HERE, OUT OF SIMPLE KINDNESS, are a few survival techniques for widowers -- a rare and vulnerable species.

Rule 1: Beware of free food. Watch out for the casserole corps and the dessert darlings. They will tote food to you, even leave it on your doorstep when you are not home. Later they will ask how you liked this or that delicacy. You reply, "It made me break out."

Rule 2: Stay out of Florida. Arizona is another place to avoid, but Florida is the worst. Don't go there.

Rule 3: Don't be a bartender. Sooner or later, some woman is going to ask you to help her mix a highball. Think. How much help does a grown woman need to mix a little bourbon with a little water?

Rule 4: Gifts can be a problem. Should a lady give you a sweater or a shirt, you should give her something, too. A set of socket wrenches or a new garbage can is recommended.

Rule 5: Be a sports fan. Talk about watching sports on television. And not just football and baseball either. Turtle races, mud wrestling and weight- lifting contests should all be included.

Rule 6: Money. Drop a hint about looking for someone to support you. It should scare some away. But be forewarned: This is not nearly as effective as you might think. Some women will put up with poverty.