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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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Headlines that shouldn't have happened

It takes a special talent to write headlines. During my long newspaper career it was a talent missing from my makeup. Don't get me wrong; I could write beautiful headlines, but if the count was nineteen mine were twenty. You cannot make a twenty count headline fit in a space limited to nineteen.
That was OK because reporters don't write headlines. Editors do that. Sometimes the headline leaves something to be desired, so who do the readers blame for it? The reporter who wrote the story, of course.
Most of the editors I worked for were very good at the job. The best was Jack Richman, a wonderful city editor. You could file a story a few minutes before deadline and he would go over it, send it to the composing room and write a perfect headline and have it done on time.
Poor editors lift the best part of a story and use it in writing the headline. That would be like introducing a comedian by telling the punchline of his joke.
So I was thinking of headlines today after reading a post on a messageboard. I added a post of my own telling of two really bad examples on a paper I worked for. Rather than waste them on a messageboard, I'll use them here.
The first showed that semi-colons sometimes fail to do the job. It was written by a young editor who eventually became the editor of the entire paper. I never let him live down the headline that read:
Mabel Jones dies; cooked at Colonial Cafe.
The other one was much worse. If an excuse was needed by the writer he could have blamed it on a couple of policemen who didn't get along with each other. Jim Peters was rather heavy set and his not-so-friendly rival, Paul Cox, was a giant of a man. There wasn't a subject they agreed upon. The headline involving the pair read:
Cox and Peters battle at Merit Commission.
I'm not sure how many people actually read the story but I am certain everyone in town saw the headline. I had nothing to do with either the story or the head, yet everyone I saw the next day had some wisecrack and I was the innocent victim of their sorry attempts at humor.
Well, that's just the way it goes in the newspaper business.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Sad State of Baseball

This will be the last year for an exhibition baseball game as part of the Hall of Fame inductions at Cooperstown. Why? Because the players made it part of their agreement with the owners.
This hardly comes as a surprise considering the overwhelming number of overpaid, under-talented loafers in the major leagues today. Big money and long-term contracts spoiled what once was the greatest game of all. I quit watching the major leaguers years ago when the players quit going all out on every play. Quit when a great many of them began bulking up with drugs, when every bum picking up splinters on the bench earned far more than the average worker, when a sore finger was excuse enough for taking a month off. Now those poor boys can't play an exhibition game to please the fans.
It was August of 1936 when the St. Louis Cardinals came to town to play an exhibition game with the minor league Akron Yankees. The team known as the Gas House Gang because they never backed away from a fight was involved in a tight pennant race, yet they passed up a day off to make the people who pay their salaries happy.
Did a bunch of rookies play the game? Not on your life, it was the regular lineup featuring such stars as Frankie Frisch, Joe Medwick, Leo Durocher and Terry Moore. Paul Dean pitched, then George Earnshaw. Dizzy Dean had been on the mound the previous day but he knew the fans wanted to see him so he pinch hit with the understanding the intended batter could stay in the game. After that Dizzy wandered through the grandstand with a hot dog in one hand, a bottle of Coke in the other. He would sit with one group, then another.
The only regular who didn't play was Pepper Martin. He was out with a legitimate injury so he went to the press box and took over the public address announcing. When the game ended, the Cardinals were in a sour mood because they lost, 6-5, to a team that included several future major leaguers.
Could it happen today? Not a chance. Not with the present day prima donnas who would have been eaten alive by the Gas House Gang. One of the greats of the game, Bob Feller, had this to say in an Associated Press story: "It's all money, isn't it? I think it's a shame. It's an insult to the Hall of Fame and to the Hall of Famers. I just think they should do it for the fans. What do they do for the fans, anyway? Take their money? Raise their prices?"
Yes, Bob, that's what they do. It's why I quit watching them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Gambling Man

