DEAR ABBY: My 9-year-old daughter, "Kristy," has a good friend, "Libby." Libby's father started calling my daughter "Weirdo" when the girls were in kindergarten. It upset my daughter, and I asked him to stop. He ignored my request, so I saw to it that Kristy socialized with other girls. Kristy and Libby did not become close friends again until this year when they entered fourth grade.
Libby's father was polite to Kristy for a while, but yesterday when I picked her up, he yelled, "Goodbye, Weirdo!" Kristy says it doesn't bother her now, but I don't believe it. I think she's afraid I will not let her remain friends with Libby.
Abby, I can't understand why a grown man would intentionally demean a child by calling her names. I don't want my daughter subjected to this, but I don't know what to do. Any ideas? -- ANGRY MAMA
DEAR ANGRY MAMA: As a parent, it's your job to protect your child from abuse. Libby's father appears to be insensitive, immature, and a bit weird himself. That's three strikes in my book.
Limit Kristy's exposure to him by arranging for the girls to play at your house until further notice. The less she sees of Libby's father, the better for all concerned. If Libby's mother is in the picture, she should be told what her husband is saying.
DEAR ABBY: My husband knows I'm writing to you. I've never written before, but this is so ridiculous I have to share it. However, because it's a story I can't repeat openly, don't use my name.
One evening last week, my husband sheepishly asked me if the city refuse collectors had picked up the garbage yet. It seems that while cleaning out his top dresser drawer, he had mistakenly thrown away a pill bottle that contained his remaining two Viagra.
He went to the curb and dragged the garbage can back into our yard. We then put on our rubber gloves and went to work. After rummaging through coffee grounds, chicken bones, orange peels and used facial tissue, we found nothing. It turned out he hadn't thrown away the Viagra -- just pushed the bottle to the back of the drawer.
Can you think of a less romantic way to spend the evening? -- THE BLUE PILL "MYSTERY"
DEAR "MYSTERY": Not really. However, even if "Dumpster diving" is not your idea of foreplay -- you now appreciate how far your husband is willing to go for a night of lovemaking with you.
DEAR ABBY: What's the best way of declining when someone asks me out for a date and I know he's "not my type"? Guys never seem to get the hint when I try to let them down easy.
I have said (truthfully), "I'm not dating at this time," or that I'm interested only in someone who belongs to my faith, or who's my age, etc. I've tried every excuse I can think of -- but some guys out there just don't think any of those reasons apply to them.
How do I say, "It's nothing personal, but it's you personally I don't want to go out with"? I would also appreciate any suggestions from your readers. Thanks. -- STUMPED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR STUMPED: I recommend the direct approach if subtlety doesn't work. Say, "I'm sure you're a nice person, but I am not interested in you in that way." Readers, do you have anything to add?
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