DEAR ABBY: May this 80-year-old Abby fan thank you for your column urging smokers to quit smoking? That column was more powerful than all the anti-smoking campaigns put together. I am a former golf pro who had my vocal cords surgically removed many years ago due to a three-pack-a-day habit.
As a "laryngectomee" myself, I am submitting a poem that I hope you will think worthy of printing."Your life or your `voice,' sir - you must make a choice, sir.""My life," I said, feeling quite bitter.
They then cut the larynx, the organs and pharynx
Connecting my lungs, snout and "spitter."
So now, I'm unspoken, silence unbroken, except when I pound, stomp or swallow.
My nose is a coma, I breathe through a stoma, a path no aroma can follow.
How came I to be, a voice amputee?
"An electronic aid is your answer,"
The doctor did preach in his neat little speech
"Self-pity is much worse than cancer."
- DEAN P. BLUM, PRESIDENT, TRI-COUNTY NEW VOICE CLUB, DENVILLE, N.J.
DEAR ABBY: How come you never say anything negative about cigar smokers? Numerous articles have been written about how bad cigarettes are, but very few people mention cigars.
My husband smokes one or two cigars a day and claims it isn't harmful to his health because he doesn't inhale. He also insists that the secondhand cigar smoke is not harmful to the people around him. Our house and car reek from the awful smell. What's the story, Abby? - IRENE IN EL CAJON
DEAR IRENE: Cigar smoke is no less damaging than cigarette smoke, but you are right - there are fewer complaints about secondhand cigar smoke. (Perhaps it's because women identify cigar smoke with their kindly old grandfathers. Or they are too overcome to speak.)
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently lost our cat that we raised from a tiny kitten. We had "Sadie" for 15 years, and because we never had any children, Sadie was our "baby." If we knew how old in human years Sadie would be, perhaps we could deal with her death much better. Please help us. We are both finding this loss hard to get over. - MISSING SADIE
DEAR MISSING: The first six months of a cat's life equal 13 years; the second six months equal eight years - therefore, the first cat year equals 21 human years. The second cat year equals 10 human years, and each subsequent year equals three human years. Thus, Sadie's 15 years of life are equivalent to threescore and 10 for a human.
Since you are having a difficult time dealing with the loss of your beloved pet, which by no means is unusual, ask your veterinarian to recommend a support group. There is much comfort in sharing your feelings with others who have lived through a similar experience.
Please accept my sincere sympathy.
Abby's family recipes are included in her cookbooklet! Send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)
1991 Universal Press Syndicate