To Kill a Mockingly Bird

Here again...
Here again... | Source
So if you call it "Creative Plagiarism" it's OK...?
So if you call it "Creative Plagiarism" it's OK...? | Source
Comes out Swinging...BOOM...a Pulitzer.  Bitch...
Comes out Swinging...BOOM...a Pulitzer. Bitch... | Source
If Turnips had arms...
If Turnips had arms... | Source

Opening Session...

The Microsoft Word program opens as quickly as the aging computer allows. With fits and starts, an hourglass begins to twirl before changing its’ course and starts to swirl.

The flash of a corporate icon reminds me which program was activated prior to starting the coffee brewing. Suddenly, more twirling hourglass.

I go refill my coffee cup.

I’m using the time it takes the program to boot to come up with ideas for my next story. I may need an even slower computer.

After an indeterminate period, that can be measured by the three cups of coffee and two cigarettes I’d consumed, a blank document materializes and stares me down.

The doubts begin immediately. I have no reason for opening this document. I don’t have a story idea.

Clearly, from the title, one might expect that I’d planned on ripping off that venerable literary masterpiece, Harper Lee’s 1960 classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Perhaps. It’s an old trick of mine. Use the hard work of another author and simply piggyback a silly tale upon the strengths of already strong plots and well-established fictional characters.

Occasionally, to mix shit up, I’ll also throw in other random TV, movie, or literary characters to avoid wholesale plagiarism from a single source.

I guess it works. I’ve yet to be sued but that’s only because I’ve made clear that any legal judgment obtained would merely be an exercise in practicing their legal judgment “getting” skills. Beyond that, collecting would be rather like getting blood from a turnip.

It occurs to me that turnips may be selling their blood for drugs; thus providing grist for that saying. My bigger concern then becomes who’s subsequently; hydro-mining drugged-up, passed-out, blood-drained turnips for their corpuscles and to what purpose? Is there a story there?

That’s the problem. Harper Lee came out swinging and wrote, To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m trying to string together three-thousand words about turnip stains. Blood from a turnip, indeed.

“You suck.” The Mockingly Bird announces from the back of my mind.

I couldn’t argue the point so I ignore it while thinking, “I need to kill that Mockingly Bird...”

This was a bad idea...
This was a bad idea... | Source
Nude With Cat on Chair...
Nude With Cat on Chair... | Source
OH SHIT...Here Comes Doubt...
OH SHIT...Here Comes Doubt... | Source
For When Lenses need Fuzzing...
For When Lenses need Fuzzing... | Source

The Indictment...

I’m not special. Anyone who has ever tried to stitch together a few paragraphs and call themselves an “author” has been assailed by the inevitable misgivings.

Doubts run amok through the writer’s mind like the rampaging bulls of Pamplona, Spain. Timid ideas, nervous analogies, and tepid dialogue flee in fear and confusion from the onslaught.

Not good enough? Do grammar rules apply EVERYTIME you write a sentence? Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said? How could ‘splurp’ not be a word? Should eight pages be devoted to describing a chair? Should the chair be a cat? Would you need to change the description, you already wrote, if it were a cat? Does hitting “Add to Dictionary” make ‘splurp’ a word? Does that hold true for all words?

Perhaps another dozen or so qualms that they’re not even aware they possess. I don’t know.

Instinctively speaking, when I’m being run down by bulls (real or their, less tasty, metaphorical cousins), my first move is to drop to the ground where I’ll assume the fetal position while emitting a, low-pitched, keening sound until the ruckus subsides. Comforting? Certainly. It got me through my divorce. Hardly conducive to writing, however.

I’m not one for serious introspection. It’s not that I’m shallow. More callow, really. Callow. Immature. Once you start introspecting; all manner of weird, twisted shit comes to the fore. That’s a lot to deal with.

It’s best to slap some Vaseline on the “lens of life” and fuzz that ‘ole image up a bit. Avoidance as an art form.

Glancing down at the word count it’s obvious I don’t know where I’m going but I’m making pretty good time so I reward myself with more coffee. I guess I could write a story that addresses the doubts of writers, but I have doubts that I could write it.

As they say, “Write what you know!” and I certainly know about having doubts, but so does everybody else. Like discovering’s already been done. Nothing new to see here. Move along people, move along...

As with every new literary pursuit, my subconscious sits in judgment on my abilities to craft anything truly meaningful. My insecurities are represented by a prosecuting attorney with a keen eye for the untold lie and a thorough understanding of the case file. My case file, as embodied in the collective writings of ThoughtSandwiches.

“You suck.” The Mockingly Bird announces from the back of my mind.

I couldn’t argue the point so I ignore it while thinking, “I need to kill that Mockingly Bird...”

