DEAR ABBY: When my husband and I purchased our new home, we made sure the swimming pool was private and concealed from the houses on either side. We enjoy skinny-dipping and didn't want to offend our neighbors. We believed we'd made the right choice until the boy next door began climbing the fence to spy on us.
Unfortunately, his parents refuse to discipline him. They insist that we cover up. We have since found out the previous owners had the same problem, but failed to disclose this to us when we bought our home. We had made it clear to our Realtor that we wanted to be nude in our back yard -- and he assured us this was the "perfect" place for it.
Abby, we want to be able to enjoy our back yard -- either naked or fully clothed -- without being spied upon. The neighbors are threatening us with legal action because they think we are corrupting their son. Have you any advice? -- NO TAN LINE IN SUNNY CALIFORNIA
DEAR NO TAN LINE: You are overdue for a talk with your attorney. In California, the law requires full disclosure about "problems" when property is bought and sold, and you may have a valid complaint against the former owners of the house.
Also, the neighbor boy who is preoccupied with your sunbathing to the extent that he's climbing the fence to spy on you appears to be a budding Peeping Tom. Rather than allowing him to get an eyeful, his parents should be giving him an earful about people's right to privacy.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend at school I've been close to for about a year. I'll call her Amy. Recently, she has become cruel toward me -- making fun of my learning disability, hair, weight, etc.
My other friends and I sometimes joke around by teasing each other, but Amy takes things way too far. When she says hurtful things, there's a look in her eyes that says, "I want to damage you emotionally."
When I try to talk to Amy about it, she says, "Well, YOU started it," or "Why are you taking this so seriously -- you let the other girls tease you!" Abby, I want to keep Amy as a friend because when she's not being rude, she's pretty cool. Please help. -- TEEN GIRL IN TEXAS
DEAR TEEN GIRL: There is a difference between a teasing comment and one intended to wound. Teasing can be laughed off -- and is often a sign of intimacy or affection.
What Amy is doing is not witty, nor is it well-intended. Tell her that unless she knocks off the wisecracks, you'll avoid her. And if she doesn't stop -- follow through. You won't miss the pain.
DEAR ABBY: This is in response to the letters you have printed about the "drunken geese." I may not know about drunken geese, but I know about drunken fish.
My Uncle John was a cook on a Mississippi River towboat, and one day he had planned to serve fried fish for lunch.
As the barges headed upstream on the Illinois River toward Peoria, the Hiram Walker distillery caught fire, and a great deal of whiskey suddenly flowed into the water around the boat.
Drunken fish flopped up onto the deck of the boat. The crew became so amused by their antics that when lunch rolled around, they refused to eat the fish that Uncle John had prepared! -- STONE SOBER
DEAR STONE SOBER: I can understand why. There's something redundant about frying fish that are already fried to the gills. Thanks for the fish story.
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