The Wonderful Wizard of Reno...Part 8


“Curtain Call...”

“Psst, Psst? Hey Mack? You have tickets to this show?” The voice arrests the forward movement of the excited reader who is about to enter the theater...

“Why yes I do. Thank you.” They respond promptly.

“And you’re joining the story here?” The voice asks harshly. “Without reading the first Seven Parts?? Madness...madness!”

“I don’t understand...” Trails off the hapless reader...

“Click HERE to enter the story at the correct place!” The voice hisses before complaining about the tendencies of tourists...

I Hope you Enjoy.


“Have You Tried Soaking Them in Epson Salt?” The Midget Asks...

Jane Goodall was about all done in. Since being spotted by the Gorilla troops earlier, she had beaten feet into the underbrush and had scrambled, for about a quarter of a mile, before losing the soldiers and was, currently, on her hands and knees, dry-heaving, over a tumble weed.

The RC Helicopter and its accusatory spotlight had nearly been her undoing until, suddenly, it lurched up and spiraled off to the right before crashing into the river.

Tom Cruise had succeeded in getting hold of the controls when he experienced a Top Gun flashback (When Goose died)...freaked out...and crashed the helicopter.

Willow Ufgood lay where Jane had dropped him after carting his bawling ass away from the danger...he was still sniffling...

The tumble weed, which recognizes the famed primatologist, is having none of it...

“Jane. Sweetie?” He begins with saucy indignation. “I understand that you are old and about all done in dear; however, I would appreciate if you could keep, what sounds like, dried lung butter, from getting all over me.”

Jane, who is old and about all done in, still has the manners taught to her by her parents. She lurches to her side and lays in the fetal position trying to catch her breath. Her iron grey hair is a disheveled mess. A fleck of ‘dried lung-butter’ shoots from her quivering lips and hits the ground. Sweat forms a shiny film across her face...

The tumble weed waits patiently...

Once Jane manages to compose herself, introductions are made. The tumble weed is named Pepper. Turns out...Pepper is an alcoholic and gender confused tumble weed with bulimic tendencies.

You will find weirder things in a Reno park at night...

“And so you were chased by the Gorillas?” Pepper probes upon hearing Jane’s account.

Willow breaks in, “It was horrible!! Those little ponies didn’t have a chance! I, of course, protected Jane as I could...” He trails off...

“Oh it sounds horrible, sweetie! Simply ghastly!” Pepper soothes Willow while looking at him appraisingly. “Say darling...would you have a bottle of something, something we could maybe share together? We can have some fun!”

Being an alcoholic and, gender confused, tumble weed, he makes the exact same offer to Jane...

Pepper had been tumbling around Reno’s parks for awhile now. Some time ago, a pink chiffon bustier had gotten caught up in his brambles, and that’s when he got confused. Also, if you bounce around the streets of Reno for any length of time, you will absorb enough spilled alcohol to develop a problem.

Pepper always had an eating disorder. The mere thought of food causes him to cough up dusts of regret. You can see right through him in places...

Having lived a sheltered life in his village...Willow is taken aback by this sexual forwardness and takes several steps backwards. Jane, who has been around the world and has seen things, takes it in stride.

“Simmer down, Pepper.” Jane advises. “I need to put a stop to this cruelty and then publish a paper about it!”

Pepper sniffs dismissively as a westerly gust of wind sends him skittering towards Willow before an easterly finds him sashaying back. Willow is wary...


The Dwarf confides, “I Don’t Care to get my Toes Wet...”

“The roundups have intensified lately.” Pepper admits. “It’s not just the My Little Ponies, either. Dwarves, engaged in the sex trade, are disappearing off the streets too.”

Jane ponders this information as she thinks. Pepper ponders Willow as he mentally undresses him. Willow ponders his feet as he blushes...

“Any idea who might be behind it?” Jane asks as she thinks about the cast of characters that filled her notebook: Talking gorillas, Taliban trainees, midgets named Frederick, and Scientologists. Weird ass shit, thinks Jane.

Pepper sighs, “Jane...I’m a tumble weed. What do I know?”

Jane forces the issue, “’re a tumble weed. You know what you know.”

Pepper sways with the slight wind that rustles the shrubbery along side the river bank. It’s a nice night...about 78 degrees and no humidity. The slight breeze that pushes Pepper feels good to Jane and Willow. Nobody likes humidity in a story. Still...Pepper proves pensive...

“I’ve heard some things and seen some things.” Pepper finally puts forth before clarifying his access, “People don’t pay much attention to tumble weeds.”

