P...andas, E...lephants, T...igers, and A...nimals.

Ernest Hemingway Ticket Stub for Bullfight
Ernest Hemingway Ticket Stub for Bullfight | Source

I am going to burn this bitch down...

I normally like to ease my reader into whatever adventure I have planned for them.

It’s only right.

It’s the difference between the $3.00 tour and the $5.00 tour. I use it to hide the fact that the only actual difference between the two tours was an additional two dollars charged...

A clever way to mentally garner additional brain-revenue, the legality of which, Wal-Mart still refuses to acknowledge for commercial transactions...

Not tonight. Tonight I plan to burn this bitch down. I contemplate strewing random cuss words throughout the text as a way of fighting back.

I refuse to be rash.The ointment the doctor gave me the last time I was rash was almost gone...and I have since lost my job and health insurance...

No.The poor unsuspecting reader didn’t click this hub to watch Thought Sandwiches dissolve into a Tourette Sandwiches. Besides...that would only fix this hub. What of the others? Shit was going to burn...

I let slip my rage in the form of a single cuss word, “Zerglot!”I seethed.

Out of Town muscle...
Out of Town muscle... | Source
Lighting a match.
Lighting a match. | Source

Mentally Assembling the Team...

I was at that part of the hub-making process in which I was trying to decide who to include in the narrative...

It’s a complex and multi-dimensional process which involves the kidnapping (usually kicking and screaming) of people who, I know and love, and who want nothing to do with this nonsense (i.e. people who have already taken the $5.00 tour) and place them in stories...

It usually ends well...usually.

I send the person an email with an innocuous link to Hubpages.com, informing them that a story has occurred...and that they were involved.

I let them know (in the email) that no offense was intended...narrative need prevailed...You know....the legal stuff the legal guys tell you to put in small print...

It usually ends well...usually.

I have still not heard from Faye...

Normally, I will also swoop up an unsuspecting fellow Hubber or two (you know...actual writing talent) that I can incorporate to push along my dubious plot lines. Not this time.

I know quite a few awesome Hubbers, and Hubber-ettes, who would willingly lay down their fictional lives on my behalf. Susan (from the award winning Hub-show) Just Ask Susan (no less) even let me take a six-hour Hot Butter Rum bath in her tub.

It took the whole six hours to drink it through the Crazy Straw I insisted upon using.

I have since heard that she has taken a nasty fall and fractured her ankle. I feel bad. I should have cleaned up the butter. This was in Canada.

(Note to self...Susan’s toilet flushes all normal. Unlike certain Hubbers I know whose toilets...don’t. Clearly...simply being a nation within the British Commonwealth System was not a significant factor in my ongoing flushing investigations...)


Yes. Rather...no. I have no intention of flushing any Hubber’s promising career down the toilet...regardless of the direction their toilets decide to arbitrarily spin.

No. Rather...yes. I was going to hire some outside talent. I was thinking of using some cross-platform shit...FaceBook friends...obscure literary characters...folks who know Down-low stuff. People in no way associated with Hubpages or on any official radar screen or watch list.

I believe...Out of town muscle is the term used...

In terms of real world characters I had already made my selection...I was going in with real-life Reno roommates, husband and wife team, Erika and Jamie. There’s a conference scheduled later at our house south of Reno in a couple of hours and I will introduce you all proper at the meeting...

First, I had a rendezvous with an unsavory character. If all went well he would be the one to light the match that burns this shit down...his name was Abner Snopes and this meeting needed to be held in private.

English Literature...
English Literature... | Source
A Barn...Burning...
A Barn...Burning... | Source
William Faulkner, 1954
William Faulkner, 1954 | Source

The Snopes Meeting...

How does one meet a man like Abner Snopes? Typically...you know a guy (or in my particular case)...you know a gal who knows a guy...who knows another guy. It’s that kind of shadowy world...

My gal in question, Barbara Morrison, professor of English Literature, gave me that first name in this chain of arson...William Faulkner. Faulkner eventually led me to Snopes...

The meeting was held in the comment box section of one of my underperforming hubs. There were cobwebs in evidence and it smelled as if vagrants had been urinating in there. The only un-burnt out light bulb flickers annoyingly. There had been no activity in weeks...

I won’t supply a link. It deserves to be an underperforming hub. It was one of my first. Besides...the nature of the meeting and, the crappy-ness of the hub, suit my purposes just fine...no one will observe our discourse...

Snopes is wearing the stiff black Sunday coat that he was wearing when I first became acquainted with him in Faulkner’s 1939 short story, "Barn Burning.” He was a rough looking man. When he spoke it was from around a wad of tobacco.

“I burn barns,” he replied laconically after I stated my needs.

“I understand that barns are your specialty Mr. Snopes,” I countered, “Certainly, however, I should think that other structures would also be on the menu, right? All I’m saying is that I need you to be a little flexible on what gets burned. Mark my words sir...this bitch will be burnt down...but according to my narrative needs and my timetable.”

He glowered at me from beneath a furrowed brow. Snopes was out of my league. He’d been burning barns since long before the Atomic bomb. In fact...as I recall...although it was published in 1939...the story was set in the 1890s.

That said...I didn’t believe the authorities had Snopes’ name associated with any open cases. He was perfect. I just had to control him. I glowered back. He broke eye contact first...

“Wood and hay kin burn...” he observed sagely, trying to be reasonable. Faulkner’s aging antagonist, filled with suppressed rage against society, pulled out a flask...he took a tug before putting it away without offering any to me.

Protesters against Berkeley City Council motion.
Protesters against Berkeley City Council motion. | Source
Ticket Stub...
Ticket Stub... | Source
Empty chairs...
Empty chairs... | Source

Hecklers and Malcontents...

I couldn't argue with the physics of his statement. Wood and hay do burn. I just wasn’t sure that what I needed burned was a barn. That was the problem. I have reached the halfway point in the story...

[I can hear the readers groan in dismay...]

(“Only half-way??”)

