritten lyrics are a hoot, but I doubt that Julie Andrews ever warbled them. Fortunately, today medical science has provided us with solutions to many of the physical problems that used to be associated with aging. We know so much more than we used to about the benefits of preventive medicine, and because of that knowledge, advancing age no longer guarantees infirmity.

DEAR ABBY: I am a newlywed. My husband, "Max," is kind, caring, attractive and compassionate. However, he does one thing that hurts my feelings.

When we make love, he wants me to shout out names of other women and describe their physical attributes. Max says he needs me to do this in order for him to make love to me.

I know Max loves me very much and sees no harm in doing this, but I find it humiliating. Any suggestions? -- NO NAME IN NEW YORK

DEAR NO NAME: Humiliating? I would think you would find it distracting. One of the first things a sex therapist would tell you is that people are responsible for their own sexual fulfillment. Have you tried shouting out, "Brad!" "George!" "Matt!" "Tom!" "Russell!" etc.? What's good for the gander might also be spice for the goose.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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