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Teed off by habits of friend

Dear Abby: One of my friends, "Max," cheats at golf. Otherwise he's witty, interesting and fun to be around. He moves his ball closer to the hole on the green and "improves" his lie when he thinks no one is looking. I have tried to overlook Max's transgressions, but others in our golf group talk and joke behind his back. How should I go about stopping the problem without stressing our friendship?

-- Florida Golfer

Dear Golfer: What you have described is considered a terrible breach of golf etiquette. What it shows about Max is a serious lack of ethics. Because you feel close to him, take him aside and tell him privately as a friend that it's time to knock off the cheating because the others are onto him, and he's making himself a laughingstock.

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Rude awakening

Dear Abby: I have a good friend, "Renee," who is Canadian and a permanent resident of the United States. We don't always agree on things, but one thing really bugs me about her. She's always saying how "nice" Canadians are and how rude Americans are.

On a recent trip we took to Canada, she commented about a cashier who was nice to us by saying, "That cashier wouldn't have been so nice if we were in America." When I try to point out evidence to the contrary, Renee shrugs it off and calls it an exception to the rule.

How should I politely ask her to knock off bashing Americans?

-- Love It or Leave It

Dear Love It or Leave It: Do it by "politely" pointing out to Renee that it is rude to make comments that make others uncomfortable, and if Canadians are as "nice" as she says they are -- and that includes her -- she'll quit putting down Americans because you find it offensive.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.