Dear Annie: I just finished watching a piece on the news about young people assaulting others and calling it a game. It seems they walk up to unsuspecting people and throw the hardest punch they can to the face in an effort to knock someone out.
In one instance, a man was hit so hard, he fell face first to the curb and fractured his skull. He died, and the person who hit him was charged with manslaughter. The kids being interviewed were all laughing about it, as if it were some sort of party. They said it was a macho thing, to prove how tough or strong you are.
The sad part is that they are raised as if their actions have no consequences. Parents, teach your children better before it’s too late.
— Worried Adult
Dear Adult: It’s sad to see a world where children think assault is a sport, where the constant media barrage publicizes and glamorizes violence, and where these immature teens either don’t understand the consequences of their actions or think prison is simply another badge of toughness. We doubt they would find this activity so much “fun” if the victim were someone they cared about.
We’ve forgotten how to be civilized to one another, nor do we value it. Parents not only need to teach compassion and responsibility to their children, but they have the added burden of combating the multiple pernicious influences around them. It’s hard to raise kids these days, and we commend those parents who manage to do it well.
Dear Annie: I have a friend who often asks: “What’s happening?” But when I attempt to tell her, she rudely interrupts and says, “I don’t want to hear about it!” It doesn’t matter what the subject is. She even interrupts for others, saying, “She doesn’t want to hear about it!” She also cuts me off mid-sentence and mockingly finishes my thoughts for me. Attempting to carry on a conversation with her is hurtful and exasperating, and I find her to be extremely rude.
However, if the conversation centers on her, it can go on forever. Also, if she is trying to impress people, no matter how boring the conversation, she hangs on their every word. I have to deal with this “conversation bully” often. How am I supposed to handle her?
— Sharp Stick in the Ear
Dear Sharp: You are already aware that your friend is self-centered and only interested in conversation that is somehow beneficial to her. When she asks, “What’s happening?” she doesn’t really want to know. It’s simply her way of saying hello. Here are your options: You can tell your friend how rude and upsetting this is and ask her to be more considerate; you can restrict your conversation to topics that stroke her ego; you can find other friends.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Furious and Concerned,” whose physician cousin often treats and gives medication to family members.
The Medical Board of California does not prohibit physicians from treating family members, but does require that any prescribing of medications (and giving samples is indeed prescribing) be accompanied by an appropriate history and physical examination. It also requires that adequate medical records be kept of the treatment, the same as for any other patient. In California, the actions described would put that physician at risk of losing his license for unprofessional conduct.
I don’t know what state this cousin lives in, but “Furious” should advise her relatives to stop asking him for free medical care. We all receive such requests, and they are often difficult to refuse. She also could send the physician a copy of this reply, as he may be unaware that his actions are putting his license at risk.
— Concerned MD in California
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.