DEAR ABBY: One of my friends, "Max," cheats at golf. Otherwise he's witty, interesting and fun to be around. He moves his ball closer to the hole on the green and "improves" his lie when he thinks no one is looking. I have tried to overlook Max's transgressions, but others in our golf group talk and joke behind his back. How should I go about stopping the problem without stressing our friendship? -- FLORIDA GOLFER
DEAR GOLFER: What you have described is considered a terrible breach of golf etiquette. What it shows about Max is a serious lack of ethics. Because you feel close to him, take him aside and tell him privately as a friend that it's time to knock off the cheating because the others are onto him, and he's making himself a laughingstock.
DEAR ABBY: I have been part of a book club for almost 20 years. We began as a group of six teachers who wanted to share our friendship and love of reading. Over the years, members have come and gone, but five of the original group remains. We're now a group of nine.
Our dilemma is that many of the women don't bother to read the monthly selection but still attend the meetings. Granted, the meetings are very social. Everyone brings food to enjoy while we discuss books and anything else going on in our lives. However, the core group finds it annoying when some members don't even attempt to read. It happens month after month.
We have said on many occasions we expect everyone to read. Our discussions are livelier and more interesting when everyone shares her thoughts, but some don't make the effort or threaten to drop out of the book club.
We don't want anyone to drop out. We are all friends. Are we expecting too much because as teachers we regard it as a "homework assignment" not being completed? What can we do? I'd like your opinion so I can share it at the book club. -- PENNSVILLE, N.J., READER
DEAR READER: If certain members of your book club are no longer doing the required reading and regard the gatherings as social affairs, why not make some of the meetings -- say, every other month -- devoted solely to discussing the book you are reading, while the rest will be strictly social? There will be less disappointment for the readers, and you can still meet as friends without anyone being inconvenienced.
DEAR ABBY: I have a good friend, "Renee," who is Canadian and a permanent resident of the United States. We don't always agree on things, but one thing really bugs me about her. She's always saying how "nice" Canadians are and how rude Americans are.
On a recent trip we took to Canada, she commented about a cashier who was nice to us by saying, "That cashier wouldn't have been so nice if we were in America." When I try to point out evidence to the contrary, Renee shrugs it off and calls it an exception to the rule.
How should I politely ask her to knock off bashing Americans? -- LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT
DEAR LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT: Do it by "politely" pointing out to Renee that it is rude to make comments that make others uncomfortable, and if Canadians are as "nice" as she says they are -- and that includes her -- she'll quit putting down Americans because you find it offensive.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)