(“What??” They chorused.)

(“You suck!”)

(I heard one disgruntled reader say upon noticing his neighbor’s ticket stub, “Hey...you only paid $3.00 for your ticket...?” )

(“Yes...and I want my money back...”)

(“I paid $5.00!!” This... from several others...)

AS I WAS SAYING....”I typed out in bold capital letters over the discontent of the crowd...I had reached the half-way point of the story and I wasn’t sure of which direction to go....

(“F**k this.”)

(The scraping noise of chairs being pushed back was clearly discernable as several people left the room...)

(“I’m flagging this a**hole...”)

I waited for the hecklers to settle down or vacate. Snopes was looking at the words I had just typed and looked quizzical. I wasn’t concerned...according to Faulkner...Abner was illiterate...

“Snopes...you will stay here until I give you the signal and then you will burn what I tell you to burn. Is that understood?”

He grimaced, “Master Faulkner just had me burn barns,” he complained. He was illiterate but he was sly. “Master Faulkner would know what he wanted burned before he started the story...He had me burn barns...” He was getting fussy and indignant...

He was on to me...

“Regardless,” I state firmly, “Master Faulkner is dead.” I saw the old literary character flinch a little at this development. I press my advantage. “As such, you will be following my directions.”

He acknowledged my supremacy by spitting a wad of brown juice into a corner of the room. He glared at me balefully...

Tenement Buildings Looking up at tenement buildings outside the Jolly Judge pub, just off Lawnmarket.
Tenement Buildings Looking up at tenement buildings outside the Jolly Judge pub, just off Lawnmarket. | Source
Noted Hubber and Fashion-ista...Nellieanna...
Noted Hubber and Fashion-ista...Nellieanna... | Source
Five One Cows...noted follower...and followee...
Five One Cows...noted follower...and followee... | Source

Unexpected Voice in the night...

I left the comment encapsule. It truly was a sad hub. Snopes and I had conducted our sordid business in that bottom unused box...I was walking past the boxes that actually held statements. It was a short walk. There were only four of them in total and two of them were mine...

“You were pretty brutal with that old man.” Said the refined voice from within the darkness of the second box from the top. “You could have cushioned the blow a bit about Faulkner’s death...”

I was startled. Actually...I nearly shit myself...

I stepped into the room and she lit a lamp. This box was in a similar state as the one I had just vacated. Only worse...

A bird’s nest in the ventilation duct. Graffiti scrawled across the walls. All the lights were burned out in this particular comment box...

The noted Hubber...and fashion-ista...Nellieanna was in one of my hubs!

I would have been blushing with pride had I not been blushing with embarrassment. Why did she have to pick this Hub?

She placed the Coleman lantern on the cracked and stained linoleum. I could see used syringes and condoms littering the floor. Water dripped from a ruptured pipe. Wait...was that a pile of Five One Cows poop...?

She was dressed casual...a red T-shirt, jeans, and sensible footwear. There was an open back-pack at her feet...cans of purple spray-paint poked out from the un-zipped compartments...

"What are you doing here?!?”

“I am mad enough to spit!” She declared emphatically.

I was taken aback...she was normally so gentile and refined. I was worried that she was going to report my conversation with Snopes to the authorities.

“What appears to be the bother?” I ask casually...

“Oh Thomas,” she declares, “I constructed the most beautiful poem and after I published it Hubpages.com placed the most appalling advertisement right next to it!”

I was relieved. “But what are you doing here?”

“I intend to spray-paint nasty words on all my Hubs to have the ads disabled! I was walking over there when I heard you and that odious man speaking...I slipped into...this...hub...” She finished distastefully... looking around as she wrinkled her nose...


Nellieanna began her impassioned plea, ”I've never subscribed to any of that, and certainly have never received a penny, nor expected to, but there they'll be, some atrocious ads for some disgusting products right smack-dab in the middle of my gorgeous, artistic, very carefully wrought poetry hubs!!!!!! Nothing I can punch or un-punch stops this unwelcome invasion. Oh, woe is me!”

It suddenly occurs to me...a viable plot option! I consider raising the cost of a mental tour to $5.00 and $7.00 respectively...

“Sure, I can do that! I can type in some nasty word. I can, I can!” she continues ... (A wan smile comes over her face and her knees seem to weaken as she thinks of cussing). . .

Student protesters marching down Langdon Street at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the Vietnam War era.
Student protesters marching down Langdon Street at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the Vietnam War era. | Source
Photograph of Bose MediaMate computer speakers with a Bose "Triport CD Music System" compact disc player.
Photograph of Bose MediaMate computer speakers with a Bose "Triport CD Music System" compact disc player. | Source
The Comment Box of an under performing Hub...
The Comment Box of an under performing Hub... | Source
A Cow...
A Cow... | Source
A Rabbit...
A Rabbit... | Source

Unexpected Plot Progression.....

“Say Nellieanna,” I begin, “I think I may have a solution...”

We huddle together and discuss options. Unwilling to show my creative hand to the audience...I activate Internal CD player (loud)...Buffalo Springfield’s “For What Its' Worth...”

“WHAT??” I screamed...unable to hear over the music...I lowered Internal CD player...

“Sorry,” I say sheepishly as she stares at me oddly...her head cocked...sculpted eyebrow arched...

The plan was this. She was going to go home and I was going to burn this shit down. The audience would be kept in the dark for another section or so...

Nellieanna put up a fight over this but, as I said, I had no intention of hurting any other's careers...

As we were leaving I noted wet purple spray paint on the wall. I began reading...It filled two entire walls...

“Oh dear...you shouldn’t read that...”Said a suddenly alarmed Nellieanna...”Oh dear...”

In the neatest penmanship I had ever seen in the spray-paint medium...she had detailed the glaring faults...unlikely dialogue...weak plot line...questionable parentage of the author...

In fact...Several drywall panels were dedicated solely to questioning the parentage of the author...

