Dear Abby: Your "visiting snowbird" letter gave me a chuckle, as I had a similar experience while living in Hawaii.

One Sunday afternoon, my telephone rang, and the caller identified himself as "Joe.""Joe who?" I inquired.

"You remember me; I used to go with your daughter in high school."

"Yes, I remember you. How are you?"

"Fine," he replied. "I understand you have built a new home in Hawaii - well, my wife and I are coming your way and we'd like to see you."

Somewhat startled, I said, "That would be nice . . ."

Then he added, "My wife's folks would also like to come."

"How nice," I said.

Then Joe said, "I understand you are single now - would it be all right if I brought my mother for you?"

I ignored that question and asked, "Would you like me to find a two-bedroom condo? Or would a three-bedroom condo be better?"

There was a long pause. Then he said, "Well - our plans are not firmed up as yet. I will have to get back to you."

Abby, would you believe, I never heard from Joe again?

- Tom in Arizona

Dear Tom: I believe you. And congratulations for having handled a rather sticky situation with tact and diplomacy.

Dear Abby: I have often wondered why some divorced men refer to themselves as "bachelors."

I am a genuine bachelor and consider it an insult when a divorced man refers to himself as a "bachelor." I have even heard some widowers call themselves "bachelors."

Abby, a divorced woman is called a "divorcee," so why can't they think up a name for a divorced man? Or simply call him a "divorced man" instead of a bachelor?

A genuine bachelor, in my book, is a man who has never married.

- Boston Bachelor

Dear Bachelor: Sorry, you must be looking in the wrong book. My Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th Edition) defines a bachelor as "a: an unmarried man; b: a male animal (as a fur seal) without a mate during breeding time." So, widowers and divorced men may appropriately be called bachelors.

Dear Abby: What? I must need glasses! I swear I must have been hallucinating when I read the letter from "Single in Long Beach."

Well, I, too, am single - in Florida - and this man must be a saint! I've never heard any man say, "I'll come early and polish silverware, stay late until all the cleanup is done . . ."

Abby, how about having him come to my house and help me throw away the plastic "silverware" and paper plates? He won't have to worry about the pots and pans, because everyone will be too busy raving about the delicious dessert he brought.

I have two daughters who would look at this man with stars in their eyes and wonder how a man like this came out of extinction. He's too good to be true!

- Kris in Destin, Fla.