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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Thank you for the laugh of the week -- "Blushing in Baltimore," complaining that from her kitchen sink she can see her neighbors making love in bed because they don't pull the drapes or turn off the lights. I bet you her lights are off, and the only thing in her hands is a pair of binoculars!

This reminds me of the story of the old lady who called the police to complain that the man next door walked around his house naked. The police came to investigate and asked from which window she could see him. She pointed to the kitchen window. After watching for 10 minutes, they said, "Lady, we don't see him." The woman replied, "You're not watching from the right angle. Get up on the kitchen table and you'll see him just fine!" -- LAUGHING IN HARRISBURG

DEAR LAUGHING: Perhaps it is a matter of perspective. "There is none so blind as he who will not see," or to put it another way, "He who averts his eyes misses everything." For a different angle, read on:

DEAR ABBY: Methinks "Blushing in Baltimore" protests too much! It doesn't take Freud to understand the situation. The two parties are well matched. The neighbors like to put on a show, and "Blushing" obliges them by watching.

Abby, nobody forces her to look. Doesn't she have a life of her own? She could get drapes or blinds and go turn on her TV -- but then, a live show beats network television anytime. (And your suggestion to plant a tree would spoil everybody's fun!) -- SEEN IT ALL IN NEW ORLEANS

DEAR SEEN IT ALL: Not necessarily. It depends on who's pruning the tree.

DEAR ABBY: The other day a friend's wife, "Mimi," commented that she needed a new wardrobe because of her recent breast augmentation. I was taken aback because I didn't realize she'd had the procedure.

Mimi then began unbuttoning her sweater, saying, "See? Whatcha think?" She was wearing a T-shirt underneath, but I wasn't comfortable being asked to comment on her breasts. Somehow, "Nice rack, Mimi!" didn't seem appropriate. And with her husband standing a few feet away, I wasn't sure I should be looking at all.

What kind of response would have been appropriate, Abby? Should I have complimented both husband and wife, or directed my comments just to her? Sign me ... STUMPED BY THE SILICONE REVOLUTION

DEAR STUMPED: A safe reply would have been, "Your husband is a lucky man."

DEAR ABBY: The letters about children learning "the facts of life" reminded me of this story about my nephew: His mother was busy dressing for church when little "Clay" asked her, "Mom, how are babies born?"

My sister, caught off guard and unprepared for such a complex question from her 4-year-old, quickly took his hand and led him to the bathroom where his father stood shaving. She then asked Clay to repeat his question. The obedient little boy asked, "Dad, how are babies born?"

Not missing a beat, his dad promptly replied, "Head first." Clay said, "OK," then headed back to the TV to finish watching cartoons. -- AUNT L IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR AUNT L: That was a close shave. What a smart daddy!

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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