Much of it rhymed...truly...Some vile stuff...I was unaware that there were THAT many words that rhymed with that particular four letter word...

“Gosh ...” I said all hang-dog head...

“I was upset about the ads...” She hastily assured me...“Still...this hub is a disappointment...”

“Can a rabbit even do that to a cow?” I asked. The picture she had thoughtfully provided suggested it could...

“Oh yes...I’m from Texas. We see that quite often.”

I recalled Rick Perry’s recent debate performances...oh yeah...

Noted North Carolina Historian...Alastar Packar
Noted North Carolina Historian...Alastar Packar | Source

Little Known Facts about Historians...

Something on the wall gets my attention. I ask to see the lamp. It was an older message...scrawled in pencil...I start to laugh. I have to relate this...I mean...its right here. I laugh again. But how...it requires some backstory...really...back facts...

Historians are sexy beasts. I've studied the subject...I understand...I’ve attracted a few babes my own-self to the historical flame. Yes...there are history groupies.

That said...the quality and quantity of, said groupies will invariably be different for (Oh say) a session player vs. (Oh say) a head-lining act.

I would never attract the fine historical-trim that (Oh say) a Bernard Bailyn or Fredrick Jackson Turner would. Obviously. No. It’s a tier system...those at the top...deserve to be at the top. The rewards go to the talent. The big names in the historical game...the Foners, McPhersons, Packers, McCulloughs...Oh yes...they attracted the truly amorous...

This particular amorous message on the wall was scrawled to one of the titans in the field...the noted North Carolina Historian...Alastar Packar.

The nubile young woman wrote in exquisite detail about what she wanted to do with him...if only she had his number. I laughed again. I totally know this guy! We’re friends! That is hella funny!

I did what only a friend can do...I pulled out a green sharpie marker and, starting with a North Carolina area code, provided the necessary conduit to love. No...It’s true...you shouldn’t give your phone number out on the internet. I am proof of that...

I was still chuckling as I hugged Nellieanna and put her in the cab for her ride home to Texas

"Really dear," She was saying, "I am indeed sorry about the spray painted diatribe...really...it was narrative need."

I certainly understood narrative need. I assured her of that fact and we agreed to meet after the conclusion of these unpleasant events...perhaps at Squidoo...? I watched her cab begin the long trip back to Texas. I should have put her on a plane...

(I quickly type that she is on a plane...)

I needed to meet with the room mates...

William Faulkner, 1954
William Faulkner, 1954 | Source
Noted Hubsville Poet...and long-time room mate...Jhamann
Noted Hubsville Poet...and long-time room mate...Jhamann | Source
Erika...Wanting nothing to do with this nonsense...
Erika...Wanting nothing to do with this nonsense...

Rendezvous with the Roomies...

I roll a joint as my long-time roommates, Jamie and Erika, read over what I have completed up to now...getting them up to speed as it were...

“I love Faulkner!” States Jamie matter-of-factly.

“Argh...Faulkner?” Groaned Erika...Faulkner wasn’t a favorite. “He goes on for days...”

Damn. I had not intended for them to know of Abner’s role in this. I had thought I copied down only to the part about Susan’s toilet...Zerglot!

“So?” I asked eagerly.“ Are you guys in?”

“In for what?” Queried Erika. “I mean...I’m not sure what you want to burn or why you would want to burn it? Do you know what or why? Am I missing something?” She declines the joint I pass to her.

“Um...maybe you should smoke this...it kind of made it clearer to me...”

I was interrupted by Jamie who was pointing at page two...

“You say here that you don’t want to flush any Hubber’s careers down the toilet?”

Jamie is in actuality...the renowned Hubsville poet who publishes under the unassuming Nome de guerre as jhamman.

I look around at the remaining readership and offer the three that were still awake a golden nugget of trivia...

Jamie, A.K.A. jhamman, was the actual originator of the term, “I Don’t like Leaving Meat in a Car.”

(I expect that this information will stand you in good stead should the appropriate jhamman category come up on Jeopardy. Yeah. F**k those guys who left...)

“Still, I need you.” I reassured him. “You’re a Hubber...you have been in there...you know the physical layout. Also...if you will notice...I actually typed, ‘I didn’t want to flush a promising career down the toilet’. You know...you’re in the nonsense poetry section...so....”

He looks hurt. I feel bad. He waits for me to delete the offending sentence. I disappoint him again. We both sigh. I offer him the joint...he declines.

Prostitute in Tijuana, Mexico.
Prostitute in Tijuana, Mexico. | Source
Amish country near Arthur, Illinois
Amish country near Arthur, Illinois | Source

OMG...Emotions...Prostitutes...WTF...Fire? ...BBQ...

“I don’t want to be involved in any emotional prostitution.” Declares Erika emphatically.

At the mention of the word...prostitution...or maybe emotional...Creative Voice appears...

“What the f**k Creative Voice?” Cried out Erika in alarm!

‘My retinas!” Screamed Jamie!

Creative Voice was only wearing a fig leaf when (at least) a palm frond was required...

“What’s with the fig leaf?” I ask. I’m used to him.

“I thought we were doing the whole P.E.T.A thing tonight...you know...they only use natural fibers...and someone mentioned a prostitute...” He looked about eagerly...

“I said emotional prostitution.” This from Erika.

Creative Voice was confused...”But...I thought you paid the (brain-revenue) money so you didn’t have to deal with the emotions...?”

He began putting on his normal mission gear...green tights...Star Wars helmet...elf...

Something occurs to me, “Wait...you've been taking our (brain-revenue) tour money...and spending it on prostitutes?”

“Well, Wal-Mart still refuses to acknowledge the legality of that for commercial transactions...”

A big fight is forestalled by Jamie...


He indicates the live Hubsville feed on his computer.

An out-of-town reporter was speaking...

“...numerous reports of barns being burnt down in the Amish community of Hubsville.The Amish, noted for their ability to raise barns quickly, have begun fighting amongst themselves...turf wars over who can build a barn faster...” She reports.

