DEAR ABBY: I read with interest the letter about checking to see that a security whistle is in working order. Many years ago, I had a persistent obscene caller. Hanging up on him did not dampen his enthusiasm, so I decided to blow a shrill whistle during his next call. As expected, he called late one night, so I grabbed the whistle and began to blow.
Instead of making a shrill noise, the whistle made an odd rattling sound. Undaunted, I continued trying to whistle -- but I began to laugh at the pathetic noise. A moment later, the caller asked in an incredulous voice, "What on earth is that noise?" I explained, laughing, "I'm trying to blow a whistle in your ear!" With that, he howled with laughter, hung up and never called back. -- STILL LAUGHING IN DALLAS
DEAR STILL LAUGHING: Congratulations. Even though the whistle malfunctioned, you succeeded in "blowing off" the obscene caller. That's a victory.