Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: Will you please reprint the poem on alcoholism that I have enclosed? As you can see, my copy has yellowed with age and is difficult to read. It deserves a rerun. — J.F. in Glendora, Calif.
Dear J.F.: With pleasure. It appeared in my column several years ago and is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I have been unable to identify the author.
We drank for joy and became miserable.
We drank for sociability and became argumentative.
We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious.
We drank for friendship and became enemies.
We drank to help us sleep and awakened exhausted.
We drank to gain strength, and it made us weaker.
We drank for exhilaration and ended up depressed.
We drank for "medical reasons" and acquired health problems.
We drank to help us calm down and ended up with the shakes.
We drank to get more confidence and became afraid.
We drank to make conversation flow more easily, and the words came out slurred and incoherent.
We drank to diminish our problems and saw them multiply.
We drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell.
Dear Ann Landers: I am writing on behalf of four families in our neighborhood. One of our neighbors has three unruly, screaming, screeching, constantly yelling children between the ages of 3 and 8. We can tell from the noise when they wake up in the morning, when they leave for school, when they come home and, thankfully, when they go to sleep.
We have nothing against young children, Ann. Most of the kids in this area produce a normal amount of noise, and it doesn't bother us. We especially dread "pool time," which can last from one hour (bearable) to six hours (intolerable). Ann, these kids don't play. They yell and screech. During these screamfests, it's impossible to read, watch TV, relax or converse. A nap is out of the question. When they bring friends over, it's so bad we have to leave our homes and go elsewhere.
We have approached this neighbor and explained that the screaming is too much, but the man was not receptive to our plight and became extremely unpleasant. Our neighborhood used to be a paradise until this family moved in. We all try to be considerate of one another, all except for this neighbor. We have lived here for more than 20 years and don't want to move. What can we do? — Frazzled in Florida
Dear Frazzled: Make friends with the kids. Serve them treats occasionally, and ASK them to PLEASE not scream when they are playing because it gives you a headache. It won't eliminate the screaming, but it could cut down on the noise.
Stereo headphones might be the answer. Listening to calming music at times such as these could be a blessing. Try it.
Ann Landers' booklet "Nuggets and Doozies" has everything from the outrageously funny to the poignantly insightful. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.