DEAR ABBY: I was recently at a youth sporting event. Later that evening, one of the coaches and several of the parents were sitting around the hotel pool talking. Some joking sexual comments were made. The coach told one of the other fathers that he had a picture of himself as a youth. He pulled it out of his wallet, and it was passed around the group. It was a picture of a 7- to 10-year-old boy, completely naked, that had been "altered" to exaggerate the size of the boy's you-know-what.
Not a single parent voiced any objection to this picture. The coach later handed the picture to me (after one of the other parents laughingly told him he should show it to me). When I expressed disgust ("I really don't appreciate you showing this picture ..."), the coach made me out to be the bad guy.
Do you think this picture is appropriate for a coach of adolescent boys to carry in his wallet and show to others? It struck me as child porn. -- AMAZED AND DISGUSTED DAD IN MICHIGAN
DEAR AMAZED AND DISGUSTED: The incident should be reported to the league authorities. For the coach to have shown the picture was a juvenile display of bad taste and poor judgment. For that reason I am not sure he is responsible enough to be supervising young boys.
DEAR ABBY: I have known "Edgar" for four years. At first, he'd see me twice a week, but only for sex. He stood me up a lot and was secretive about his life. I grew tired of it and started seeing other men. When Edgar found out, we had a big fight and broke up.
A week later, Edgar was back, begging to start over. He promised to change and even moved in with me for three months. Then he reverted back to his old ways. I was helping him to pay his bills because I earned more than he did. When I lost my job and could no longer help him, he pulled away from me.
I now have another well-paying job. Edgar is back once or twice a week, but on weekends he's gone again. He claims his 16-year-old son is visiting and his ex doesn't want me around. Yet he accuses me of cheating, which is not true. I let Edgar know where I am at all times. I just want to be happy and have a real relationship. Please tell me what to do. -- IN LOVE AND ALONE
DEAR IN LOVE AND ALONE: A man who had sincere feelings for you would not have disappeared the minute you were out of a job. It appears that Edgar will stay only if you pay. There's a word for it, and the word isn't "love." If you want a real relationship, you will lose this loser. It shouldn't be difficult. Tell Edgar you've been laid off, and I guarantee he'll vanish.
DEAR ABBY: Can you please tell me what "cemetery etiquette" is? -- PEARL IN MANTECA, CALIF.
DEAR PEARL: It is behaving with respect for the people who are buried there, and being sensitive to the feelings of visitors who might be mourning. It includes: speaking quietly, dressing conservatively, and refraining from littering, stepping on the graves or blocking cars in the funeral procession on their way to the grave site (or cutting in front of them). It also means the car stereo isn't blasting so loudly it will distract other visitors or wake the dead.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600