“And I have always believed they should!” Jane mollifies Pepper.

Pepper appears mollified. “That’s true, Jane. You have always been very good to tumble weeds.”

“Here’s the scoop,” Pepper confides. “Word has it that the midgets are making a big push to take over the “little-people fetish sex-industry.” Actors, directors, writers, production crew and producers. Everything. Vertically-challenged integration is what they are calling it.”

“And the My Little Pony round-ups?” Questions Willow.

Pepper wobbles with an updraft...

“That I don’t know.” Admits Pepper after settling down. “The round-ups started the same time as the Dwarf sweeps. Rumor has it that a right-wing politician named, Sharon Angle, is behind that...something to do with her campaign manager...L. Ron Hubbard, although, I don’t have any details myself. I do know someone who might be able to help with that.” He finally offers.

They talk until a slow wind picks up in the direction Pepper needs to go...he saunters that way as Jane and Willow follow. The winds are favorable and the journey goes quickly. With the flourish of a dancer, Pepper alights next to a small pier that juts into the Truckee River.

Tied snugly to the pier is an iceberg which showed every indication of having recently been used as the site for an Eskimo birth with (traditional) three penguin herald...


“That’s Weird.” Notes the Midget...

Elephant was having a good time. He had finished off a half-bottle of claret and was currently enjoying a cigar as he maneuvered the ghost of Ronald Reagan into an untenable position in their third game of chess. They’re eating jellybeans...

The former President is finishing a bawdy joke involving Margaret Thatcher, a bull whip, a broken nipple clamp, and the nation of Argentina.

“And that’s why they called her the Iron Lady!!! HAW-HAW!” Reagan laughs loudly as he slaps his knee.

“OH! OH! OH!” Elephant sputters as he dissolves into laughter at that unexpected double entendre. His trunk flails about drunkenly as he trumpets, “Good form, Mr. President! Good form!!”

The other members of the club looked up in amusement at the two of them. They’re used to the half-drunken antics of Elephant and the ghost of Ronald Reagan.

The President suddenly sobers up. “Speaking of broken nipple clamps...I don’t like Sharon Angle.”

“Nobody likes a broken nipple clamp,” Elephant agrees. “In fact, I get the same emotional response to a broken nipple clamp as I do to Sharron Angle...I think to myself...’What’s the point?’”

“There is no point to a broken nipple clamp!” Reagan declares loudly before lamenting. “What has happened to the Republican Party since I retired, contracted Alzheimer’s, and died? I don’t recognize the party and I don’t remember that being the Alzheimer’s fault!”

Elephant nods sadly. “Indeed, Mr. President, the Republicans took a dark turn in the early 1990s after losing the election to Bill Clinton. Not the entire party, certainly, but the extreme right-wing has effectively hunted moderate Republicans, beyond, the point of extinction. This has left us with the likes of Sharron Angle.”

Reagan turns his head to the left and spits on the floor in disgust. The jelly-bean hued saliva causes the expensive carpet to look as if it had come from a cheap Reno casino. It seems to swirl and vortex...

“She’s a putrid piece of fish, rotting on a pier.” He mumbles before announcing, “I have every intention of informing the ghost of Abraham Lincoln of these developments. I will send word to Nancy through the normal communications....séance.”

At this point, the ghost of Ronald Reagan stands up and, with a nod to Elephant, leaves the room and the unfinished game of chess. Everyone stands until he’s gone and then resume their seats.

Elephant finishes his cigar while contemplating how he can best allay the former president’s fears. There were dark happenings afoot in the Biggest Little City in the World...Reno, Nevada. Tossing back the last of his claret he resolves to go see The Wonderful Wizard of Reno...

Uncle Arthur...
Uncle Arthur... | Source

“Even Weirder...When I Touch Myself Here...I Sneeze.” The Dwarf Reports with a Giggle before Violently Sneezing...

This was not the first errant iceberg, moored to a small pier, on an unlikely river, that Jane Goodall had come across. The first was on the Ubangi River in the Republic of the Congo. Then, as now, that berg had shown the typical signs associated with an Eskimo birth with (traditional) three penguin herald.

These signs include: a slash of crimson at the site of the birth, the tell-tale remains of a small fire, and a shit-load of webbed penguin footprints.

Additionally, the footprints reveal that a jig had been danced, suggesting that the use of a silver flute was in play. That was rare. Normally, these affairs are serenaded by harmonicas but, without, the more ornate jig being danced. Interesting...

There was one discernable difference, however, between this iceberg in Reno, Nevada, and the earlier one, on the Ubangi River, in the Republic of the Congo...

