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by Abigail Van Buren

Numbers Game Adds Levity for Those Who Got the Joke

DEAR ABBY: I loved the letter from "Claire in Bethlehem, Pa." (Sept. 4), and her idea of creating dinner parties or luncheons to celebrate days with unique numbers. I agree wholeheartedly with your response to her. I bet if there were a 13-13-13, Murphy's Law would mandate that it fall on a Friday!

I am curious how many readers won't get the joke and will write in, feeling the need to explain to you that there isn't a 13th month. I am betting it'll be in the hundreds; my husband is betting maybe just a dozen. Could you settle that bet for us? We have a dinner riding on it. -- AMANDA IN ANMOORE, W.VA.

DEAR AMANDA: You win. I heard from readers by the hundreds, and about half of them volunteered that they thought I was "losing it." (Thanks, folks!) I hope the dinner your husband buys you will be sumptuous, intimate, candlelit and enjoyable. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: If you want your advice to be taken seriously, check what you write before you publish. In today's paper you said you hope 13-13-13 falls on a Friday. What planet are you from? I'm not sure I even want to read advice from a person who is this disconnected. So get out the calendar, check your facts and print a retraction! -- BILL IN KEY WEST

DEAR ABBY: I'm not a stupid person, but I thought you'd get a kick out of knowing I actually tried to research what day of the week 13-13-13 would fall on. Then I just cracked up out loud. -- SHARI IN PITTSBURG, CALIF.

DEAR ABBY: Were you serious? I am sure you were trying to be funny, and I'm not trying to insult you. It took me a couple of seconds to realize there is no 13th month, so it would be impossible to throw a dinner party on 13-13-13.

I hope you'll write your column forever because it had an influence on me deciding to become a counselor. -- DIANNA IN SPRINGFIELD, ORE.

DEAR ABBY: I looked it up, and 13-13-13 does NOT fall on Friday. It falls on a Noneday. -- FLORA IN MILAN, MICH.

DEAR ABBY: Allow me to offer a suggestion to "Claire in Bethlehem, Pa." For her Oct. 10, 2010, party she should pop some popcorn and rent a Bo Derek movie. -- JOEL IN DOVER, N.H.

DEAR ABBY: I suggest you celebrate 13-13-13 on April Fool's Day. -- JOAN IN CHARLESTON, ILL.

DEAR READERS: It is my intent that this column not only inform, educate and occasionally inspire, but also entertain. The daily news is often depressing, and I would like to give you some relief from it -- a place where you can learn from the predicaments of others and, once in a while, turn the page with a smile. -- Love, ABBY

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)