DEAR ABBY: I am a retired widow, crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. Every October, I start dreading Halloween, which I consider to be a legal form of extortion.
Living on Social Security, I really don't want to waste money for candy. Also, it is difficult for me to get up and down every five minutes to hand out candy. Too many of the "children" are 16- to 19-year-old males.
I have tried keeping the lights off and "hiding" in my bedroom, but I wake the next morning to find toilet paper in my trees and shrubbery. Once, my front door had been sprayed "Stingy Old Witch." The police said they couldn't act because I didn't see who did it. Of course, even if I had seen them, they probably would have been in a costume. Do you have any suggestions? -- GROUCHY GRANDMA IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
DEAR GRANDMA: Yes. Because what you've done hasn't worked, buy a large bag of inexpensive candy -- they are often for sale at this time of year -- and when the "extortionists" knock on your door, pay up. Because your physical condition makes it difficult for you to get up and down, enlist the help of a relative or neighbor to help you dole it out, or leave the bowl outside by your door with a note saying: "Take one."