DEAR ABBY: I think I know the answer to my problem, but I need your advice.

I have good reason to believe that my eldest son (I'll call him Paul) is dealing drugs. I have suspected his selling marijuana for years. Over the last few years he's become a chronic liar and braggart. I've ignored it until he showed me a wad of money he claimed was $10,000. Since he hasn't held a legitimate job in 15 years, I've concluded that he's selling more than marijuana.Shortly after showing me the money, he bought his wife a new car. He said he paid cash for it. He has also bragged about owning a gun.

Paul's wife is pleasant enough, but I feel that she does nothing to stop him from doing whatever he is into. In fact, I think she encourages him. I've noticed that she has become more materialistic over the past few years. She's buying a lot of clothes and jewelry, and they're living in a home they could not afford on her salary alone.

Abby, I know in my heart the best thing I could do for my son would be to notify the sheriff, but I worry about what will happen to my grandson if Paul is arrested. If it were anyone else, I'd contact the authorities. Please help me. - PERPLEXED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR PERPLEXED: You're right, you do have the answer to your problem. I think you should warn Paul and give him the chance to quit this risky, illegal business before he ends up either in prison, or even dead. You need have no qualms of conscience about blowing the whistle. If your son goes to prison, at least he'll be alive, and will have a chance to go straight eventually.

DEAR ABBY: Recently I was invited to lunch at a friend's home. My hostess is a very nice woman with good manners, but all during lunch (there were just the two of us), she kept her TV soap opera on, and consequently we had no chance to visit. (She didn't turn down the volume; in fact, she turned it up.)

Please comment in your column on people keeping their television sets on when they have guests. She didn't even ask me if I wanted to see that program. - NO NAME

DEAR NO NAME: Your hostess was rude. What happened to her "good manners"?

I have dealt with this problem before. If company should drop in uninvited to find their friends watching a television program, it's perfectly all right for the surprised hosts to continue watching their favorite program, and the drop-ins should not feel hurt. But when one invites guests for lunch, the TV set should be turned off - unless, of course, the guest is just as eager to watch it as the host.