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Get Tough With Unwanted Contact

FRIDAY, OCT. 10, 1997

Dear Ann Landers: A few months ago, a woman in her 30s came to my mother’s house and announced that she was my deceased father’s illegitimate daughter. Apparently, she had written to my parents before my father died, but he denied that he had anything to do with this woman’s mother. He was an honorable man, and I believe what he said. I deeply resent the way she tried to muddy his name in an attempt to become a member of our family.

This woman has continued to contact my father’s relatives, claiming to be his daughter. We have made it clear that we have no intention of acknowledging her as a family member. Mind you, there is no legal or medical proof of paternity. Even if her claim is a legitimate one, we still don’t want to associate with her. When she confronted my mother, she was arrogant and rude. Meanwhile, she keeps phoning and insists that she be treated as a member of the family.

What can we do to put an end to this harassment? We are fed up with her pushy behavior. - Unsettled in Sioux City

Dear Sioux City: There are times in life when you must take off the kid gloves and get tough. The next time the woman phones, tell her flat-out that you have nothing to say to her and to please stop calling. If she calls after that, simply hang up when you hear her voice.

Dear Ann Landers: You recently printed some stories about stupid criminals. Here’s one you might like. It appeared in a Chicago paper: A Norwegian burglar broke into an Oslo home in mid-afternoon. No one was in the house. He promptly filled three large suitcases with loot, used the phone to order a taxi, waited outside on the street with his bounty, gave the driver his card, which had his name and address on it, and asked to be driven home.

The robber then paid the driver, took the loot inside and began to sort through it. Shortly after, he heard a knock on the door and found himself face to face with a police officer. He was promptly arrested. His comment was “I had this planned perfectly. What went wrong?” - I’d Rather Be a Dane

Dear Dane: In the interest of good international relations, I shall refrain from making any comment. But thanks for my laugh of the day.

Dear Ann Landers: In support of “S.J., M.D.,” I, too, am disgusted with how my tax dollars are being spent and the apathy of complainers who don’t speak up.

I didn’t care for your reply that “we” have it better in America than those who live in many other countries. That is the attitude that allows for our tax dollars to continue being spent unwisely. Just because one thing is better than something else doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon.

Those folks who are sick of their hard-earned dollars being spent inefficiently need to voice their opinion by letter, by e-mail and at the voting booth. - S.K. in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Dear S.K.: If you think complaining about how your tax dollars are being spent is going to change anything, I know of a swamp in Louisiana that I’d like to sell you.

You are right, however, when you say dissatisfaction with the way things are going should be expressed in the voting booth. That makes sense, and I second the motion. This is the way things are done in a democracy.

Gem of the Day (Credit Ralph Waldo Emerson): You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know when it will be too late.

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