Callithump Thunderblog is proud to launch a new, bold, contemporary look for its popular story. But don't let the new packaging fool you. This is the same great story you have grown to know and love. Says Sondra Stinglash, of Callithump Thunderblog, "It was imperative that we develop a fresh look for the story that would stand out and attract new readers, while still delivering the quality that our loyal followers have grown so fond of." Critics of this bold move charge that Stinglash is just dressing up the same old story that she has been telling for 20 years because she is out of new material and because she would rather spend her time organizing her award winning paper napkin collection. Says rival blogger, Cat Lady, "I can't believe it! It's the same exact story she told before...Hey! Those napkins are kind of pretty..."

The paper napkin collection.

Warning- This story is not PETA approved. However, Callithump Thunderblog can assure you, dear reader, that no flies were harmed in the making or recording of this story.

And now, for our feature presentation:


When I was thirteen years old, and throughout my teen years, I was more than occasionally employed as a baby sitter. Unbelievable as it was, responsible parents left their beloved children with me, in my care, for periods of time long enough to allow them to dine at restaurants and see entire feature length movies. This was obviously before nanny cams. I was trusted to perform duties like bathing children, feeding them and tucking them in for the night. I did all of this for a mere dollar an hour plus benefits. This doesn't sound like much, but those benefits were spectacular. After the children were safely snug in their beds, I got to help myself to potato chips of all flavors, ice cream and cookies. I was free to watch TV, and, if I was at the right house, I could carefully and breathlessly thumb through their copy of The Joy of Sex, which was right there on their living room bookshelf for god's sake, right there in plain view. "What kind of people are these?" The best part, however, is that I got the telephone all to myself with no parents listening and I got to stay up late without getting in trouble. It was also an ego trip to be looked up to, literally, as a big kid, a teenager, by the little kids I was in charge of. Baby sitting was so many things. It was a chance to make some money, to be thought of as a responsible young adult; it was also a fun excuse to dip back into the recent past that I had somewhat reluctantly left behind. At home I was too old to color, play Hungry Hippos and Barbie dolls, but when I was baby sitting these activities were part of my repertoire of professional skills. And then, of course, there were the after bedtime hours that provided a hedonistic oasis of junk food, pop culture and sexual education.

Joy of Sex book. Go ahead and gawk, I'll wait....

Six year old Daniel was fun to babysit for because he had a basement playroom full of toys, where we would spend most of our time together. On one particular day, however, he bypassed his toys in order to excitedly show me the hamster he had gotten only the day before. Walter was a pudgy tan and white ball of requisite rodent cuteness. Ah yes, a hamster. I was a pro at hamsters, having gone through many at this point, each coming to his own tragic end, each named Cinnamon, followed by a corresponding Roman numeral. I was eager to share with Daniel the joys of hamster ownership, especially my copyrighted trick, Hamster Trampoline. The way that Hamster Trampoline works is that you put the hamster on the front of your nightgown which you have pulled taught in front of you and you proceed to bounce the hamster up and down while gleefully exclaiming, "Wheeeee!" Since I was not wearing a nightgown at the time, I was forced to improvise. I put Walter on my outstretched t-shirt, and vaulted him up in the air. I was pleased to note that the t-shirt provided a more than adequate bounce.

Daniel watched, delighted. Up and down. Up and down. Hamster Trampoline is not something that six year olds tire of quickly, nor thirteen year olds, at least not this one. It is really a sight to see that hamster flip and turn in the air. After showing Daniel how it was done and going through safety rules, (Hamster trampoline does not equal hamster catapult.), it was Daniel's turn to try it out. Daniel took to Hamster Trampoline quite eagerly, bouncing Walter up and down gaily, both of us firm in our belief that Hamster Trampoline was a win-win situation for all: thrilling for the bouncer and bouncee alike. Up and down. Up and down.

A minute into it and Daniel's shrieks of glee were replaced by shrieks of surprise. "He's having babies!" he cried excitedly. "He's having babies!" I took in the situation. Walter was bouncing up and down. Daniel was shrieking. Coming out of Walter's body was a little bald, blind, pink creature. In addition to the one sticking out of Walter, there was another one rolling around on Daniel's t-shirt. Up and down. Up and down. It took me a moment to process this scene. Up and Down. Up and Down. Two little pink, bald, blind creatures on the t-shirt. One more wiggling creature sticking out of Walter. Daniel shrieking, "He's having babies!" He was right. We were witnessing the miracle of birth right before our eyes. I joined him in his excitement. "He's having babies!" I exclaimed. We both shouted, "He's having babies!!!" "He is having babies!!!!"

Then we paused, looked at the three squiggly bodies on the t-shirt and the one wriggling out of Walter, looked at each other and in a sudden moment of recognition, we said in unison, "SHE'S having babies!"

