Dear Abby: My father absolutely refuses to turn off the ignition when fueling his car, despite the warning signs at the pump. How can I convince him to stop endangering himself and my mother?
-- Worried Down South
Dear Worried: Motorists are instructed to "Stop Motor" while refueling for good reason. Gasoline is highly flammable. However, it is not the liquid that burns. It is the vapors that ignite. Gasoline vapor is heavier than air, so when it ignites, it does so at ground level. All it takes to create a violent explosion is fuel vapors, enough oxygen and a source of ignition. A spark from a cigarette, faulty wiring, static electricity or the vapor reaching an open flame can cause gasoline vapors to explode.
Please show this item to your father. Perhaps it will convince him to be more safety-conscious. If there is an attendant at the gas station your father frequents, frankly, I am shocked that the person hasn't insisted your father turn off the engine.
Dear Abby: My husband loves to cook, and he's very good at it. Every night when I get home from work, he greets me with a huge meal. Problem is, I feel obligated to eat it even when I'm not the least bit hungry. I prefer my main meal at noon and a very light meal -- or none at all -- at the end of the day.
How can I get him to stop cooking for me without hurting his feelings?
-- Stuffed in San Antonio
Dear Stuffed: I presume you're a new bride, because otherwise you would have already learned how to communicate openly with your husband while still being tactful. Try this: "Honey, you're killing me with kindness. If I keep eating like this, I'll have to invest in an entire new wardrobe. My metabolism works better if I have my main meal at noon and very little -- if anything -- in the evening, so please help me by not making these large dinners because they're too tempting to resist."