The Squidoo lens settles in on an old Amish guy...

“Oh there be a tempest brewing,” he slowly drawls all Amish-like. “Thee stand in the righteousness of...”

His words were cut off by the obvious sounds of a crime occurring behind him...

(Clippidy-clop, clippidy-clop...bang, bang, bang....clippidy-clop, clippidy clop...)

An Amish drive by shooting...

The old Amish guy lies dead at the reporter’s feet with the back of his head blown away...

“Oh F**K!!” We all cry out...

The Amish community was being torn asunder by my folly...I look up and Erika and Jamie are staring at me. I single tear falls from my eye and rolls down my cheek...

“What?” I say defensively, “They seem to like building barns...”

Cover of a comic book created by PETA as part of a media campaign.
Cover of a comic book created by PETA as part of a media campaign. | Source
The Hamlet (novel)
The Hamlet (novel) | Source

The Mission...

“OK...what’s this about?” They both asked.

Hubpages.com has placed “Fur” ads on my hubs!” I inform them, “and I am going to burn this bitch down!”

“Are the Amish responsible?” Erika asks.

“Um...no. That’s just an unfortunate....”

“Oh wait!” Interrupts Jamie excitedly. “Is this going to be like the ‘Writer’s Hero Journey’adventure?”

“Kind of...but shorter I think.” I confirm.

Erika looks blank.

“You still haven’t read it?” I ask disappointed.

“No.” Was all she says.

“Well, if I provide a link...will you read it?”

“Maybe.” She responds drily.

“Would putting a link for people to read it be an example of emotional prostitution?” I probe because I like typing the word probe...

“No...That would just be an example of shameless self-promotion.” Erika explained.

I thought about the other things I shamelessly did to myself...usually late at night...with the lights turned low...sometimes at noon...other times from noon to late at night...sometimes after reading a particularly saucy Mamadrama poem...I call it Google-ing myself...

“I can live with that.” I say as I supply the link:

A Writer’s Hero Journey. (Featuring Faye).

The signs say "Only animals should wear fur" in both Finnish and English.
The signs say "Only animals should wear fur" in both Finnish and English. | Source
PETA logo
PETA logo | Source
PETA "Lettuce Ladies" in the Short North, Columbus, Ohio.
PETA "Lettuce Ladies" in the Short North, Columbus, Ohio. | Source

Fuck the Fur Industry...

We are a fur-free household. With two dogs, four cats, and a fish...we are animal friendly. It is our belief that the only things that should have fur are animals...our animals...and furniture...our furniture...after the animals get off our furniture. As such...we were moving into action.

Jamie was busy collecting pitchforks, torches, and literary references...for handing out to any peasantry that we might happen across and manage to rile up with our fiery anti-fur rhetoric...

He pulls out his well-worn copy of The Hamlet, by William Faulkner. Published in 1940, it was the first of three books published by Faulkner that further chronicle the travails of the Snopes clan...known in literary circles as The Snopes Trilogy, they include The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion.

“Yes...in part four...The Peasants...” Jamie muses, “Hip, Buck, and Varner!! These should be the peasants we arm with pitchforks and torches!”

“Don't they know Abner Snopes?” I ask doubtfully. “Don’t get me wrong...I am really liking the name Varner...”

“Well...they do know Flem Snopes...Abner’s nephew; I think...I don’t recall Abner in any of the three books.”

“Right, right, right...Abner may have got shot at the end of Barn Burning...” I finish thoughtfully. That college literature course had been a long time ago.

Erika, who has absolutely no interest in discussing Faulkner, asks to see the offending fur ads.

“Careful,” I warn her, “Not only are there evil fur ads there...you may actually accidentally read part of a paragraph that I might have written...” She doesn’t rise to my subtle verbal challenge.

I indicate the odious commercial message...

The Town (Faulkner)
The Town (Faulkner) | Source
I Don't know...Talk to Jamie...
I Don't know...Talk to Jamie... | Source
The Mansion (book)
The Mansion (book) | Source
Soldiers of the Death Star crew (the parade at DragonCon 2006).
Soldiers of the Death Star crew (the parade at DragonCon 2006). | Source
The Offending ad...
The Offending ad...

The Brass Tacks of Blowing Shit up...and Burning Stuff Down...

We were down to the brass tack issues of ‘burning this bitch’ down. How, exactly, does one ‘burn this bitch’ down...when...this ‘bitch’...is actually a mental construct? A dilemma.

“We would have to treat it like a Klingon warship.” Announces Jamie matter-of-factly.

Of the household...he was the one who ran a favorable eye over the Sci-Fi genera...as such...he’s our science guy...

He had recently fixed our bathtub like nobody’s business. I encouraged him to write a hub-thing about it. They really like plumbing contests in this town.

I’m not sure if he wrote the Drano plumbing Hub yet...but the water pressure rocks...

Now...I’m not likening basic plumbing skills with hard science...I don’t have to...they just are...

“Can you build a catapult that will launch a burning barn into the death-star portal of Hubsville? In such a way as to completely destroy this un-holy fur alliance thing they got going on?” I inquire...eager for details...

“I can.” Jamie states assuredly.

“Really??” Honestly...I was a little surprised...I was just throwing out a blend of literary plots and thoughts...some other random shit...

“Yes. But I am a Star Trek fan...not a Star Wars fan. It wouldn’t be a death star...It would be a Klingon warship. Star Wars is nothing more than a dumb puppet show compared to Star Trek!”

“I see...” I was unaware of the cauldron of passion that apparently seethed within him on the subject...

Our tactical discourse is interrupted by Erika...

“Thomas?” She squints at the screen. “You do know that the (100% faux) icon means these are fake furs, right?”


“Right here. They’re fake.” Erika points to the small bear paw print...

That gave me paws...uh...pause...

“Oh. Right, right, right...My bad. We need to abort this mission due to an intelligence failure!!” I call out to any readers still out there with a pulse... “No...There will be no refunds...”