Chewed Gum...disgusting...
Chewed Gum...disgusting... | Source
Gregory there's a lawyer...
Gregory there's a lawyer... | Source
OH...that kind of segregation...
OH...that kind of segregation...
The Jury box...
The Jury box... | Source
The Cop who Started this Nonsense...
The Cop who Started this Nonsense... | Source
Worth four-dollars...?
Worth four-dollars...? | Source
A (very convincing) duck...
A (very convincing) duck... | Source

Legal Stuff and a Duck...

Pre-trial maneuvers see my lawyer and the District Attorney in Judge's Chambers. I sit alone at the cherry wood defense table.

I’ve been here before and, as proof, I trace my finger along the previously gouged out “ThoughtSandwiches was Here—Aug, ‘92” that I’d carved into the wood during an earlier spate of mental soul searching.

A discreet inquiry with my fingers yields the further information that my gum was still adhered to the underside of the chair.

“That’s disgusting and unsanitary.” The Mockingly Bird announces from the back of my mind.

I couldn’t argue the point so I ignore it while thinking, “I need to kill that Mockingly Bird...”

In an effort to incorporate as much of Harper Lee’s work as possible, concessions have been made to my typical mental courthouse.

Normally, these affairs are held in a seedy metropolitan night court setting. For this story it more closely resembles the Maycomb County Courthouse in Maycomb County, Alabama as depicted in, To Kill a Mockingbird.

The early Victorian building boasts Greek revivalist columns alongside a 19th-century clock tower which hosts an inaccurate timepiece.

Inside, the courtroom is located on the second floor and offers two tiered segregated seating: All-white seating downstairs and a “colored” balcony in the back.

As the walls downstairs were already painted white, I decide to make the “colored” balcony blue.

Regardless, the gallery is full. Each seat occupied by a word, sentence, or phrase that I could have easily removed from previous stories and didn’t; thus leading to frequent charges of ‘wordiness’ in my writing. A failure of editing, really.

Across the room, the jury box is situated under a long bank of windows and filled to capacity. As one might expect from a jury of my peers, it’s a ragtag looking group of malcontents.

Several are napping while two appear to be smelling each other’s fingers as money exchanges hands based on those dubious olfactory outcomes. Great.

Like a feverish football fan, placing bets on every conceivable game outcome, the cop who started this latest round of legal problems wasn’t shy about loading up on roadside literary felonies: Impersonating an author, fleeing the scene of a crime, causing the scene of another crime, failure to yield to a gerund, splitting infinitives in an illegal attempt to expose a dangling participle within five hundred yards of a house of worship.

The charging document went to several pages.

In the interest of justice and the desire to not bog down the court’s calendar, the Judge, D.A., and my attorney were attempting to pare down the many charges into something more manageable. They’ve been back there for awhile.

They say that only a fool has themselves for a client in legal matters. Something like that, anyways. It’s best to have an attorney. Unless it’s a Public Defender, then all bets are off.

Not to disparage the hard work of Public Pretenders but, absent the profit motive, those attorneys aren’t noted for their fine attention to detail in these matters. They make the same $32,000 whether you fry or fly.

Real lawyers are expensive, however, so I’ve adopted a hybrid course of action and retained my writing partner, alter ego, and legal scholar...Creative Voice as my council.

He was back there fighting the good fight while I found myself left to my own devices. I watch a “thumb sniff” result in a grimace that earns four-dollars for the proud owner of the thumb.

Under the philosophy that “busy hands are happy hands” I pull out my pocket-knife and begin carving into the table top.

I was just beginning the finishing work on a (very convincing) duck carving when the door to chambers opens and, out spills Creative Voice and the District Attorney. Creative Voice looks grim. The District Attorney looks like a douche-bag. I put away my pocket knife.

The Mockingly Bird looks over my shoulder at the duck carving.

“You suck.” The Mockingly Bird announces from the back of my mind.

I was prepared to argue the point since I thought it looked like a (very convincing) duck. My thoughts turn to violence, “I need to kill that Mockingly Bird...”

A Clever Ruse...
A Clever Ruse... | Source
Harper Lee...not resorting to Theatrics and shenanigans...
Harper Lee...not resorting to Theatrics and shenanigans... | Source
Bad News...
Bad News... | Source
Good News...
Good News... | Source
Judge Harold (Harry) T. Stone
Judge Harold (Harry) T. Stone | Source
Arrgh...Plot Piracy...
Arrgh...Plot Piracy... | Source
Grammar= syphilis...
Grammar= syphilis... | Source

All Rise...

The Mockingly Bird notices Creative Voice’s attire and gives a shrill call of alarm before taking flight towards the blue colored balcony...

“CAW!! You guys suck!!” He screeches from the back of my mind.

It’s part of our overall trial strategy. Creative Voice was dressed like Colonel Sanders. Our assumption being that any bird would be afraid of the Colonel. Our assumption appeared to be correct.

It’s difficult to concentrate on legal proceedings with a Mockingly Bird announcing, “You Suck” every five minutes.

Until such time as I can actually kill the foul fucking fowl, this strategy should serve to help keep the beast at bay.

