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by Abigail Van Buren

Emergency Police Banners Give Drivers Peace of Mind

DEAR ABBY: Every once in a while, you print ordering information for "Please Call Police" banners. I would like to purchase some to use as stocking stuffers this Christmas for my daughters and nieces, and also one for myself. I am single, disabled, and occasionally drive on the highways. Once I found myself stuck in the middle of nowhere. When I tried using my cell phone to summon help, I learned I was in a "no reception" area. It's tough being a woman alone these days. Having the banners in my glove compartment will give me peace of mind. Thanks, Abby. -- GERRI IN BUTTE, MONT.

DEAR GERRI: I'm pleased to reprint the information. The "Please Call Police" banners have proven time and again to be a genuine lifesaver in an emergency. Your orders will not only provide a safety measure for you and the people you love, but they'll also assist WCIL in providing much-needed services for individuals with disabilities. (I keep two banners in my glove compartment -- one for the windshield and one for the rear window.)

The banners can be ordered by writing to the Westside Center for Independent Living, a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities to live more independent lives. You will receive one banner for a $5 contribution, and another banner for each additional $4 contribution. (Please include $1 per order for postage and handling.)

To order, send a check or money order (U.S. funds only, please) to: WCIL Banners, P.O. Box 92501, Los Angeles, CA 90009. Allow four to eight weeks for delivery. For more information, visit the WCIL Web site at www.WCIL.org and click on the "Safety Banner" link.

DEAR ABBY: My ex, "Arnold," and I broke up two years ago, after he bit part of my ear off during an argument. I had been trying to help him, but that was the last straw. I finally had to end it.

I moved away and am using a mailing service, but Arnold won't stop harassing me. He had a stamp made with my name and mailing address on it, and he is sending me thousands of subscriptions. It has cost me more than $6,000 so far and the police are involved. This has been happening for 15 months.

How should I handle this? I'm afraid that changing my mailing address will damage my credit. -- WORRIED IN VAN NUYS, CALIF.

DEAR WORRIED: First of all, stop paying for subscriptions you didn't order. Call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (the number in your area is listed in your telephone directory) and speak to a fraud agent. The Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement branch of the U.S. Postal Service, and what your ex is doing could be considered fraud.

DEAR ABBY: I met this boy, "Austen," through a friend. He has decided he "likes" me. I made it clear that I didn't feel the same way, but agreed that we could be friends.

My problem is Austen calls constantly and keeps me on the phone for hours. I try to get him to leave me alone, but then I feel sorry for him because he doesn't have many friends. I have tried to tell him to call less often. It worked for a while, then he started up again. Austen is obnoxious and annoying, and I want him to leave me alone. How can I tell him this without hurting his feelings? -- HAD IT IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR HAD IT: Be direct. Tell Austen that his calls are no longer welcome and you want them stopped NOW. If he persists, repeat the message and get off the phone. He may be lonely, or he may be stalking you. If he refuses to "get the message" and continues to barrage you with calls, your parents may have to involve the police to put a stop to it.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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