If someone ever asks why I don't play poker, which is highly unlikely, I'll say it's because of Al Rogers.
Al was a professional gambler from Hammond, Indiana. That's all he did, play cards in the Calumet Region of Northwest Indiana and Chicago. He'd vary that sometimes by taking a train ride to see if there were any gullible strangers aboard, the kind who think they're hotshots at poker, blackjack and any other game you can name.
Al played it straight, never cheated. He didn't have to. If ever a man knew how to count cards and watch other players for the slightest little giveaway as to what they were holding, it was Al. After all, it was the only way he earned a living. Even the biggest war in history didn't keep him from plying his trade.
That's how I met Al back in 1943. We took basic training together and at times shared a pup tent in some godforsaken Georgia woods. We'd drape a couple of blankets over the tent so no light showed through. The light came from a candle placed inside a steel helmet lying on its side. The candle also threw enough heat to make a cold night warm.
Al wouldn't be caught dead without a deck of cards. He'd amaze me by things like handing me the deck so I could mark down the order of each card. Then he'd shuffle them for a minute or more and man, could that guy shuffle cards. Then he'd hand the deck back to me and not a single card had changed position. Sometimes I'd shuffle them and then Al would look them over. I'd take them back and ask him what card was tenth from the top. He'd say the six of diamonds and sure enough, it was. His memory was fabulous.
We never played, but Al would deal me hand after hand. After twenty or so he'd say he would now tell me when I held a good hand. He never missed. When I asked how he did it he'd say something like your left little finger twitches a little when you're pleased. When he played for real he'd never look at his cards until everyone in the game had looked at theirs. While they did it his eyes swept back and forth without really moving. He had great peripheral vision.
The Army had Al teach classes to various units on payday. He'd warn them against ever playing cards with a stranger. A few wise guys would always challenge him to a game, of course. A little later Al would walk away with all their pay envelopes in his pocket.
Al Rogers was a good teacher. I've never played a single hand of cards.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Black Sox and Edd Roush

His name was Horace but they called him Hod and I've been thinking about him and Edd Roush lately. That's because Eliot Asinof died a week or so ago. He wrote a great book, Eight Men Out, about the 1919 World Series.
Hod Eller and Edd Roush were key players for the Cincinnati Reds that year. They won the National League pennant and faced the Chicago White Sox in the Series. That was the Chicago team that became known as the Black Sox because seven of them set out to lose after being offered money by gamblers. An eighth player knew about the plan but failed to report it.
Hod Eller was a pitcher for the Reds. Edd Roush, a member of baseball's Hall of Fame, played center field. One day in 1976 when I was covering a Reds game in Cincinnati, word spread that Roush was watching from the press dining room. I ignored the game and spent two hours talking with him. A rough and tough guy typical of his era, Roush didn't know you could complete a sentence without including at least one expletive. His stories would have held almost any listener spellbound.
He had suffered a heart attack a year earlier. While recuperating, his doctor told him to take an aspirin daily to help prevent a second attack. Roush said, "Well why in hell didn't you tell me that before I had the first one?"
Eventually he got around to talking about the infamous World Series. All the Reds knew something funny was going on with the White Sox. Roush was standing in front of his hotel one night when a shady character he knew slipped up beside him and said, "Edd, the words around that gamblers have been talking to some of your boys."
Roush told Reds manager Pat Moran so before the next day's game he gathered the players in the club house and asked, "Any of you been approached by gamblers?
"Yep," replied Hod Eller, another tough guy. A man of few words, he was scheduled to pitch.
"Well what happened?"
"Guy come up to me in the elevator and said he'd give me five thousand bucks if I'd throw the game today."
There was a lengthy silence finally broken by Roush saying, "Well goddammit, Hod, what did you tell him?"
"Told him if I ever seen him again I'd bust his nose."
Hod Eller from Muncie, Indiana was the winning pitcher that day. It was one of two complete games he pitched. He won both.
Of the heavily-favored White Sox and the conspiracy that saw eight players banned for life, Roush said, "Hell, we woulda beat 'em anyway."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Vulgar and Uncouth Men