Obviously, Harper Lee didn’t need to resort to such theatrics because, you know, she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. That bitch. That was unkind. Still...

I begin to question Creative Voice, regarding the latest legal developments, when he interrupts me.

“That’s it? You’re going to call her a bitch, say it’s unkind and move on without apologizing or otherwise acknowledging the randomness of it all?”

In the viewing gallery, folding chairs are moved in among the already overcrowded supply of unneeded words, sentences, and phrases. Grumbling can be heard as ushers begin squeezing them into one long, run-on sentence as this entire dialogue sequence gets moved to the gallery.

“So what happened with the judge?” I probe.

“I’ve got good news and bad news.” He reports

“What’s the bad news?”

“The bad news is that there’s not much good news.”

I hear a low pitched keening sound. It’s coming from me. I get out from under the table and sit in my chair.

“What’s the good news?” I ask.

“The good news is that we will have plenty of time to deal with the bad news because there’s absolutely no good news to distract us with any false expectations of hope.”

The low pitched keening sound gets louder...

“ALL RISE!” The bailiff calls out, “The Honorable, Judge Harold T. Stone, presiding!”

Judge Harold T. Stone, of course, was the lovable fictional character played by Harry Anderson in the 1984 to 1992 comedy series, Night Court.

His quirky antics and goofy persona showed the kinder and gentler side of televised jurisprudence during the years that, roughly, corresponded with Ronald Reagan’s second term and the four-years of George H.W. Bush’s presidency.

We sit down when we get the bailiff’s “All clear” and continue talking in low tones as the judge settles in.

Stripping aside the legalese, we were facing three broad categories of charges: Grammar offenses, character flaws, and plot piracy. This wasn’t the problem. This was the typical legal baggage I carry to these proceedings. I know my limitations.

As mentioned before, I’m not big on serious introspection. I’m also lazy. My tendency is to wait out events in an effort to not have to deal with them until the very last minute, if at all. With the possible exception of the time I take to actively develop my procrastination skills, this is my preferred course of action.

Of the three charges, grammar offenses are the easiest to fix. It’s just a matter of learning the grammar. This of course is where the ‘lazy’ part comes in. I don’t want to. Learning grammar is a lot like learning math.

The other two charges suggest a deeper problem. The inability to craft convincing characters and compelling plot lines is the death knell of any creative writing career. Worse, there was meat to the accusations thus supporting my general aversion to serious introspection.


As the case is called, those bodily orifices, with that particular ability, clench slightly.

“You suck.” The Mockingly Bird announces from the blue-colored gallery.

I couldn’t argue the point so I ignore it while thinking, “I need to kill that Mockingly Bird...”

The Pied Piper...
The Pied Piper... | Source
This IS a legal setback...
This IS a legal setback... | Source
Discussing Legal Options...
Discussing Legal Options... | Source
How You feel When Using the Colon Correctly...
How You feel When Using the Colon Correctly... | Source

Character Witnesses, High Crimes, and Misdemeanors...

Our established legal strategy was in complete disarray. Normally, we embrace the lesser grammar charges with a wink and a nod while skillfully using the ellipse to gain legal continuances and enrollment in grammar support groups and diversion programs that always prove poorly attended.

Apparently, they will only allow you to abuse the system for so long and now it was time to pay the piper...

I hand a dollar, with the exhortation to go away, to the guy standing next to me dressed like the pied-piper. He’s very distracting.

“Wait.” I seek clarification from Creative Voice as the guy, dressed like the pied-piper, leaves. “They’re not even going to hear our arguments about how grammar is for the weak and its use represents a very real potential for spreading syphilis?”

Creative Voice provides the disappointing news...

“No. They say that your time is up and that you just need to learn the shit. They want to concentrate on the more serious charges of Character Flaws and Plot Piracy. In fact, as part of the plea agreement, you’ve been banned from using the colon until you learn grammar.”

“But how will I eat and process meat?” I ask alarmed.

“I asked them about that.”

“Yeah? What did they say?”

“They said, ‘Clearly, you never really understood its proper use, anyway’.”

We fall silent for a moment...

“What does that mean?” I ask.

“I have no idea.” My attorney admits.

This was both a legal and a barbequing setback.

I suddenly notice the “High Crimes” that is mentioned in the capsule title...

“Hey? Why is there a ‘High Crimes’ category?”

“That cop found your weed pipe under the seat.”


“Colonel Sanders?” Judge Stone calls over to Creative Voice. “Have you explained the nature of the grammar plea bargain to your client? Are there any questions?”

Creative Voice stands up. “I have your honor. We have grave concerns that this will prove prejudicial to my client’s barbequing schedule and we would like to stipulate a review of the case and possible use of the colon for the Fourth of July know...lots of potato salad and such...” Creative Voice sits down.

