DEAR READERS: Today is April Fools’ Day, and in honor of the occasion, I thought I’d share with you some unusual letters I’ve received. Anyone who reads my column knows that letters can be funny because of the content, but sometimes they are also amusing because of the spelling. Cross my heart, these are all real. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I am 18 years old and I have a 6-month-old child. If you’re thinking that I wasn’t ready for that, you are correct. But I agreed to try my hardest at being a father.

Recently, though, rumors of my ex-girlfriend cheating on me reached my ears. By the time I heard, we had been broken up for nearly three months. Rumors of the child not being mine have also gotten back to me.

I am taking one of those maternity tests in May, and if the results come out negative, the child might not be mine. How should I talk to my ex if the child isn’t mine? I’m worried about confronting her. – WORRIED IN MONTANA

DEAR WORRIED: If the results are negative, it may not be necessary for you to confront her. In fact, it might be better if your lawyer did it for you. (The consultation may be expensive, but believe me, it will be worth every penny.)

DEAR ABBY: My brother is bipolar and sometimes says and does things that are off-the-wall. He thinks someone steals his whole-kernel corn and leaves the cream-style.

To make a long story short, I keep missing whole-kernel corn from my pantry, and I know who’s doing it as a practical joke. But how do I handle the situation without coming across as crazy? – JOANN FROM TEXAS

DEAR JOANN: By frozen corn – and hope the guilty party doesn’t check your freezer.

DEAR ABBY: I have a sister-in-law, “Mary.” We have known each other for years. Mary lives in California, but she often sends us e-mail, and each time she does she always misspells my name as “Ritha.” (My name is Rita!) I have tried pointing this out, but she continues to do it. How can I make it clear that my name is spelt Rita without appearing too rude? – RITA IN NEW YORK

DEAR RITA: Because you have already spoken to your sister-in-law about it, you might be able to get your message across if you start spelling her name “Marye” or “Marey.” Or, you can decide that what’s in the message is more important than how your name is “spelt.” I recommend the latter.

DEAR ABBY: This is a warning for any visitor to Illinois who is unfortunate enough to use the rest stops – DON’T!

In case you find it absolutely necessary, here are some tips: Be prepared! Bring your own toilet paper. You can hook it on the door on the purse hanger. A bucket, some cleaning solution and a mop would also be convenient if the person ahead of you was not considerate.

In addition, I believe the women of Illinois should bring their used catalogs and newspapers and supply these ladies rooms for the unfortunate and unprepared. Since someone in this state is of an “outhouse” mentality, it would temporarily ease the problem.

I know the governor is trying to save money, and probably some fool thinks this is the answer. May the guilty party be cursed by desperately attempting to remove enough toilet paper and be rewarded with a square inch – as I was! – OUTRAGED IN ILLINOIS

DEAR OUTRAGED: I’m printing your plea and your warning. But if anyone in the administration is trying to save money by skimping on toilet paper in the women’s rest rooms, I can tell you this – it’s not a woman.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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