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by Abigail Van Buren

Old Pantyhose Find New Uses in All Sorts of Ways

DEAR READERS: I have been inundated with innovative uses for pantyhose since the first letter on the subject appeared in my column last year. Talk about a versatile product! Read on for a sample:

DEAR ABBY: I am a plumber. For years I have suggested my customers put an old pair of pantyhose on the end of their washing machine drain hose, if it drains into a sink. This method traps any lint, thereby preventing clogged drains. -- BOB'S PLUMBING SERVICE, SPRINGFIELD, MASS.

DEAR ABBY: When I was about 4, my grandma gave each of my siblings and me the lumpiest quilts we'd ever seen. They were also the warmest.

One of the quilts tore between the patches, and -- curious children that we were -- we began pulling out the stuffing. The quilt had been stuffed with dozens of old pantyhose. What fun we had pulling them out. Our laughter finally gave us away, and Mother duly reprimanded us, but the memory remains as warm as the quilt. -- "QUILTED" IN PLEASANT HILL, CALIF.

DEAR ABBY: When a female friend complained about her wrinkles in a photo I had taken of her, the solution was simple: The next time I took her picture, I stretched a piece of nylon hose over the lens of the camera. This method softens the subject's appearance. An expensive lens filter can be purchased for the same purpose, but I like the pantyhose better. -- VEGAS PHOTOGRAPHER

DEAR ABBY: I always had a problem keeping my nightcap from slipping off my bald head, so I put my wife's cast-off pantyhose to good use:

I tie the legs together, make relaxing scissor cuts around the waist, and wear them on my head with the waist hugging my bald head. Then I loop the legs under my chin and behind my neck.

One of our nieces who lost all her hair during chemotherapy laughed long and loud when I shared my tip with her on how to keep her head warm at night. However, after trying my invention, she was hooked. -- ALAN L. IN TENNESSEE

DEAR ABBY: For years I took church youth groups and Girl Scout troops on camping trips. We would put a bar of soap in the toe of an old pair of pantyhose and tie it to a tree limb near a wash basin and bucket of water.

Presto! The soap never melted or fell to the ground and got dirty. The girls would wet their hands, rub them over the soap in the stocking, then rinse the bar. The soap stayed clean and never got lost. It's a great idea for campers. -- JO IN CINCINNATI

DEAR ABBY: After giving my AARP-aged body a good workout at my local gym, I was changing into street clothes when one of the new members noticed that I was pulling on a pair of pantyhose.

Confused to see a gentleman donning a lady's garment, he asked, "When did you start wearing THOSE?" I replied, "Right after my wife found them in the glove compartment of my truck." -- JOHN IN ST. PAUL

DEAR JOHN: AARP-aged body, my fanny! That joke is older than both of us.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $10 (U.S. funds)

to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111; (816) 932-6600