I begin to giggle when I hear the word ‘stipulate.’ I just wasn’t expecting it, is all. It caught me by surprise. A majority of the jury also begins to giggle. Perhaps they really are a jury of my peers. I discretely sniff my fingers and am relieved to find that there is nothing worth four-dollars to be found there.

Our request is approved and the Court Clerk makes the appropriate notes in the court docket. My stomach growls. The District Attorney begins his opening remarks.

He's back...
He's back... | Source
Jurors #5 and #11...
Jurors #5 and #11... | Source
Jurors #2 and #9...
Jurors #2 and #9... | Source
Angry looks...
Angry looks... | Source
Juror #4...
Juror #4... | Source
There's just no wrong way...
There's just no wrong way... | Source
Pandemonium... | Source
Truman Capote...?
Truman Capote...? | Source

“Douche-Bag”...We Coughed into our Fists...”Douche-Bag”...

“Your Honor,” he begins indignantly, “The ability to craft convincing characters is an indispensible skill-set of any wanna-be writer. I’ve seen Colorform cutouts with more depth than this guy’s characters!”

What a douche-bag.

It’s true though. I have actually only developed one character to any great degree and that character is Creative Voice. As he merely represents my alter-ego and dark-side, I didn’t dig too deep to find him.

As mentioned, I tend to use already established literary and TV characters with a healthy mix of real-life authors, friends, roommates, and inanimate objects to round out the cast. I’m lazy.

“You suck.” The Mockingly Bird announces from the back of my mind.

In all the excitement he had flown down from the blue-colored balcony and had landed back in my mind. We were ready for this contingency, however. Creative Voice begins to pull “original recipe” ingredients from his briefcase while I begin assembling a portable hibachi.

“CAW!! You guys suck!!” The bird screeches in alarm before heading back to the blue-colored balcony...

I couldn’t argue the point so I ignore it while thinking, “I need to kill that Mockingly Bird...”

In the meantime, the douche-bag, District-Attorney continues to say disparaging things about my writing abilities.

“Further,” He says, “the defendant has reduced this fine jury of twelve individuals into an amorphous mass of narcoleptic, finger-smelling troglodytes. If the court reporter would be so kind as to read back from the record the defendant’s description of the jury, please...”

The court reporter finds the relevant section before reading out...

“’s a ragtag looking group of malcontents. Several are napping while two appear to be smelling each other’s fingers as money exchanges hands based on those dubious olfactory outcomes. Great...”

Those jurors not sleeping appear even more malcontented. Several seem outright offended. The two finger-sniffers look embarrassed. They all start casting dirty looks in my direction. Great.

The douche-bag wasn’t finished, “In an effort to describe twelve, character-rich, separate, distinct individuals...he bothered to use only thirty words! And he called me a douche-bag!”

“OBJECTION!” Creative Voice calls out. “Those statements were only made within the context of the author’s utter loathing for those individuals.”

It occurs to him that he could have phrased that more diplomatically.

“Um, this is to say that he said some very nice things about you, Your Honor!” Creative Voice hastily adds. “I believe the terms ‘lovable’ and ‘quirky’ were bandied about.”

The judge blushes. “Aww, really? Well that’s just great! You know what? I’m going to throw this part of the case out!” Harry announces happily.

The Prosecution is rattled...

“ the charges of Plot Piracy—“

“OBJECTION!” Creative Voice calls out. “How can charges of plot piracy be leveled when in sixty-years of television history, there have only been seven, truly, original plot lines developed? For six decades, writers have been chewing on the exact same seven ideas! We would like to invoke the ‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s Cup’ Defense!”

The courtroom breaks out in complete pandemonium.

Audible gasps resonate throughout the gallery. My stomach growls. The Pied Piper starts playing his magic pipe. Creative Voice starts chanting, “HAZZAR!” over and over again as he pumps his fist into the air. The Mockingly Bird hurls obscenities at me. Reporters rush out to phone this in with orders to, “Stop the Presses!”

The judge restores a modicum of order.

“ORDER, ORDER!” Judge Stone calls out. “ORDER, ORDER!”

Truman Capote (randomly) walks up and orders a cheeseburger, chocolate shake, and fries before taking a number and sitting down...

Judge Stone looks at me disappointedly. “Truman Capote? Really?”

“I’m sorry Your Honor.” I assure him.

“The ‘There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s Cup’ defense is a bold legal move Colonel Sanders.” The Judge tells Creative Voice before pausing to consider his next words. “I look forward to trying your Chicken Chocolate Chicken Peanut Butter Chicken Chocolate. Case Dismissed!!”

[Gavel Sounds]

[Crowd Sounds]


[“You suck.” The Mockingly Bird announces from the back of my mind.]

[Fade Out...]

At the scene.  On the job...
At the scene. On the job... | Source
They call EVERYTHING Chesterfields...there's even a town in England...
They call EVERYTHING Chesterfields...there's even a town in England... | Source
A Pope Throne...
A Pope Throne... | Source
When will the madness stop...?
When will the madness stop...? | Source Happier Times.  High School Yearbook... Happier Times. High School Yearbook... | Source

Oh Yeah...A Story...