I begin scratching...

“You were rash again weren’t you?” Erika asks knowingly. “Do you still have that ointment? Remember...from when you thought the elephants were coming into town with the Cirque du Soleil?”

This is one of the digitized images of the original painting American Gothic that Grant DeVolson Wood, a master artist of the twentieth century, created in 1930 and sold to the Art Institute of Chicago in November of the same year.
This is one of the digitized images of the original painting American Gothic that Grant DeVolson Wood, a master artist of the twentieth century, created in 1930 and sold to the Art Institute of Chicago in November of the same year. | Source

Mission De-brief...

We were all having a good laugh at my expense. Another joint was declined by my two roommates...it suddenly occurred to me what was wrong...

“You know...only two people are actually going to read this whole thing...and I...I’m pretty sure...I will be one of them...you can probably smoke this without any problems...”

They hedged...I considered a good place...

“I have this comment box we can smoke in...trust me...no one will see us...”

My words are cut off by the barking of the dogs. We live on the outskirts of Reno...an area zoned for horses although we didn’t have any...the landlord didn’t want the liability...

Looking out our back sliding-glass door we can see the various out-buildings and sheds scattered about the 2-acre property. One of the buildings was actually an old barn...we could see flames...

“Uh-oh.” We all simultaneously understate the problem. We rent.

The ringing of the doorbell brings us to the front of the house...

On our porch was a work-party of Amish barn-builders...they looked long in the tooth...tore back...fucked-up...tired.

They had been fighting fires, building barns, dodging drive-by Amish-related bullets...(what else? ...Oh yeah), avoiding attention from technologies that they don’t acknowledge...I assume the helicopters had to scare the shit out of them...

There may have been some crop-bringing-in stuff...weaving and whatnot...I’m not really sure...It’s an alien culture...

The foreman (maybe Elder?) stepped forward...he straight looked like he’d stepped from a Grant Wood painting...his name tag read...Varner.

“We understand that a barn needs a re-building...” Varner says all Amish-like...

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Comments 75 comments

Mark Ewbie profile image

Mark Ewbie 5 years ago from Euroland

Well I read it. Enjoyed it even. Understand it? Not entirely. Not even close. But there's a definite wow factor about your writing. I wouldn't be too happy if I had entered an article on the same night as this piece.

It deserves something.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Hi Mark...

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the above references (long) short story.

I was hesitant as I wrote it...and as I published it...seemed it might just be a little too weird.

Perhaps what it deserves...is more editing. That said...thank you for your kind words!


bonnebartron profile image

bonnebartron 5 years ago from never one place for too long

I kinda love you! ;)

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Fur ads on Hubpages/ Disgusting. As always, I enjoyed the trip you take the reader on. Wondering what Nelianna will think about the words you make her use...

jami l. pereira 5 years ago

P.E.T.A is just plain bad business , i hate them ,i have read their activist bullshit ads many times. Peta is all for profit , their salaries and their 401k make wall street look bad , as well as their pensions and retirement plans , they are all a bunch of liars and i hope or wish they would be brought down , even if yourHub is all in jest , it was a great idea. The minute i see a fur ad on my hub , im packing my crap up and im leaving ! , thanks for the insight! i voted up useful , awesome,interesting ! have a marvelous day!:)ohh yea , i kinda agree with bonnebarton , i kinda love you too , or errr your expression in writing anyways :)

Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

Thomas: This is so entertaining, and I really needed this to start my day. I laughed so hard when you brought up the Drano Hub writing competition. And, the roomies. What special people! I don't know a damn thing about Drano other than putting it down the drain. Other than my hubby, I don't know of anyone who could put up with my crap. By reading this Hub, I am reminded to be GRATEFUL. No Faulkner in my corner, but I did have to read plenty of Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton. So today starts NaNoWriMo (I do have a hard time remembering the title) and HubPage's own November competition. I think I'm grabbing my blankie and returning to bed. This is way too much for me. But I will give your Hub some more reads by the time the day is over. Voted up and all the other keys my little fingers can reach. By the way, I get a lot of ads with the Russian mail order brides. Was it because of my Hub on dumping mail order brides? Since writing that Hub, I get these big boobs with all of my Hubs. If it came down to it, those boobs would be covered in more LETTUCE.

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Hi bonnebartron...

Thank you dear-ums...I kind of love you too! Thank you for taking the time to ramble through my ramblings!


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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I am very glad that you enjoyed the ride...it was fun to write. You are actually on to my secret as regards dialogue...most of what I depicted Nellieanna saying...are actual things she said in my comment boxes. That said...I am wondering what she will think where I went kind off on my own...

Thanks for stopping by and your wonderful comment!


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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


When I started reading your comment I thought..."Oh-oh" ...I am glad that your displeasure was pointed at PETA, however, rather than my humble offering. I am very glad that you like this!

Thanks for stopping by!


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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I am certainly glad I was able to inspire a chuckle out of my Sacramento bound friend!

You are right...the roomies are special people and if not for Jamie...I would still be showering with a bucket on the bath porch. Yes...the neighbors are very glad he is handy with a wrench, as well!

It is a crazy day in the writing world between the two contests...I'm looking forward to reading all the entries!

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment!


jhamann profile image

jhamann 5 years ago from Reno NV

My fingers are crossed!

Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

Keep writing, Reno man, because I am always looking forward to your writing. With winter coming, you can always write instead of shoveling the snow piling up on your walkways and driveways. Someone who build her dream house in Reno found that out during that first winter there. There's that thar snow to shovel whenever she needed to leave the house. Poor thang! She couldn't take it and had to move back to California after one winter in Reno. Brrrrrrr!!!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Thank you good sir...the crossed fingers will be necessary...there are some very good writers here and they all seem to be entering the contest. (sigh)

See ya when you get home!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


You have touched on a real fact...winter is the bane of my existence. I tend to sleep the 14 months of winter away...poking my head out from under the covers in May...and then again in June...and finally...come July...it is warm enough to venture from my bed.

