DEAR ABBY: What do you think of the practice of "reserving" a seat at a public event by placing an object such as an umbrella or a coat on the seat? My feeling is this should not entitle a person to select a choice seat, then wander off for half an hour or more and expect others to respect the "reservation." Abby, will you please state in your column that saving a seat for someone who is late is very unfair and should not be permitted?
Also, how should a situation of this kind be handled? Maybe you haven't been in a situation of this kind, but I'd like to hear from people who have. Is it fair, or isn't it? And if the person who is "holding" a seat for a latecomer encounters an angry theatergoer, who is entitled to the seat? I have witnessed some ugly scenes as a result of "seat saving" in theaters. What do you say? -- SAN FRANCISCAN
DEAR SAN FRANCISCAN: If a person comes in and says, "My friend (or spouse) is parking the car and I am saving a seat for him (or her)," that's fine.
But I would have a problem with the person who lays claim to a block of six or eight seats together. However, under no circumstances would I engage in an argument about it in a public place.