Detective Phil Lombard had taken the call. Now that he was on the scene he knew that that was probably a mistake.

In nineteen years on the force, with ten of those in homicide, he has seen his fair share of nasty crime scenes. This was by far the worst.

The age and stress lines that crisscross his face serve as a brail representation of the horrors he’d witnessed over the past two decades in the service of this city that he both loves and hates.

He was a year away from retirement and his wife, Nancy, was looking forward to the R.V. lifestyle they had been planning for the past decade. Canadian Rockies. On nights like this he found himself hankering for the open road himself.

“The perp is getting angrier.” Patrolman Reynolds notes. A three year veteran of the force, Reynolds was first on the scene.

Lombard observes the stains on the patrolman’s cuffs where he wiped away the vomit. He neither blames him nor comments on it. He would have lost his dinner too.

“Any witnesses?” He asks instead.

Reynolds jerks his thumb over his shoulder, “Yeah. Behind me there.”

Lombard follows the jerked thumb and sees a chair.

In its day it was probably nice, albeit, long in the tooth now. It’s a Chesterfield. Traditional button-down back and arms, hand finished rustic top-grain cowhide leather and turned walnut-finished wooden legs. Yeah. It was probably a beauty in its day.

Lombard’s confused. “Wait. Are you telling me that our only witness is a chair?”

“Actually detective, that’s a cat.” Reynolds reports sheepishly. “I made the same mistake.”

“A cat? That’s crazy, it looks like a chair. What has he said?”

Reynolds consults his notebook...


“Excuse me?”

“That’s what the witness has said, sir. Repeatedly, in fact. Splurp. He hasn’t changed his story once.”

Lombard is flummoxed. “I don’t even think ‘Splurp’ is a word. Is it a word?”

“We’re not sure,” the patrolman admits, “we have people looking into that.”

“Alright, take that chair-cat downto—“

“He prefers cat-chair, detective.” Reynolds interrupts.

“OK. Take that cat-chair downtown and put him in a kennel or under a desk until we sort this mess out.”

As the patrolman begins searching for a furniture dolly, Lombard surveys the two victims. Reynolds was right. Their perp was getting angrier and more frustrated. You could see it in the crime scene. The violence is much rawer and the interval in between attacks has become much shorter.

Over a three month period there have been seven attacks with four of them occurring within the last six weeks. Tonight their guy graduated to murder.

Fortunately, the mainstream media had yet to pick up on the story and that made Lombard’s job easier.

Unfortunately, one of the tabloids was dogging his trail. The Onion had first reported on this hate-based crime spree a month ago, however, most ascribed a vegetable-based bias to their coverage and none of the affiliates had picked up on it.

Vegetable-based bias or not, somebody was targeting drugged-up, passed-out, blood-drained turnips for their corpuscles and it was Lombard’s job to stop it...

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Comments 60 comments

jhamann profile image

jhamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

1/3rd there, coming back later for the push. Jamie

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Thank you my friend for wasting your lunch period with me my friend! Have a great day!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Wow - I have to go back and read this at least one more time. But I had to comment on the depth of this work. Wow.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Alas, the depth of this work is only exceeded by the depth of the writing doubts that occasioned! I certainly hope you enjoyed it and any subsequent reads you may make of it!

Thanks for stopping by!


jhamann profile image

jhamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

OK, I really like this one. I am tacking this up with Mrs. Leonard is a B. No, that story is a classic. Anyways I love it and I find it ironic that you threw all your doubts on the table (in a fashion that has not been seen since Writer's Journey)and there seems to be a shortage of people to throw the tomatoes. Jamie

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


This DOES pair well with Writer's Journey, huh? I was not expecting a comparison with Mrs. Leonard, however, and that is indeed high praise from you good sir!

Thank you for giving this one a look with your practiced eye and I am sure...folks will be hurling tomatoes soon enough!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Thomas, AP is recovering from the flu or an ear infection but To Kill A Mockling Bird is a better up-lifter than the Rx prescription. And personally i think your full of it claiming you write any other way than organically from that brilliantly creative mind/voice of yours. The good times started right before The Indictment and Bad idea pic. Was beginning to think this really was some kind of attempt at deep introspection the inimitable Thomas way but then the birds got scared of Col. Sanders annnd- the laughs and good feelings merrily continued on to Character Witnesses. Part two of this remarkable and dare say- unique- Thought Sandwich production shall be eagerly resumed on the morrow and shared- oh about 6 or 7 o'clock p.m. for maximum follower enjoyment. Love this bro- its a VERY COOL write.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I am very sorry to hear about any flu/ear issues but I'm glad that this proved uplifting! (Brought to you through

Sadly my friend...this WAS an attempt at deep introspection...such as it is.

