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, May 10, 2009

Number One or Number Two

I'm not sure why, but this morning Jackie and I were discussing the way that back in our elementary school days kids informed the teacher a trip to the restroom was of urgent need. At her school in Muncie, a girl or boy raised a hand with either one or two fingers extended. Permission was then granted.
From kindergarten through fifth grade I attended schools in Detroit, Eau Claire, Mansfield and Cuyahoga Falls, two in the latter city. At all of them the routine was the same, but slightly different than the method used at Jackie's school. I was six years ahead of her so that may explain the difference. A boy or girl would raise a hand and when asked what was wanted would say, "I have to go to the restroom."
The teacher then would ask, "Number one or number two?" The kid would reply and after that was given the OK.
This changed somewhat in grades six through eight at rough and tumble Kent School in Akron. Girls and a couple of sissified boys used the system I was accustomed to at other schools, but with most boys it was different. A boy would start walking toward the classroom door and the teacher might or might not say, "Where are you going, Bill?" Only two boys actually were named Bill, so the teacher would substitute, Nick, Steve, or whatever was appropriate.
If asked, the boy would reply, "I gotta take a leak," or "I gotta take a dump."
As Jackie and I discussed the merits of the two and a half systems it dawned on me that I haven't heard the word dump used in that context in decades. To their credit, or our credit, none of the more vulgar words were ever used out of respect for the girls. Respecting girls was something we all did, at least most of the time, although a few of those in the class were hardly worthy of it. Not if their behavior outside the classroom was taken into account.
The point of our discussion, I think, was curiosity about the system used in schools today. While I have nothing to base it on, I feel a more refined method may have replaced those used during the years of the Great Depression and, in Jackie's case, World War II. I guess it doesn't really matter. It all comes out the same in the end.


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