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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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Our Christmas Houseguest

We have a guest named Whiskers who will be staying with us for Christmas. Not the jolly fellow people think of this time of year because his whiskers aren't white, he doesn't wear a red suit and he never says, "Ho-ho-ho." In fact he doesn't say anything because Whiskers is a dwarf hamster only a couple of inches long, if that.
Under normal conditions - and no one enjoys normal conditions more than a hamster, dwarf or otherwise - Whiskers lives with a lady named Tammy, another resident of our 52-unit building. He has a snow white tummy and the rest of him is sort of gray, not brown like our golden hamsters have been, including our first, Chigger, who is shown wearing his Christmas hat.
When we got our first look at each other this morning both Whiskers and I were a little suspicious of each other. It didn't take Whiskers long to decide he didn't like what he saw so he hopped on his tiny wheel and began running for home as fast as his little legs would go. He wasn't too happy when he got off every minute or so and found he was still in the same place.
I sympathized with how he felt because hamsters and I share one trait, a dislike of change. If something was in a particular place yesterday it should be in the same place today, that's the way we look at. When Sophie, our full-size hamster, walks out of her cage onto the coffee table every evening the first thing she does is make certain everything is in the exact same place it was before. Any change is viewed with displeasure and must be fully investigated and approved before the evening activities can begin.
I feel the same way if furniture has been moved from one place to another. Such a thing is inexcusable, at least in my opinion.
Anyway, Whiskers settled in and went to sleep after an hour or so. By then I had decided the little guy was OK and Jackie had fallen madly in love with him. Given the chance, Sophie would have bitten his head off. You know what thoughts are running through her head: "I'm the house hamster and there is no room here for another, not even for a couple of days."
It won't surprise me even a little if one day Jackie comes home with a dwarf hamster of her own. If that happens I just hope it isn't at all like the time she came home with a cute little female normal size hamster. A pregnant normal size hamster as it turned out when I discovered eight babies in her cage a few days later.


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