I thought of that hamster years later after I delivered my son. All us moms have our labor stories to tell. Mine was the most intensely painful experience I could ever imagine. I was in labor for 24 hours. Four hours of pushing and still I ended up having a C-Section. When we moms get together and exchange labor stories, I get a lot of sympathy for my tale. Then, I guiltily remember Walter, and I imagine her little voice interjecting, "Oh come on. You think that was bad? Let me tell you about when I had my first five kids...."

(Post Script- As writers do, I took liberties when retelling this tale, for dramatic effect. To be completely accurate, there was no sudden realization that Walter was a girl hamster. We just sat there dumbly in silence. I, at 13, soon after recognized that Daniel had pegged the sex incorrectly, but who knows when Daniel figured that one out. One would have to think that he has it straight by now.)

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.


  • Jewel Says:

    I like the pictures...but I would NEVER EVER kiss that hairy, scary man!

  • NJ Pigno Says:


    They have updated the book since- hey you would know- didn't you teach sex ed in a former life? But this is the version that I sneak-thumbed through when I was a kid. Surprisingly, I wasn't scarred too badly.


  • Michelle Ames Says:

    Ummm...having read and giggled through the post before, I spent significantly more time on the photos this time.

    I am most disturbed by the subtitle of the book...namely "A Gourmet Guide to Lovemaking."

    Gourmet???? Weird!

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    I know. That JOS photo is so horrifying that you can't take your eyes off it. That is why I built in extra time in my post to wait for people to view it.

    Gourmet Guide I think comes from the fact that JOS was modeled after the Joy of Cooking cookbook. Joy of Cooking was a staple in my house, growing up. I spent a lot of time thumbing through it when I was a kid...under the covers...with a flashlight.

    Not really. No. I didn't do that at all.

  • Miss Yvonne Says:

    I babysat for our pastor's kids and the choir director's kids. So yeah, lots of bibles and no copies of The Joy of Sex. Damn it.

    P.S. Thanks for putting me into triple digits!!

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    Dear Miss Yvonne,

    You are quite welcome! Glad to follow your blog as it is quite hilarious.

    Thanks for the visit.


    Sondra Stinglash

    P.S. Perhaps you weren't looking hard enough. Did you look behind the bibles?

  • Says:

    Dear Sondra,

    After just walking in the door, having escaped death by camping, the first think I did was to see what's new with you. Behold, there's a new improved Callithump Thunderblog! (See what happens when I leave town.) And it even includes a mention of my humble scrawlings. I'm forever indebted to you. (Do you take checks?)

    Anyway, I loved the story before, but the new packaging brings a whole new slant... gotta look at those pictures in JOS from all angles to figure out how you're supposed to do that. Now, if only I had someone to do that with...

    But, back to the story... love the flying rodent picture... where do you find these things? I'm in awe. Now I can more vividly picture babies spewing out of it's body! Thank you for that! Keep up the good work!

    Cat Lady

    P.S. To Miss Yvonne: My dad is a minister and we actually did have JOS at our house. (We found it hidden behind some stuff in my dad's closet... wonder if mom knew it was there.) Unfortunately, we never had babysitters so you still would have been shit out of luck... my mother told us we were too ill behaved to go to restaurants or have babysitters. Plus, I'm probably older than you anyway.

  • Says:

    OH... you put Miss Yvonne over the top as her 100th stalker? Congratulations!

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    Dear Cat Lady,

    Welcome back! Yes. I stalk in style.


    Sondra Stinglash

  • Says:

    By the way... I expect to see one of those fancy napkins under my mason jar next time I come to visit.

  • Says:

    I have ONE LAST thing to say...

    In regard to the paper napkin collection that took my attention away from your story...

    One of my all time favorite collections was at the Iowa Historical Museum... it was an entire display consisting of items that have been taken out of people's stomachs. (And we're not talking food here.) We used to spend hours in front of that display on class trips, grossing ourselves out! We absolutely loved it!

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    Dear Cat Lady,

    You mean USE the napkins? Like under drinks and to wipe greasy chins? NEVER!! That would be like playing with a vintage Star War's action figure. Best to keep it safe in its bubble wrap. The only glass my napkins will be under is the glass of a display cabinet.


    Sondra Stinglash

  • Vic Says:

    Congratulations on your new look!

    And I thought labor with my kids was bad- at least I wasn't on a trampoline at the time! Poor hamster. :)

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    Thanks Vic! I've gone all photo happy.

    So, you didn't opt for the birthing trampoline in the delivery room eh? Wise choice, I think.

  • julochka Says:

    love the 70s look of the joy of sex.

    and hamster trampoline is fantastic. and apparently triggers labor...hmmm.

    must go vet my babysitter (no pun intended). :-)

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