I'm not sure why but this morning I was thinking about all the vulgar and uncouth men I have known. About 95 percent of those I've been around are included on the V&U list because much of my life has been spent around soldiers, politicians and lawyers.
In the 21st century it seems compulsory to choose a No. 1 whenever you make a list. This is easy for me. Without question it was my platoon sergeant when I spent 14 weeks at Fort Benning during the summer of 1952. This was billed as a Weapons and Leadership school but actually was infantry basic training.
The sergeant, whose name I have luckily forgotten, was in a class by himself in the matter of V&U. If they awarded masters degrees in filth he would have qualified as the instructor. Almost daily we were forced to stand in formation while he rambled on about every subject imaginable. The capper came the day he talked about his wife. He had recently returned from Korea so among the other things he said was, "When I'm overseas I expect her to get that itchy feeling. That's OK as long as when I'm home I'm head hog at the trough."
Those were his exact words and they are forever engraved on my memory. Even the most hard-bitten career soldiers (every one of them vulgar and uncouth) found the description disgusting and a little more vivid than any of us cared to hear.
A week or two later the first sergeant (the top kick in military terminology) had us standing at attention on an athletic field. This slender, sneaky, shifty-eyed man was as despicable as a human being can be. He was standing on the cinder track that encircled the field when the platoon sergeant approached from the left. He did not look pleased, although I can't recall that he ever did, so it came as no surprise when he flattened the first sergeant with one punch. For several minutes they exchanged blows while 200 men supposedly standing at attention with eyes fixed straight ahead looked on with unconcealed delight. They ended up rolling in the cinders, still slugging away, until the first sergeant went slinking off somewhere.
The reason for this unusual display was evident to all: the platoon sergeant was home but had not been head hog at the trough.
A few days later we were hiking back from a day in the field when the officer at the head of the column found the first sergeant in a garbage can sleeping off a drunk. I was never able to determine why the officer had lifted the lid from the garbage can.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Bad Day at the Falls of the Cuyahoga

Some days it doesn't pay to roll out of bed in the morning. June 18 started out OK but it has been all downhill since my first sip of Irish Breakfast Tea. With Jackie away shopping I did the thing I hate most, answered the telephone. It was my step-daughter in Indiana saying her husband was in the hospital for a heart cauterization - a word I can't spell and am not about to look up.
Then Jackie fell as she was about to enter our building's back door. A cut finger was the worst of the damage, although she did hit her mouth on the pavement, but hearing about it shook me up. I'm the one who is supposed to fall, not her. If there is one thing an old infantryman knows it is how to hit the dirt - and it's not face-first.
I couldn't settle to work after that so I checked some sales figures. A book I did on the Normandy invasion ranks 39th of the 24,689 books released by the publisher. This was annoying because at one time it was 15th on the list. On the other hand, when I checked a few months ago it was 127th.
Then I looked at the Amazon Shorts. These are short stories selling for 49 cents. The writer gets 20 cents for each sale so it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. I have five short stories there, all ones that no one else would buy. With them is one of leftover chapters from the Normandy book. It ranks 726th out of 3,559, hardly a noteworthy feat. At number 728 is the first of the short stories, The Old School Yell.
Ahead of my stories are such classics as How to Make Love Like a Zombie and Me and My Bitch. Then there is one by someone named Lauren Baratz-Logsted. Talk about adding insult to injury.
I did, however, finish ahead of 108 Plain Lame Pick-up Lines. That's nothing; in my youthful days I could have supplied the writer with twice that many.
But I wonder who buys these things, including my six that have the selling power of ice at the arctic circle. Some of the leading mystery writers in the country fare as badly or even worse than I do - full-time novelists like John Lutz, Ed Gorman and Linda Barnes. Leading short story writers such as O'Neil De Noux and John M. Floyd. There are others, too.
So if it isn't fame that sells them, what is it? Don't ask me because I'm having a bad day and there are still eight hours until bedtime.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Growing Old with Class