As you have a part 2 coming I don't wish to give anything away so I will just say...feel better my friend and thanks for taking the time--that would have probably been better spent sleeping--with your attention and kind words!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Thomas - one good question...why is it that you and I are the type always worried about needing a lawyer? hmm getting sued? Stuff like that?

HP loves original photos you know you should have just taken a picture of your OWN vasaline jar! LOL

Don't kill Mockingly ... it just wouldn't be right. So tell me more about the '92 business!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


As for the Vaseline jar comment...I am stuck on stupid. You are right of course...I should have used my own jar!

LOL...As for needing lawyers...I'm not sure about you, (although I have to assume it's the same reason), but I tend to skirt the law and rules and open myself up to frivolous lawsuits!

Ahhh...Aug of '92...we best have a few drinks before we plow into THAT tale...

Thanks for stopping by!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Ahhh Thomas... I just have to say.... I over use the elipse's way too too much! I hope that doesn't cause any trouble. But firstly, what I really wanted to say, I love how you abuse the titles that others made famous, change it around and use it to your advantage. I call that smart - not plagerism! ha ha... oh yeah - and one more thing! You're damn special! Ok - that was the only comments I could keep in my head as I was trying to read this at the same time as thinking of comments.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

To Kill a Mockingly Bird is launched on the AP network Thomas! Belatedly by 24 hours, but good things are worth waiting on.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I was impressed by Creative Voice's legal wrangling should retain him if things get ugly on the "ellipse" front.

Thank you for your thoughts on plagerism. It's true, huh? It's not like Harper Lee had been doing anything with the title for the past 50 years or so, huh?

That's funny you should mention that...most of my good comments get forgotten before I'm ready to type them. Thank you for reading and enjoying!


PS..."short bus"...

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


To be on the AP network is my honor good sir! I hope you start feeling better and thank you for the share!


dmop profile image

dmop 4 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

What a fascinating tidbit of plagiarizeation not sure that’s a word either but hey this is my comment and I can splurp what I want. I think Scout would be proud, I know I was after reading it; like I was there as the court reporter taking down every word for my own plagiaristic pleasure. Voted up and all but useful, though it might be useful too but I didn’t want to go over board.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


It is my understanding that if you hit "Add to Dictionary" then plagiarizeation will become a word.

Ahhh...the "useful" debate. You can certainly hit useful but you would need to do so fully knowing that any subsequent reader would know that you were straight up lying and possibly under the influence of controlled substances when you did so.

I'm very glad you enjoyed this my new friend and I thank you for the follow!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Finished the rest of the defeated Mockingly Bird story and am now having flashes of the Stooges 'Disorder in the Court.' Haha- that's a high compliment brother Thomas! You and Creative Voice have yourselves a great holiday week my friend!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


A Stooges 'Disorder in the Court' comparison?? There is no higher praise my friend! Thank you again for stopping by (as this is your third have earned frequent flyer miles. Please contact us for terms, conditions, and probable black-out times.

Have a great weekend!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

Oh, the doubt! The doubt of not being good enough is a constant companion to all creative people and it is both good and bad to have it with us, lurking and ready to come in our way. But when the doubt hit us as in the picture above I think it is better to do something else for a moment. Doubt is also good since it force us to improve.

I really like the way you write and I enjoy to read how your thoughts are moving on. It is the human may, but not all of us can put our thoughts into a great hub like this and end it with a story! You did manage to kill that mockingly bird Tomas!


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

Just wow; I really like this. You definitely put a lot of effort and comedy into this! Great job! Splurp :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


You are correct of course, doubt is the unwanted roommate of every creative type, I should imagine. A double edged sword it can force you to improve or drive you from the game entirely.

Thank you for your kind words! I don't know if I killed the Mockingly bird...but I think I messed his wing up some...all you can really ask for I suppose.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I am glad you liked this! As for a lot of effort? The doubt did most of the heavy lifting on this one...I just had to put it into words.

Thanks for stopping by!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

TS, you did it again! You drew me, led me on, with no idea of where we were going but sure that it would lead to a few laughs! I laughed, laughed and laughed. Brilliant and clever. Case dismissed!

And by the way, I love how Truman Capote showed up. I was thinking about him, being a friend of Lee Harper and being into court systems and all! And I think blue was a very nice choice for your "colored balcony." I can't stop laughing. Have an awesome night!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Allow me to begin by saying that it would be impossible not to have an awesome night after reading such a great comment. Thank you. The night is awesome-sauce.

You would be surprised how many colors it was before I finally went back and went with blue. Thank you for that validation.

Truman Capote just blundered from my subconscious right where he appeared in the story. There is some rumor that he actually wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and gave it to Lee to publish. I'm not sure I believe it but would certainly accept another one if he had it lying around...ya know?

