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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR READERS: It's April Fools' Day again, the day I share some of the letters I receive that are so farfetched I wouldn't print them any other day because they are either over the top or under the bottom, depending upon one's perspective. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: As I was eating my lunch yesterday, I saw the image of Abraham Lincoln on one of my potato chips. As I was daydreaming about how much money I would make charging people to see it, I absentmindedly popped it into my mouth and ate it! Is there anything I can do about this? -- DANA IN PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.

DEAR DANA: Absolutely. Start thinking about some other original ways to make money. Your potato chip may have been delicious, but unfortunately, you ATE your business plan.

DEAR ABBY: While I was out of town on a business trip, my wife suddenly became a vegetarian. While that may sound like a good thing to some people, it is a matter of great concern to me. Since becoming a vegetarian, she has gained 30 pounds and no longer has her girlish figure.

In addition, she will no longer swat flies or kill a roach in the house, saying she doesn't kill anything anymore. Perhaps others who have encountered this situation can give me some hints on how to handle this. -- ARKANSAS CARNIVORE

DEAR ARKANSAS CARNIVORE: I sure hope so -- I'll let you know if I hear from anyone who wants to weigh in on your problem. But in the meantime, you'll have to cook your own steaks and kill your own insects.

DEAR ABBY: Please help me make my life better and answer a question that has been troubling me for some time. How do men on death row get their toenails cut? Are they actually given sharp objects to do it for themselves? I can't figure it out. -- PERPLEXED IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

DEAR PERPLEXED: Your question is one I have pondered for some time, as well. Because men on death row are not supposed to have sharp objects, they take turns chewing each other's toenails off. I have this on good authority -- and I'm not conning you.

DEAR ABBY: I have fallen deeply in love with a homeless man, and I have been trying unsuccessfully to convince him to move in with me for some time, but he just won't leave his cardboard box. He says it has sentimental value that I just don't understand. Please help me, Abby. What should I do? -- CARLA IN WASHINGTON STATE

DEAR CARLA: Try this. Have him move his cardboard box into your home, then he won't have to give it up and can spend as much time as he needs in it. Then slowly coax him out of his box for longer and longer periods of time, and you'll both have what you want. Good luck.

DEAR ABBY: I want to marry a nice, sweet girl who just completed her prison sentence for abandoning her illegitimate kid. My problem is, my dad sells drugs, my mother died in an asylum of syphilitic insanity, my two sisters are hookers and my older brother is awaiting trial for killing his girlfriend's husband. My younger brother is a U.S. congressman. Should I tell my future bride the awful truth about my younger brother? -- PETE W., GILCHRIST, TEXAS

DEAR PETE: Absolutely! And, unless you're afraid it will scare her off, you should also mention you're a creative writer.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)