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On the Light Side

January 30, 1985

LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) _ Advice columnist Abigail Van Buren thought ″Noisemaker″ was serious when he complained that his stomach growled when he kissed his girlfriend. But hundreds of readers sent ″Dear Abby″ proof that the joke was on her.

″My stomach makes a terrible growling noise whenever I kiss my girlfriend,″ read the letter, published in the syndicated column Jan. 15. ″She tells me it’s all in my head, but my stomach tells me to write to you. Signed, Noisemaker.″

Astute readers remembered folk singer John Prine’s parody tune, ″Dear Abby,″ a stanza of which went: ″Dear Abby, Dear Abby: You won’t believe this. My stomach makes noises whenever I kiss. My girlfriend tells me it’s all in my head. But my stomach tells me to write you instead. Signed, Noisemaker.″

Abby’s readers weren’t shy in informing her that she’d been tricked.

″I got hundreds of letters from readers,″ said Ms. Van Buren. ″They sent me the cassettes, the lyrics, everything.″

Ms. Van Buren said that no one in her office had spotted Noisemaker’s letter for a phony.

″But once we started getting letters, I said, ’Oh, wow 3/8 Now I remember 3/8‴

By the way, she advised Noisemaker to calm down and never kiss on an empty stomach.


WARDNER, Idaho (AP) - When it comes to hamburgers, the Shady Lady Saloon in northern Idaho concedes an ounce of beef to no one.

Wes’ Shady Lady Burger, named after creator and tavern owner Wes Aamodt, is so big it is served on a pizza pan.

It consists of five pounds of beef garnished with 16 slices of cheese, a whole sliced onion, two tomatoes, a layer of pickles, a mound of lettuce and the buns, which are 16 inches across and barely fit on the tavern’s widest pizza pan. The $22.50 sandwich is about four inches thick and weighs more than 10 pounds, says Aamodt.

Aamodt cooked his first giant burger a few months ago, as ″a gag on a gal who was just trying to rib me″ about not getting enough to eat from his regular quarter- and half-pound burgers.

The Shady Lady Burger, which easily feeds a dozen people, has proven popular for birthday parties or groups.

The burger is free if anyone can eat it all, but Aamodt isn’t worried.

″Nobody has eaten it all yet,″ he said. ″The closest anybody has come to eating it all has been two slices. That’s about a pound.″

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