DEAR ABBY: This is in reference to your reply to the mother who had difficulty understanding why "God took her child" through an accident. My teenage grandson was struck and killed by a car while crossing the street. The driver of the car had been drinking in a bar for three hours. He was driving a vehicle that was not his and was going at a speed estimated to be twice the legal limit. He did not stop after hitting my grandson.

When her minister told my daughter it was "God's will" and she would have to "bow" to it, she, too, had difficulty accepting it. I suggested that for a person to get into a "borrowed" vehicle, exceed the speed limit and leave the scene of an accident was not the will of God, but the will of Satan.Is it not approaching blasphemy to blame God for something for which Satan is responsible? - THE REV. AUTRY BROWN, BOLIVAR, MO.

DEAR MR. BROWN: Let us leave both God and Satan out of it; the blame rightfully belongs to the driver of the car.

DEAR ABBY: In a recent column you advised a reader not to fight fire with fire because it might create a bigger fire. In some instances, I suppose this is true. However, there are times when one has to take extreme measures.

For example, my husband of many years used to come to the table for meals with no shirt on. I repeatedly asked him not to do this because I did not like looking at all that flesh while I ate. But he contiued to do so, saying that he "forgot."

Finally, one Sunday morning when I had prepared an especially nice breakfast, he came to the table wearing only his shorts. He was in his early 70s by this time and by no means attractive in his half-naked state. (I am 10 years younger.)

So, without saying a word, I left the table took off my dress and bra and returned to the table and proceeded to eat my breakfast. My husband took one look at me, got up and went to his room, put on a shirt and returned to the breakfast table. I then got up, went to my room again, redressed and returned to the table.

Neither my husband nor I said one word about the incident, but he never came to the table in a half-dressed state again. - ST. PETERSBURG FIREFIGHTER

DEAR FIREFIGHTER: How true that old saying: "Actions speak louder than words." No words could have been more effective.

DEAR ABBY: Aprpros Henry Clay's famous words, "I'd rather be right than be president," Orlando B. Ficklin of Illinois was heard to quip, "The gentlement will probably never be either!" - JACK B. HORSLEY, MATTOON, ILL.

DEAR MR. HORSLEY: Mr. Ricklin must have had a crystal ball. Henry Clay, for all his brilliance, was a five-time loser, having lost his bid for the presidency to John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk, and his party's nomination to William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor.

CONFIDENTIAL TO YOU: To ensure a Happy New Year for you and everyone else - if you're driving, don't drink. And if you're drinking, please don't drive.

AP-NY-12-07-90 1716EST