A commercial has been running on television showing some not-so-young people pretending they have defied old man time. An announcer says something to the effect that the generation that said it would never grow old is proving it.
Some people do enjoy kidding themselves that way but they aren't fooling anyone else. A person can give up this and give up that, eat all the right foods, exercise religiously, apply creams and lotions and perhaps even visit a plastic surgeon, but no one has found a way to keep the clock from ticking.
So what's wrong with growing old? Age should be worn with pride. It shows you fought the battles of life and kept going. Growing old does bring aches and pains and even sickness, but such things are not confined to the elderly.
I'm proud of having survived the Great Depression and a couple of wars, proud that I can remember what I was doing the day JFK was assassinated, the day a man first walked on the moon and all the other events that have occurred in my lifetime. In many ways the road was a rough one, but that's what made it interesting.
The picture above shows my eighth grade class in the spring of 1940. Just think of the things that have happened since the day we gathered in front of the old school on Akron's industrial east side. I wouldn't have wanted to miss a single one of them. I can't imagine pretending they took place before my time.
Some of the kids in that picture are dead now, many are still active. There were 44 in our class so five were absent that day. I'm the tallest one in the second row, the guy with the dopey expression on his face. To my left is Lionel Burke and on my right are Bob Hauck, Nick Zissimopolous and Steve Subichin. Lionel, Nick, Steve and I were in the previous summer's Akron Soap Box Derby. None of us fared well on race day. It was memorable, though.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Slow News Day

This seems to be a slow news day because some of the top stories from around the world are a bit on the bizarre side.
Take the Tory politician in Wales, for example. He was being interviewed on radio and the discussion turned to football, a sport called soccer in this country. I wish someone would do something to clarify these names because it always is necessary to point out that to an American, football has an entirely different meaning than it does to the rest of the universe. Then there is Australian Rules football, but that's a subject best left alone.
So a lady on the radio program said something about the team from Sweden being boring and then the talk turned to the team representing Italy. The politician, who flunked political correctness in school, called the Italian team "Greasy Wops."
This, in the circles where I have always moved, would result in a barroom brawl. For the Tory it meant banishment from the upcoming election, something tantamount to political exile. Should he decide to take a vacation now that he no longer needs to be out and about campaigning, it is unlikely he will travel to Rome, Naples or the Isle of Capri.
Our dear friends and allies in Saudi Arabia had nothing to say about Italians, at least not today, but they did arrest a woman for driving a car. She drove all of ten miles to pick up her husband, a newsman, after work. The ever-alert Saudi police swooped down and cast her in irons. As her guardian, the husband obtained her release by guaranteeing she would never commit such a dastardly deed again. It also gave him a leg up on the competition for the next day's edition.
However, the Saudis say they are going to increase the production of oil. This, of course, more than offsets any blatant violation of human rights the United States demands of countries it considers friends. When oil is involved, all bets are off.
By reading an Irish newspaper, not one of several I scanned in this country, I learned that John Edwards has changed his mind and will consider running for vice-president again if asked by Barack Obama. Look for $400 haircuts to stage a comeback in the campaign. I sometimes wonder, though, why the best source of news on the American political scene is newspapers in other lands.
One piece of news from the Publishers Weekly morning report was downright disturbing. George W. Bush is considering writing a book. God help us all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Makes sense, doesn't it?

I don't mean to insinuate that politicians, economists and Wall Street investors are blockheads or anything like that, but sometimes I wonder about it.
Today they are in a tizzy because the rate of inflation has shot up 0.6 percent. Yesterday they were celebrating because retail sales were up 1 percent. No one seems to connect the two.
I'm no economist and certainly cannot lay claim to being a mathematician, but I figure that inflation has caused the price to go up on the shirt I bought a year ago. If I buy an identical shirt today, doesn't that mean retail sales figures go up? So isn't the 1 percent increase actually 0.4 percent? If they say inflation was factored into the 1 percent figure, how can that be when the new rate of inflation wasn't announced until today?
No one can accuse the big shots at GM, Ford and Chrysler of being the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. After all, they once had a near monopoly on auto sales in this country. Sure, some rich guy would import a Rolls Royce every now and then but that was about it. So a decade or two after World War II they had run Studebaker, Packard, Hudson, Nash, Kaiser and everybody else out of business, which meant the Big Three could start turning out crap. Why not? People still had to buy cars, didn't they?
But wait, the Japanese and the Germans decided to move in on the market and just look at the state of the Big Three today. Now they are trying to build a little quality into their cars but they waited a little too long to make that decision. So are they right up to date and on top of the situation today? You might think so because a couple of days ago Jackie received a notice from Ford's Mercury division saying, "Our records indicate the factory warranty on your Mercury has expired or may be expiring soon."
Yes, all you folks at Mercury, the warranty has indeed expired because the car was purchased in March of 1977. That would make it 31 years old if it was still running. Don't see too many '77 Mercury Monarchs on the street today, do you? Ours, the one under discussion, was totaled in a 1981 head-on collision with a big International Scout.
It does appear that Mercury needs to do a little work on updating its records. We didn't purchase the extende warranty, of course, and unless Toyoto quits selling Camrys (ours was made in Lexington, Ky.) I doubt we'll be putting Mercury on our list. You'll have to give them credit for one thing, though. When they talk abut an extended warranty they mean a really extended warranty.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The difference between men and women

