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Dear Abby 4/18

Welfare hog freely feeds from government trough

DEAR ABBY: I am unsure what to do about a friend who I thought was an honest, law-abiding citizen. She bragged to me that she's committing welfare fraud by not revealing additional income.
    Abby, she gets free medicine, Section 8 housing and utility bill help among other things, courtesy of the government. In the meantime, she has bought a new car (paying cash), plastic surgery, etc. I never thought she would do something like this.
    Should I report her to the authorities or mind my own business? I am not perfect, but I don't steal or defraud others, and it makes me angry that people who really need these services are denied them while she's on a continuous spending spree. What should I do? -- TICKED OFF IN TOPEKA, KAN.
    DEAR TICKED OFF: Unless you want to continue subsidizing "her majesty" the welfare queen's continuous spending spree, pick up the phone and report what she's doing. Yes, there are a lot of people who need help; we pay taxes in part to help them — but your "friend" isn't one of them. She should be made to pay restitution.
    DEAR ABBY: My daughter, "Cameron," is turning 18 next month. After she graduates from high school, she insists that she's going to take a "road trip." She wants to drive from Texas to California. She has a car.
    I am terribly upset about this. I worry about her safety. My husband, however, feels it is normal for kids to want to do this and won't back me up to try to influence her not to go.
    Am I being overprotective, and if she insists, can she do what she wants now that she's officially an adult? -- WORRIED SICK IN PFLUGERVILLE, TEXAS
    DEAR WORRIED SICK: If your daughter not only owns the car, but also pays for her own insurance and gas, and will be self-supporting and living on her own upon her return from her road trip — then she can do as she wishes with no regard to your concerns. If several of her friends accompanied her, there would be less chance of her getting into a dangerous situation while on the road or in California.
    Frankly, your husband's attitude mystifies me. Just because kids want to do this kind of thing doesn't mean their parents should buckle under. If it comes down to it, YOU should accompany her on her adventure. Tell her that after 18 years of raising her, you deserve this bonding experience.

    DEAR ABBY: I suffer from food sensitivities. Recently, during an important yearly service at a church my daughter and I have not attended for long, I had some extremely loud and embarrassing gastrointestinal symptoms from having accidentally eaten something cooked in soybean oil at a restaurant.
    This disturbance lasted more than 15 minutes, and everyone in our small church could hear it. I am now embarrassed to return to the church, as I don't want to be remembered as the woman whose flatulence wrecked the important church service. Is there any way to save face in this situation? -- IT WAS THE SOYBEANS!
    DEAR SOYBEANS: When the flatulence started happening repeatedly, you should have stepped outside until it subsided. It would have spared you some embarrassment and been less of a distraction to your fellow worshippers.
    However, because your concern is your fear of being remembered as the woman whose flatulence wrecked the service, you have no choice but to go back to the church and give them something positive to remember you by. Please don't let embarrassment keep you away. I'm sure your clergyperson will back me up on this.

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