This year I will drag the laptop under the covers and peck away at story ideas...or come visit you and see if you have any heat!


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.


I wish there was a zipper running up and down on your skull, just below the hair. I'd give up sex for a month (including self entertainment) just to unzip that thing just a wee bit and peak inside. I'm betting it's some kind of cosmic light show that has a meaning so deep that the average person could never understand, yet so incredibly awesome they can't bring them selves to pull the zipper back up.

This was, as I expected, dang near over my head. Fortunatly I was able to stay in the game this time. Did I love the game? Like a thug loves drugs.

Note: The Buffalo Springfields song was "For What It's Worth." Well, I just gave away the fact that I'm older than dirt.

Seriously, I'm really glad you exist. I'm even happier that not only do you exist, but you exist here on the Hub. Adds some badly needed color.

Love and peace bro!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I would like to help TMWNP open your head too! Maybe we can get together sometime huh? I'll bring the tequila:)!

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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


There is actually a zipper that runs up and down my skull...but...all the show plays is Warner Brothers cartoons on a never ending loop...

I am glad you liked the game and that you were able to stay in it! I personally had no doubt on your end...that said...this got kind of weird and I certainly would have understood if you had left at half-time!

Thank you for your (always) kind words and wonderful support...it makes me want to write another one.


PS...Good save on the Buffalo Springfield tune...yup...you are apparently old!

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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


You seem a little too eager to open up the old skull bucket. But...if you bring tequila...I will let you do whatever you wish, dear! Thanks for stopping by and planning my lobotomy!


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

What a dick! (laughing):)


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

A-hem. Here is a perfect example of airy psychic prognostication. Scrolling around for the first read of the evening the eyes beheld the latest Hub of one Thought Sandwiches. The psychic gift said Big Surprise inside! Oh boy! Now, to the article: OK, the first thing admitted here is an embarrassing deficiency in Faulkner knowledge: Of Mice and Men, Intruders in the Dust and some of his Cali ones are about it. Now to the victims: jhammon must be a great nonsense poet to be included here-in. Hmm, must check out Just Ask Susan sometime. And Five One Cows is the only bovine writing on the site. He's a good bovine writer though. Whew, excuse me, that tenement pic made me dizzy. Now, so glad Nellieanna dropped in; she's got a fine idea with the spray paint. She's also well known for being a hard task-master when it comes to the Hubs Mr. Sandwiches. Rumor has it that Alastar Packer dude plans to market those natural looking sun-shades he's wearing, exotic materials no doubt. He also wants to know if you kept the admirers phone number, for historical research purposes of course. So, Mr. Thought Sandwiches, your Hub has been thoroughly probed and found wanting, wanting what nobody knows, for it was simply fookin AWESOME!!!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


To start with...I think 'Of Mice and Men' was actually John Steinbeck...that said...I had no idea that 'Intruders in the Dust' was Faulkner...I shall have to read that one!

I did include a bevy of Hubbers, considering, I wasn't going to take any one down with me...still...misery loves company I guess.

You are correct...Nellieanna does have happening hubs...I felt bad dragging her into this wretched mess. I did not feel bad about dragging you into this wretched mess...Oh yeah...I have the admirer's phone number...I will put it (and her) on a bus for North Carolina first thing in the morning!

Thanks you for your kind words my friend. I fear this will not be the last time we see the noted Historian Hubber...Alastar Packer in a silly story...I just have to come up with what that silly story might be...

You are good people Alastar..thank you for all the support!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


(Laughing my own self) Yes...yes I am...It's why we are friends I am sure!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Hey kid, that's part of the tongue-in cheek writing I'm famous for!

nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 5 years ago from Serbia

I really couldn't wait for your next "short" story to be published, and now I can say that I am blown away!

This was an amazing ride and a fulfilling experience... I read the story three times in total, over a period of some four of five hours - I LOVED IT!!!

Even though everybody's entering the contest, the "creative writing" prize ought to be given to you based on the fact that you write "creative" hubs with such creativity!

I really don't know what else to say except that I'm looking forward to reading more of your writings, as you promised to publish a few of them during this week, if I remember correctly :)

Also, I really do hope that you hear from Faye soon :)


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Okay, George Washington was a relative and I cannot tell a lie. The hot-shot historian got his authors mixed up. Time for the resting home. But it really is a fookin awesome write my friend.

jami l. pereira 5 years ago

I couldn't help myself i hasd to come back and re read the WHOLE DAMN THING and Mr.ALASTAR was correct ..it was fookin awesome , i laughed so hard i think i peed a little !!!!LOL Thanks for the smile,laugh,pee,giggle,snort,fart ,snort again ,and LOL! have a great night!:)

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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


If you are ready for the rest home...get me a room too! Your relationship to George Washington is telling...

Are you channeling the First President to get the great details you amass (and never screw up)for your many articles?? They do feel that authentic!

I am very glad you liked it. I enjoyed putting in the shameless plug for one of the contest judges...how could I not??

Take care my friend!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


You have indeed been patient my friend. I do have another that I will publish next week and one I'm just about done with. Once that's out of the way I am hoping for more ideas for the next ride.

I would say that you are right...that I should win...but I'm just saying that because...you know...I want to win. I have spent most my day reading other entries and I have to say...I might not win. We do share this Hubsville World with some very talented writers and their best wares are on display...an exciting time to be a Hubber!

I am very glad you liked it and thank you for the kind words about Faye...I plan on putting a link to her in just about every story I write until I hear from her...pfttt...I will show her...


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


The 'smile, pee, giggle, snort, fart, snort (again) and LOL'...is actually part of the $5.00 tour...um...my records indicate you only paid $3.00...

I thank you for the repeat visit and the fookin awesome vote! Don't worry about the extra two dollars...you can just pay $7.00 on the next hub (This is my plan B for not winning any contest money).