I went shopping yesterday. Grocery shopping. This doesn't happen often because Jackie contends I hold her up. This is pure fabrication and I set out to prove it. I picked up a loaf of sliced pumpernickel, a bag of ciabatta buns, a package of bite-size Snickers, a can of party peanuts and a container of ice cream. With the essentials taken care of I joined her in adding the rest of the stuff to the cart.
This proved my point, of course. If a man wants a loaf of Nickle's white bread he picks up the one on top and tosses it into the cart. A woman will stand back and look over the long row of 50 different kinds of bread, eventually picking up the top loaf of Nickle's white bread and squeezing it. Nine times out of 10 it's too soft or too hard so she reaches for a different loaf.
It gets worse at the canned goods aisle. If a can of Hunt's Tomato Sauce is on the list a man takes the top can and hurls it into the cart. A woman picks up the top can and for a moment studies the label. Then she takes an identical can and with one in each hand, compares them. As often as not she puts both cans back and does it all again with two different cans. In due time she goes back to the first can and reluctantly places it in the cart. A man can only stand tapping his foot while this goes on.
If man has bacon on the list he reaches for the package on top and drops it into the cart. A woman picks up the one on top and looks it over. Satisfied with the flat side, she holds it sideways and scans it slice by slice. It's never good enough so she repeats the routine with another pack. After that she is likely to shake her head and move on without bacon.
A man may see a couple of other men he knows and they say, "Hi," in passing because each is on a mission. A woman comes face to face with another woman she saw three hours earlier and both act like it's an unexpected reunion after 30 years of being apart. They'll talk for five minutes or so, laughing and giggling about something that probably has to do with men.
At the fruit and vegetables. Jackie picked up a cantaloupe and examined it as closely as a bomb expert examines an unexploded grenade. Then she sniffed it. A man would rather undergo the Chinese water torture than be seen sniffing a cantaloupe. After half a dozen melons failed the sniff test, she found one that pleased her.
So that's the way it went yesterday. After what seemed an eternity we approached the checkout lanes. But no, Jackie suddenly remembered one more thing which naturally was 50 yards away at the far end of the store. Mission accomplished, she headed back toward the checkout area with me following 10 or 12 feet behind. Along the way she glanced over her shoulder and said, "Will you get a move on? You're holding me up."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Be prepared for the worst

At last they are over, the political primaries, and now the real, down to earth nastiness can begin. Actually it began a month or so ago, but now it's time for the hardcore stuff to get started. To borrow a phrase from the world of auto racing, "Gentlemen, start your mudslinging!"
The two candidates will likely pretend to be nice guys far above anything crass and vulgar. That may, as usual, be left to the groups that have no sense of integrity or honesty. One such group got a head start by circulating e-mails claiming Barack Obama is a Muslim fifth-columnist bent on bringing the country to its knees. If that was the opening shot, imagine what it will be like when the real fireworks begin. Will it be asserted that John McCain was brainwashed while a prisoner of war in Vietnam and is actually a communist agitator bent on bringing America to its knees? Wouldn't surprise me a bit. For unabashed sleaze and filthy lies you can't beat an American presidential campaign. It makes you wonder if we haven't already been brought to our knees.
Is there any possible way to bring George W. Bush down from his ivory tower? Before starting a trip to Europe today he said, "The U.S. economy has continued to grow in the face of unprecedented challenges."
What economy is that, George? The Wall Street economy bears as much similarity to the economy in the rest of the country as I bear to Tom Hanks. Get out among us and learn the truth, George. You won't find it by reading reports and studies. The GNP doesn't mean a thing in Youngstown or Kokomo. When you're out of a job and lost your health care, when your house is in danger of being repossessed, when you can't afford to fill your gas tank, when the prices at the grocery store leave you in shock, you aren't much interested in being told the economy has continued to grow. Not west of the Potomac, George, not out in the real world where most economists never tread.
Will someone please tell John McCain to adopt "I'll Never Smile Again" as his campaign theme song. That speech he gave last Tuesday that included a pause for a ghastly fake smile after every statement was painful to endure. Being an old guy myself has taught me that few of us can smile without scaring little children. Grotesque is the only word that describes that John McCain smile.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Brave vs. Heroic