Thank you for stopping by!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

This is truly a brilliant write and i think shows a somewhat different side to the Thought and Creative Voice. Lets put it on the +1 too. Posting Comment!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Thank you for giving this one another look! I guess this would be the introspective side (or at least what passes for it) of Thoughts and Creative Voice. I thank you for the +1...I will need to see what that is and where it goes...I've yet to post there.

I am currently editing my old stuff and placing it within a larger narrative to get it ready for publishers and such. As soon as that nonsense is over and I have worked out this query letter business, I hope to be spinning another tale of silliness for you. Maybe something set in WW2.



Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

It is your introspective side and thats one reason i choose it for share this time. Its hard to gauge +1 true potential because i just haven't had the time to fully get into it yet. Course you got the public share and then the circles. Interestingly enough Thomas, Pinterest was boom-boom good for a while but has leveled off from what it was which is understandable. Dude that is good news with the publishing; been thinking you should. Hey, a Thought tale set in WW2 sounds exciting and thats the first word come to mind- Europe, Pacific or the Home Front- all good, haha you'll probably be all over the place!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Regardless of its full potential. I thank you for clicking it! I never jumped on the Pinterest site only because it started falling before I could muster the energy for the jump (I'm always pleased when procrastinating pays off).

On the publishing front, I am excited about putting it together within the larger context of a collection. I hope I find a publisher who is equally excited...until then...

Yes, I'm thinking a WW2 espionage thriller set in Europe towards the end of the war. At this point I only have a fuzzy notion of a title but that is sometimes all that is required to getting a story that Google search will have no chance of finding. lol.

Take care my friend and thanks again for sharing, reading, and commenting!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Ah, Thomas, you are one weird dude. I like that in a person though. Keep up the good work. :-) Voted up!

tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

Great article. I'm not one, it seems, to be a critic. I do appreciate the effort and the time placed with this, from a single perspective. Typing maybe 20wpm, yet reading much faster, there seems to be contrast, yet little comparison.

I aspire hoping to discover the wit and the play here. More so the determination to stick with it. Me, I get lost in thought around 800 words, then have to figure out a way to end it. Like a golden thread woven through a pair of Levi Jeans, I see more with this prose, as stated, part 2, then 3 . . .a wonderful recipe. May I save it?

Thank you . . . I learned, next when time allows, to try it out will be a fun challenge. For, now a little more reading, having a thirst to learn of children, and how to describe a color . . .


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


As part of the plea agreement, we also stipulate to our weirdness. Thank you dear...I also have a fondness for weirdness in a's 2/3rds of the reason why I am so fond of you!

Thanks for popping by and saying hi with an up vote!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I tend to get lost after the first 100 words, again around 800 words, and then it's just a struggle to tuck in all the errant strings before whatever implausible ending I decide to tack on...alas, it is a process!

Thank you for stopping by!


PS...of course you can save the recipe!

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Writers do not have the benifit of art school, where I learned, "Originality is the art of forgetting where you saw it first."

You are a world class plagerist. It was clever the way you left out Thorton Wilder as a major influence.

There is another advantage to being an artist, especially when executing projects in public. You quickly learn that everyone really is a critic, and everyone has a relative who is a REALLY GOOD artist.

I must admit that I was having trouble following the plot, until you reminded me where I hid my weed pipe.

Dang, bro! I just had a de ja vue. Forget I said anything about a weed pipe.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


(Discreetly hands back weed pipe wrapped in a towel for down-low purposes.)

Good sir, I may find myself plagiarizing that line, "originality is the art of forgetting where you saw it first." --I can't seem to help myself...

So yeah...there was a plot to follow?? That reminds off Thorton Wilder...

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 4 years ago

You did manage to kill that Mockling bird and your writing is marvelous, have to read it twice to get the full impact!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Why thank you for your endorsement! One thing that I have found is that once you kill a mockingly bird...there are plenty around to replace it. Killing mockingly birds has just become part of the writing outlining and such.

Thanks for stopping by and the great comment!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....awesome work Sir T - no one that I know - puts together a hub presentation the way you do - with your world class wit and brilliant satirical mind - Epi bows to you and calls you his hero. lake erie time ontario canada 1:55pm and sending you warm wishes and good energy

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


My good friend! How have you been?? Life has been keeping me far too busy to adequately keep up with all my Hubber friends and I certainly hope you are doing well good sir!!

Thank you for your kind words as they are very greatly appreciated.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Thomas, I must remember to start packing my butt pillow when I read your hubs as my ass has gone numb from sitting still too long! :) I feel like someone pushed me down the rabbit hole and I can't find the red pill or the blue pill to make it all better! Very imaginative and I don't know why you bother with doubt, it's over rated and much easier to just bribe and move past. :)

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Shared with my followers for some Sunday morning reading. I'm sure they will appreciate the trip ;)

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Well, sir, you've burst any semblance of a bubble of banality. Your rhetoric is articulate, humorous and worthy of a spat in the New Yorker. I give you permission to call yourself an author. If Collins can use "Mockingjay," you can use splurb or splurb or blurpspt. Heck, even Dickens coined the word, "chortled." Now...continue writing your book, though I must say, if you continue waiting for the computer, you might find regular old pen and ink much better. :)

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Recent changes to the packaging of my hubs will include such warnings as : Don't read while pregnant, may cause emphysema, and always bring your butt pillow. It has been my understanding that either the red or the blue pills will work...but the blues are my faves!