This one had the American actor, Paul Lynde (who portrayed Uncle Arthur on the beloved TV show...Bewitched), sitting on a kitchen chair. Uncle Arthur is pondering the fire remnants and doesn’t notice the group until Pepper calls out...

“Uncle Arthur! What are you doing?” Pepper calls out

Looking up, Uncle Arthur surveys the group. No introductions are required as everyone has read the preceding seven parts to this fanciful tale. “I’m avoiding my sister Endora! (Played by actress, Agnes Moorehead).” He calls back...

They get to talking...

Turns out there was a dust up with the Witches Council and, that august body had turned Darrin (Dick York) into a pregnant Eskimo woman, while transforming Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery), Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne), and Larry Tate (David White), into Emperor penguins. Arthur had been tasked with securing their return.

“The trail went cold on this iceberg.” He finishes before cracking up. Pepper and Willow giggle. Jane looks on disapprovingly...

“So you’re a wizard?” Willow asks Uncle Arthur hopefully as he wipes snot away with his sleeve.

Arthur considers him disdainfully before correcting him, “I am a warlock.”

“OH! Could I be your apprentice??”

“Have you passed your village’s ‘Test of Magic’ yet?”

“No.” Willow admits forlornly.

“Well then, of course you can’t be my apprentice.” Arthur dashes all his hopes.

Willow bursts out in tears as Pepper consoles him...

A low plaintive complaint is heard from the end of the pier, “Screw Obama. I want what I want. What I want is what should happen...” The voice continuously mutters... The group walks over and looks at the source. It’s a putrid piece of fish, rotting on a pier. Willow goes over and nudges it into the fast moving current...

Far off in the distance...the Munchkins let loose with a ragged cheer...


The group fails to notice the stealthy approach of the Gorillas...

(End Part 8)

(Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)(Part 5)(Part 6)(Part 7)(Part 9)(Part 10)

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Comments 26 comments

Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Great story very entertaining.. Jane and I both would be all done in.. LOl

great hub

voted up


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Thomas -- you crazy cat. lol Pesky tumble weeds? lol Munchins, gorrillas and iron ladies - a little something for everyone as usual!

Gorillas are coming? Omg! It is very misty here now you mention in:) lol

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Well my friend...Jane is turning out to be pretty resilient and I am rather sure that you would be too! After have read all eight parts of this

Thanks for the read and Votes!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


A prime example of what I do when I don't know what do do with the characters I have...I add more...

My sincere hope is that when the Gorillas get here...they will have some viable plot options to work with.

lol...mist...(took me a second...):)



profile image

Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

"She's a putrid piece of fish, rotting on the pier." Oh, isn't that worth the price of admission??? And remind me never to piss you off!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


As you are actually a cast member on this don't have to pay admission. You do need to put money in the can if you want coffee/donuts, however.

I look forward to seeing where this all leads us!

Thomas could never piss me off dear.

jhamann profile image

jhamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

Half way, have to hit the remainder at lunch. So far, soooooo crazy! Jamie

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

hey Jamie...

Good morning sir! I look forward to getting your thoughts and I am also looking forward to your latest literary effort. Keep me posted!


nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 5 years ago from Serbia

Ahhh, Thomas.... It is obvious that this epic tale will not end at Part 8, right? I'm glad I don't have to pay to admission, and I am glad to see the new characters joining the show.

One thought...I seem to remember you telling me something about hoping that your next new year's gift to your readers will not be part 56 (or something) of this story :)

Keep it up, my friend, you seem to be on a roll!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


(sigh) No...the epic tale did not end. In fact...I found myself so rudderless I actually wrote 2,000 words explaining why I randomly wrote about an iceberg 8,000 words ago.

Now we must figure out what to do with these new people and I am, half-way hopeful, that it will in some way tie into the larger story.

I do remember the promise you speak of...if I make in 55 parts...I would have kept my promise...



jhamann profile image

jhamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

I assume you have a plan! One that requires a plan!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I DO have a plan. I will be making a pot of coffee and thinking about plans. SOME of those plans will actually involve the making of the coffee...the rest will be dedicated to getting out of this fix.

I hope you are doing well my friend. The carpenter is doing his thing...Ed will plumb tomorrow...tile guy on Wednesday. Carpet can't be too far behind...

Thanks for the read!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Tom Cruise crashing was a little hard to believe but afterall this is the Wizard's Reno, so, no harm no foul. Haha vertically challenged integration LOL...theres only one Thomas from Reno! Haw Hawin right along with Ronnie on this one ole boy. And how very insightful having Nancy go through her astrologer to contact the White House's fave ghost old Abe. The Bewitched segment is hilarious too. No body does it better than you Thomas!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I have to think that if Tom Cruise's mental breakdown was the ONLY thing that was unbelievable...well sweet.