In all seriousness...thanks very much! Your words mean much to me...very much!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

$5.00???? Why was I charged 10.00? And to think of all that rum I had to pour into the tub....Next time you bring the rum :) I laughed throughout this entire hub, it was fantastic!!!

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Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Hold on...was that an over-inflated exchange rate for Canadians?

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Well now...I am embarrassed. First off...no...my friends to the North do not get hit with a surcharge on ticket prices just because they are Canadians. (not since NAFTA anyways).

You will note (in small print), on the back of the ticket, that 'monopoly' money will be subject to the higher rate. I am sure the ticket taker just confused your Canadian currency...

You are being refunded the difference. In monopoly money...

In all seriousness...thank you for stopping by and taking the time to make another wonderful comment. I am very glad you liked it and I will certainly bring the rum the next time!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

Hi Thomas,

You started off well but, unfortunately I lost the context mid-way.

However, I liked the humor...keep it going!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

hi Ruchira...

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I often wonder as I am writing...who's losing the context (as I write each paragraph) because it only seems to make sense that someone has to be ..."What the fudge...?"

I would appreciate more feedback (should you find the time) as to exactly when the derailment occurred...for personal writing growth.

(yeah...hard to believe from reading me...but I am into that personal writing growth thing...)

I am also very glad you liked the Humor!



barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I have to say, my pulse was still beating by the time I got somewhat near the end where you mentioned beating pulses and then still continued. I read the whole thing - I used a Mountain Dew to comfort me. Is that emotional prostitution.... prostitution of the Mountain Dew because I emotionally used it to get me through this hard pressing issue you have displayed here that I am not really sure I fully understood. I must apologize, I am usually more up on my game, but due to the length of this, I was distracted several times. It started with my son throwing a cup of milk at my computer screen. Then, I got up to get somethign to wipe up the milk with and tripped over the cord. I took a mental break to unmoodifiy myself. Minutes later I returned to the pleasure of your probing through this unique take on what I can only assume is ads that I have never actually seen, but maybe it is because I am blind, when my son comes trotting down the stares with this absolutely huge Littlest Pet Shop play house that belongs to his sister. He can't manage the rest of the way down. I must help him once again pulling me away. Minutes later, he is irritated because it isn't working the way he wanted to. What can I say - he is 2.

So, long point turned shorter after I have wasted all your time reading this hugely long comment (payback! Ha ha - evil genius and probing into the mind of craziness), I realized, I had a thought provoking comment to leave on here but instead I just consistently rambled on and on and on to possibly jumble a bunch of words together to make it confusing so you can just say... ummmm yeah. ;P

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I am chastised by what my poor readers must go through (in terms of length)when reading and (in terms of content...I can only imagine) before making it to the comment box! I must say...your son's 'milk moment' ...sound like an editorial statement to me...

Don't feel bad...as I was writing this comment...I actually forget what this story was about too...Yes, yes I did.

Furs. The fur industry sucks. Plus the chance to abuse some commonly held Amish notions...

So...ummmm yeah. ;P


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Oh yeah - and I almost forgot... I am not asking for a refund... but can I have $7 (I am going for the inflated cost even though I actually snuck in! LOL)

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Yeeeeeees...refunds are a nasty...precedent...I prefer to call it 'hush' money. I will provide the necessary funds under those conditions.

I have two payment options...monopoly money or Canadian currency (if you are from Canada).

Thank you for your inquiry.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Hmmmm... I don't know if I can spare monopoly money - I think I have lost most of it. Darn kids... and I used all my Canadian currency from when I was stationed in Fort Drum, NY. I might have a nickle. Is it still called a nickel if it is from Canada? hmmmm.... thoughts to ponder! Anyway, I will accept hush money in the form of Mountain Dew! LOL

BTW - ur on Facebook? You should hit me up! (See go to profile and click on I want to be your friend on facebook ;))

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I will steal some dew from Real to bring to you to settle our account.

I have located you on that 'other' social networking site and have befriended you.

I have had a Canadian dollar bill for 47 years...apparently (according to Susan) they don't even make 'paper' dollar bills anymore...just coin. Imagine...


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I bet that Canadian Dollar bill is worth several now... I wouldn't spend it! Hey - feeling super tired today - do you think you could grab 2 dews from Real! LOL

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

I will be keeping the Canadian dollar bill because Wal-mart still does not recognize it for commercial transactions. I am on the Mountain Dew...sure hope she went shopping...I'm feeling a might peckish to boot...

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phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I could never do what you do, did, will do again I assume. My mind would never work that way. But I absolutely loved it!! When is the contest over. I am voting for you. I know my vote doesn't count at all, but I vote for you anyway! Twice!! :)

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

hi phd...

It's odd...because when I was reading your series about the American GIs and the Germans...I was thinking the exact same thing. I have a love of history that just does not translate well in the written form when I try. We should swap skill sets for the day!!

Thank you for the votes! Even though they may not count...they still mean something! Just like my vote in 2000.

I'm very glad I was able to entertain!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thomas- Now there's a great idea! If only we could swap skill sets at will with someone else. Oh, to be really good at everything. Well maybe not such a good idea after all...we would probably become absolutely insufferably big-headed. You do entertain. Always!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

hi phd...

Alas...I like to think that if anyone wasn't going to get a big head...It would be us. Is that a big-headed thought? The conundrums...

Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to type them!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Rivetingly strange, Thomas. . . rivetingly strange. . .

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Well put...well put...I think I will get William Hurt to play Varner in the movie version...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Will surely be excellent type-casting, Thomas, - judging by the discernment and talent you've exhibited in your clever casting of this PETA hub! Yup. After all, WH can fake it through most any role. The deadpan expression gives away nothing vital to the story, so the creator (you) can supply all interpretation and, essentially, - play all the roles, to your credit and the viewers'/readers' relief.

Who goes to his films to see William hurt himself and others, anyway? :-)

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


THAT'S IT!! The reason I hate William Hurt...the whole deadpan..."I can't act my way into a facial expression" thing.

