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by Abigail Van Buren

Family Feuds Over Passing of Plate From Bargain Buffet

DEAR ABBY: We recently got together with extended family to celebrate a child's birthday at a family-oriented restaurant. One of the adults began bragging about how she had saved money because she paid for only one salad plate from the "all you can eat" salad bar.

When she finished eating her salad, she passed her plate to another family member, who then had his fill and passed the plate along until all their immediate family members had eaten.

We told her it was dishonest, that she's stealing food from the restaurant because she didn't pay for all the salads that were actually consumed by her family. She claimed that it wasn't dishonest because it's "all" you can eat. This has caused a huge disagreement within the family. What say you? -- STEAMED AT THE SALAD BAR IN COLORADO

DEAR STEAMED: Of course it's dishonest; it's stealing. The sign read, "All you can eat," not "All you and your family can eat -- for the price of one."

I don't know what this person's financial status is, but from where I sit, she appears to be morally bankrupt, and she's passing along her lack of ethics to the next generation. Keep your distance. Folks like this are apt to help themselves to anything that isn't nailed down.