I loved Uncle Arthur...I figured if I was simply going to ramble...I might as well include him as well.

Thanks for your kind words my friend!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

How sweet it is! Even your comments are oft times priceless my friend. Uncle Arthur was pretty you think he was the one that laid down the so-called Bewitched curse?

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


In that he didn't die until's possible. I would hate to think that poorly of Uncle Arthur though. And although nobody has preference is for Dick York over Dick Sergeant. Because Dick York made his eyes bug out all cool.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

"Nobody likes a broken nipple clamp..." I don't think any thing like this exists anywhere on the planet. If you can personify a horny tumbleweed.. there is no stopping you. WOW. Vivid, powerful, and strikingly unique!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


It is true. I have yet to be hit with a duplicate content warning anywhere on the web.

I actually met Pepper a few years back in a parking lot here in town (sans the pink bustier, of course) but...he was pretty amorous as I recall...

Thank you for your very kind words and support. As you can imagine...there is a certain amount of doubt when churning out this type of pap. Gotta think...perhaps it's just TOO weird...


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I love the tumblewood... s/he is so humble and yet watches from a distance. I have a feeling he has inside clues to what is really going to happen next. Or maybe he will get over his bulimic and alchoholic tendencies and turn into the Wonderful Wiztree of Reno! ha ha ha! Alright.. now that I am caught up... feel free to finish the next part!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I have to think that with Pepper and Elephant on the job...a resolution can't be far off, eh? I'm thinking, therefore, that I will have one of them finish the series! That said...I am chuckling over your statement "now that I am all caught up...feel free to finish the next part!" Yes...that was the problem...I was waiting for you to catch

Thanks for the Read!!


jhamann profile image

jhamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

I think about Pepper while I sit here at work. I wonder how that bra looks right now. Jamie

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Well that IS interesting. I have it on good authority that Pepper is just sitting here thinking about you and wondering if you are thinking about his bra. Crazy small world my friend!


PS...I've seen your stuff all over the feed today my friend...Kudos!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thomas - You are still in high form, but then I expected nothing less. Goodall, Willow, Cruise, Hubbard, Thatcher, Reagan, and the cast of Bewitched!!!

Aren't you too young to remember Bewitched? Maybe in reruns? Did you like the first Darrin or the second Darrin? But back to the wonderful list of characters-- I should have seen this sooner...

Reading the Wizard of Reno series would give a visitor from another planet a quick, but good sense of American political and popular culture!!

My apologies for being so long in returning to your series. I wanted to read the last three in a row and finally I can. Great work. Lots of laughter.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Can I assume that your semester is over? Huzzar! ...if that is the case. I most certainly am a FIRST Darrin fan...Dick Sergeant could bug his eyes out like nobodies business!

I was born in 1963 so I would have caught the tail end of the series and then got caught up with reruns...the same with Gilligan's Island, Get Smart, I Dream of Jeannie, and F-Troop among others...yup...I was a latchkey

Thank you for your kind words (of which I now know that you know the roots of) and taking the time to get through this series!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thomas -

The semester ended quite early this year, last week of April. But then the library director walked off with no notice and I was appointed to the Library Search Committee. So much of the month of May was spent on endless meetings, and reading resumes, telephone interviews, and then campus interviews. :(

I spent the rest of my time off trying to reclaim my house from the weeds, vines, and other pernicious green things that were devouring it. Georgia has so much rain the plants and vines become very invasive, they just grow wild.

So my vacation will soon be over and I feel like I haven't really had one. I start teaching again June 4, but it's only two days a week, not five, and summer classes are usually small so it's not quite as much work.

I was a very serious oldest child (I eventually got over it, the seriousness) so I seldom watched those shows (except for Bewitched), but I was born in 54 so I was around when they started and I certainly remember my brothers and sisters watching. :)

I have a lot of HP reading to catch up and I will be interested to see what you have written since finishing the Wizard of Reno. :) Hope all is well with you.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Don't you just hate an erratic library director? Between that and the fact that you apparently live in a swamp...yeah...that will take a good chunk out of a vacation!

Both of my sisters were the serious older children while I remained the silly, youngest child who was left largely to his own devices. No...this has not changed...

I have come to the conclusion that there is no catching up on HP. There are too many great writers writing too many great things (very quickly) to keep up. That said...I just plug away as I can.

Thanks for plugging away at this series!


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