You are correct...doubt IS over rated. I will just start bribing people! Thank you (and your tired butt) for giving this one a peek!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


lol...Thank you very much! I would have to worked!

hugs and kisses


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Spurp, sbipple, slorm...(sigh of contentment). Thank you dear...that was very! I was unaware that Dickens coined "chortle"? You know you've made it big in the writing world when your made up words don't garner a 'red line' from the spell check!

I actually got a book idea last night just before passing out...I scribbled some notes that I will need to look over to see if they make any sense!?!? Thanks for reminding me and brightening my day with your wonderful words of encouragement!



aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

The court says, "You suck, you douche bag!" Well done and full of dreat wit and advice! Up and awesome, which doesn't suck.

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Thomas, you are definitely a wordsmith! Your analogies for doubt and writer's block are awesome. I personally like the fear of being in the run of the bulls and the getting blood from a turnip. Your imagination should be placed in a novel. You have a terrific gift for creative writing that places reality right in the center.

Loved it! Not sure I'd kill that Mockingly Bird, though. It seems to peck at you to barge through those times of doubt, procrastination, and laziness you speak of... All of which I (and a majority of writers) relate to. :-)

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I apologize for the delay in getting back to you! Your comment came up as spam (those dirty bastards) and I did not see it. I'm very glad that you liked this and you are absolutely correct...Up and sharing DON't suck!



ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


You have interest in turnip blood as well? You may need to speak with Detective

Thank you so much for your sweet words! As soon as I can come up with a novel idea that will support this type of madness...I will be pecking away!

You are correct. The Mockingly bird is hella annoying but he does serve his purpose.

Thank you very much for stopping by and saying hi. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is a hoot to read! Does a mockingly bird hoot? Oh...who cares? I can certainly understand where charges might be pressed for writing dangling participles, ESPECIALLY within 500 yards of a house of worship! Heavens! My mind whirls at the horror of the offense! Haha! You must have spent much time finding all of these great photos to illustrate your points. Your jurors appeared to be smart and astute people. Haha! Up votes and tweeted. I'm still having a problem sharing with HP followers for some reason. If that ever gets corrected...will share in that manner also.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


lol...yes...a jury of my peers is a regular MENSA gathering, huh? I'm glad I was able to inspire a hoot or two while you worked your way through this! I have to say that finding the pictures that may (or may not) illustrate my points in some of the funnest parts of making hubs for me. It certainly is relaxing as compared to doing the actual writing!

Thank you for your kind words, votes, and tweets! I've noticed the same thing on sharing with HP followers...I thought it was just me!

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!


FreezeFrame34 profile image

FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

Interestingly different than a lot of the other hubs I have checked out in my short time on here. But, I like it and now I am going to share and read more of your work! Wasn't sure where you were going there for a second, but I'm so glad I continued to read; I was amused, laughing, and loved it!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Foremost, allow me to thank you for continuing to read even though the destination was a dubious affair!! If it didn't know where we were going either for most of this nonsense! I'm very glad I was able to inspire a giggle or two for you on this fine Sunday afternoon!

Very nice to meet you!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

OK....for years, my parents would comment that genius is but a mere hair away from insanity. I would scoff and reject such a thought. Until now.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Well now...being a "glass is half filled" kind of guy...I'm going to go with genius but my perception might just be clouded by insanity.

Speaking of insanity...the FDA requires written warnings on my hubs that reading more than three of them in any single sitting can lead to emphysema. I don't want that for you...but I do sincerely (very sincerely) thank you for your wonderful comments today!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Somehow, Thomas...I just don't believe you.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


OH NO...i DO sincerely Thank you for your wonderful words (scouts honor!) was never a scout but I did like starting fires. That would be ANOTHER story, however...


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

My mocking bird is telling me...."You should write hubs like this".....loved reading this hub....I got lots of the references but some will require a second viewing.....voted up and awesome.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


You have tumbled to my secret my friend...make the references so obscure that another reading is necessary...I am making my fortune .085 cents per impression!!

I'm very glad you liked this and thank you for the Up and Awesome...that's both Up and awesome in my book!

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!


mercuryservices profile image

mercuryservices 3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

Hahhahha... "The age and stress lines that crisscross his face serve as a brail representation of the horrors he’d witnessed" loved that description. Brilliant, off-the-wall writing. Reading this hub made me feel as though I was playing footsie under the table during Thanksgiving Dinner with Judge Judy.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 3 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

hi mercuryservice...

Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked this one because as I recall it was a lot of fun to write! Thank you for stopping by and have a great day.


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