Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Oh, My Aching Back!

Well, the old back went out on me again. Maybe I shouldn't say again because the last time was in 1981. That was the result of an automobile accident, a head-on collision, caused by a young female driver.
I can't use that excuse this time because the most recent car crash came in 1992 - in this one our car ended upside down - and was caused by a young female driver.
Those were my third and fourth major auto accidents. The first was two months before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Even though I was only four years of age at the time it seemed like my crash was much worse than anything that ever happened on Wall Street. After all, it put me in the hospital for thirty days.
To return to the suject of my back, during the weeks following that 1981 collision I had thirty-four X-rays. Inconclusive, every one of them. Then they laid me on my back and stuck electrified needles into various parts of my body. With every jab, one of my legs would shoot straight up in the air. The result: inconclusive.
But back to my aching back. By the way, during World War II the most commonly heard words from servicemen were, "Oh, my aching back!" They came when things weren't proceeding in a pleasing fashion, which meant nearly all the time, so someone was constantly saying, "Oh, my aching back!"
But about my back. One thing about being eighty-one is that health issues are lined up like a row of dominoes. When one thing finally improves it knocks down the next in line so something is forever wrong. The Fickle Finger of Fate just keeps sending stuff my way and there isn't a thing I can do about. Let's see, we've got a nice case of ulcerative colitis here so what should we do with it, and the finger points my way. H'mm, where shall we send this heart attack, and the finger . . . well, you get the idea.
But we were discussing my back. Anyway, I get these kidney infections now and then, even go to a kidney specialist several times a year. The latest was last month. A couple of days later the Fickle Finger had an extra kidney infection on hand so guess where it ended up? So the infection was finally licked on Monday and at precisely the same moment my back went out.
Well, that's life. But why is it that of all the miserable afflictions that can hit a person, the only one that makes people laugh is a bad back? Maybe it's because some poor guy is hobbling along and suddenly lets out an ear-piercing scream. Perhaps it's because watching him try to get up from bed is like watching a bug trapped on its back. Or that when he wants to arise from a chair he makes half a dozen false starts, each accompanied by an agonized groan, before finally succeeding.
The odd thing is that even the unfortunate victim can't help but join in the laughter. Only after a couple of unearthly screams, of course. Actually the oddest thing of all is that when you are sitting still you would never know that something is wrong. But, man, when you try to move.
So right now all I'm asking for is a little sympathy. That's exactly what I can expect, says Jackie, but why does she have to emphasize "little?" Why can't she just pat me on the head and say, "Ihat's too bad. I'm so sorry?" Those comforting words should follow every cry of, "Oh, my aching back!" In my case these days that would amount to a lot of head patting.
So right now the X-ray lab at the hospital is on standby alert. The people with the electrified needles are ready for action. But I've got news for them: I've learned about those things and this time I will just go on crying, "Oh, my aching back!"


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