A young man wrote a letter to me saying all those I served with in combat were heroes. Some people say it aloud and that happens more and more frequently as the years go by. All you can do under such circumstances is mumble a thank you or send a note expressing thanks for the kind words even though you know they are not true.
The word hero is bandied about too freely today. People seem to confuse bravery with heroism. A certain amount of bravery is required when men are ordered to get up and charge across a field in the face of rifle and machine gun fire. It's their job, it's what they are paid to do so it is not heroic. Deciding to place your own life in grave danger to help others without being ordered to do so, that's heroic.
A fireman hosing down a burning building that might collapse is brave. If he runs into the heart of the flames to save another person with slight chance of survival, that's heroic.
I served with hundreds of men in combat. Most were brave, two or three were heroes. Ernie Pyle's book about those times was titled Brave Men, not Heroic Men.
You hear people say all those serving in Iraq are heroes. That's nonsense, of course, although a miniscule percentage of them do something heroic, something beyond what they are paid to do or ordered to do. It has always been that way and always will be that way.
Some Americans feel all prisoner of war are heroes. That is absurd, yet the United States awards medals to men who have been captured. Many had no choice other than to surrender, others did it merely to save their own skins because conditions were adverse. The majority, although not all, were brave, but their actions were not heroic.
John McCain's plane was shot down over enemy territory in Viet Nam. He was injured, captured and treated badly. All this required bravery but in no way qualifies as heroic.
I have written about a small man wearing glasses and losing his hearing who was a hero during the fighting in the South Pacific. When his unit was ordered to withdraw while under attack by the Japanese, Rodger Young chose to remain where he was. Single handedly he broke up the enemy attack, but in doing so he was shot half a dozen times and died. His companions, most or all of them brave men, lived.
It seems time that we learn the difference between bravery and heroism. The difference is huge.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Being Nice

I got bawled out because I wasn't nice to grandpa. The fact that I never met grandpa, who was an engineer on the Nickel Plate Road (that was a railroad and an engineer drove the trains), didn't save me from a scolding.
Grandpa, whose name was Brick Butler, had a clock that sits on a shelf. It tolls the hour and sounds a single note on the half hour. Jackie inherited it. For years it rested quietly atop a living room bookcase, but then a few months ago Jackie had it fixed for a fee slightly less than my yearly income.
I have nothing against this clock except when I happen to doze off in my chair, something that always seems to happen about ten minutes before the hour. When that hour arrives, the sound is similar to having a 500-pound bomb explode in the room.
So I happened to be walking by the clock when it announced the arrival of 11 a.m. When I came back down from an unplanned trip to the ceiling I turned to the clock and said, "Shut up!"
Jackie took umbrage with that. "Don't you talk to grandpa that way!"
I hadn't. I had talked to his clock. Well, a few more things were said, all of them by Jackie. I think I would be found innocent in any court of law. On that subject, Jackie often says, "You weren't innocent the day you were born."
Last night I watched a few minutes of a PBS pledge drive in which a Las Vegas female comedian was saying the sort of things most females, comedians or not, say about men. She said that her husband goes suddenly blind whenever he opens the refrigerator door. In other words he can't find anything. When she wants to hide something she just puts it on the middle shelf of the refrigerator.
I'm glad Jackie wasn't watching because she says the same thing about me. That's because whatever I'm looking for is hidden behind eight other items, usual on the lowest shelf. I don't find it easy to bend down to the lowest shelf. Actually I can bend down, but straightening up again is a problem.
Then, just to top things off, I told Jackie a joke I had read on a messageboard, one concerning the British view of a woman's bra and American soldiers: "One Yank and it's off."
She didn't get it. Oh, well, it was just one of those days.