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Dear Abby: In a recent column, a reader complained about the amount of money he was expected to give to the church. Perhaps this piece will provide an answer to that question. I regret I don't know who the author is, but I hope you feel that it's worth sharing.

- Bob Whitmore, Eugene, Ore.Dear Bob Whitmore: I do. And many thanks for sending it.


Last Sunday, another golfer sank the last putt on the 18th green and received a check for $50,000 for four rounds of golf, plus an automobile for himself and one for his wife. This week, the papers reported that a certain popular singer will receive $100,000 per week for her current singing engagement. Americans spend annually more on dog food than on church contributions. It is not unusual for an individual to pay more for his country club membership than he gives to the church. Is the church costing too much?

Let me share an experience with you. On June 2, 1940, a little girl was born to us. She cost us money from the moment she was born. As she grew from babyhood to girlhood, she cost even more - her dresses and shoes were more expensive, and we had to have the doctor through all those childhood diseases.

She was even more expensive during her school and teen years. She needed long dresses to go to parties. When she went to college we discovered, along with other parents, that all college expenses are not listed in the catalog. Then after graduation, she fell in love and married. She was married in a church wedding and that, too, cost a lot of money.

Then, five months after her marriage, she suddenly sickened and within a week she was dead. She hasn't cost us a penny since the day we walked away from her grave.

As long as the church is alive, she will cost money. And the more alive a church is, the more money she will cost. Only a dead church, like a dead child, is no longer expensive.

Think it over. Is the church costing too much?

Dear Abby:

"My boyfriend (I'll call him George)..."

"My neighbor (I'll call him George)..."

"My boss (I'll call him George)..."

How many letters do you get that begin that way? Frankly, I'm sick of this Georgism. Whenever someone wants to complain about someone to you, they call him George. If I were George, I'd be feeling pretty bad right now. It seems like everyone who knows George thinks he must be a two-timing, couch-potato, back-stabbing, cheating loser. I mean, can't anyone think of a different alias for the bad guy in their stories?

Abby, please tell your readers that if they want to disguise some man's identity, there are alternatives to the name "George."

- Not George in Tacoma

Dear Not George: By George, it's Jake with me. I, too, am getting pretty tired of every Tom, Dick and Harry becoming "George" in order to preserve his anonymity.

Dear Readers: Your chuckle for today: "I don't want to achieve immortality by being inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame. I want to achieve immortality by not dying."

- Leo Durocher at 81