He reminds me of Al Gore's 2000 debate performance...remember? He looked like he had a stick up his butt? William Hurt reminds me of the stick that was up Al Gore'e butt.

He is a blank tableau of mediocrity...


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Deadpan expression...Does this mean that you aren't a fan of Buster Keaton? :)

By the way, I've been reading the comments back and forth and have to agree with Nelianna. I'll be fine. Certainly, if she were offended she wouldn't continue to read you...

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Hi Flora...

Good point on Buster Keaton. That said (and mind...I'm attempting to remember back to an afternoon lecture in a long forgotten Cinematic Appreciation class...) Wasn't that required due to the medium? Early movie technology? Even beyond that though...Buster Keaton did it first...therefore...props to him.

As for Mr. William Hurt...we have evolved movie technologies, (and stuff)...he needed to adapt I think. Again...Gorky Park...good movie!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Yup, Thomas. I hadn't analyzed it before you focused on him, but in the bright light of your fierce humor, it became so apparent. I even remembered wondering how Kathleen Turner got all that body heat fired up with him as the lighter; but then, I reasoned, reasonably, - Richard Crenna was her other alternative, so. . . it had to be a case of any mere thing would do it for her.

Good point, Flora, though my shock level has had plenty of years to adjust & mellow; and, coupled with zany wit and an underlying niceness, Thomas' stayed just under the alarm line, at least when directly involving me in his wild scenario.

Plus - he managed to juggle & juxtaposition some actual words of mine to serve his purpose he'd lifted from one or more of his comment boxes . No real fodder for a libel or slander suit there. Or - if so - as poor as he claims to be, to what practical purpose?

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


True, true...Kathleen could have done better than either of those two. (hehehe...'him as the lighter...")

I was attempting to shield you from the majority of my shenanigans...there are parts in here in which...I don't even use proper grammar. Not to mention the atrocities committed on the Amish community. And really...Creative Voice just let it all hang out...so...you know...sorry.

I welcome any litigation. It is true...I may not be able to satisfy and monetary judgement in the TRADITIONAL fashion...but...should you win...you get me. Choose wisely my friend.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Are you psychic as well as psychotic, Thomas? hehe. . . How did you pinpoint which atrocity-parts were the most-so for me?

However I'm becoming accustomed to horrendous grammar, even from the best of the HP writers, so I can live with it, and yours was deliberate to suit your theme, I thought.

The Amish broke from the Mennonites because they thought them too worldly. Did you know that? My Dad was reared a Mennonite but he broke with them for reasons of his own, such as - logic, and that he preferred to plough with a tractor, probably. He never would fly in an 'aereoplane', though, and couldn't approve 'aviators' as suitors for his daughters, though that pref was out of his control.

Thomas - these bright eyes are no virgins to profanity, though these lips almost are (except in total privacy! haha) What they detest is crass vulgarity. But I admit to a preference for the use of more thinking language to express thoughts, and I don't mean 'darn', 'fiddlesticks' or 'shoot'. But, like Dad's prefs for others' suitors, that's out of my control. Trust me, I know how to avoid those which exceed my tolerance. But thanks for attempting to shield me. As I told Flora, the zany wit and basic niceness worked just fine, or as she also noted, I wouldn't have returned to keep reading your clever stuff.

Like William Hurt, people must express who they are and be liked or not on that basis. I just hope I can be more liked than not for mine in a majority of instances. If not - so what? It's all real. And my own foibles keep me busy enough. :-) You're sweet to like me. So - don't tempt me, you BOGS. (Big Ole Gorgeous Stud = another original acronym, as far as I know.) tee hee If I could afford litigation, that is. . . Maybe an out-of-court settlement. . . hahahaha!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Alas...blackmail and bribery are such ugly words...allow me to utilize my Thesaurus to see if I can come up with 'prettier' sounding words.

Psychic...I like that! It wasn't too difficult to pinpoint those places for shielding...I have a list...cuss words...drug use...prostitution...street violence...those were things I put in separate capsules...it just seemed the 'decent' thing to do...and mom raised me right. (Hence...the basic niceness)

You know...I did see Broadcast News... a LONG time ago...I should put another older, more experienced, jaundiced look at that particular film...I do like Albert Brooks...he can act his way into a facial expression!

I am glad you continue to come back for more. One thing I am finding as I write more and more...humor is a VERY temperamental thing...very easy to offend...I know this because sometimes...that is my goal...at least on some dark levels. Not to mention...I just have an odd sense of humor.

I was aware of the Mennonite/Amish separation...I was unaware of your father's role in these proceedings, however.

So...did you end up with an Aviator?


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Sorry about those ugly terms, but it didn't occurred to me that there might be prettier ones en lieu of them. Did the Thesaurus provide any?

I suspect that many psychic powers are a combination of good observational and sensitivity skills, as you've obviously mastered.

Your list is impressive & useful, but I admit that mean-spiritedness tops those for me, and I sense none of that in your humor. However, it's been my observation of yea-these-many-years that humor itself is inherently mean at its base. Niceness is rather bland and not very funny. It needs a bit of a jab at someone or something at least semi-sacred to someone to gain that funny edge. There are levels of that like levels of the items in your shield-list, and levels mark vital dividing lines, though they're variable for different folks. That's the temperamentability you've observed. So there comes a point at which one realizes there is no way to foresee, much less take responsibility for others' ability-to-respond (responsibility) - so may as well just let it hang out and allow them deal with it where it crosses their lines. When Mom raised you right, it instilled a basic level of respect too, so you sort of know where to set the level. If you choose to cross it, then it's that you're expressing what you must, all growed up now. ;-) I doubt if you stray too far from the basic niceness, though. Just sayin'.

Yep, Albert Brooks is expressive!

When Dad came along (in 1890) - the religious severance was already achieved. But his homelife was strictly - strict. He spoke only German in it till he was old enough to go to school. His mind was so brilliant, though, that he mastered languages like a sponge, along with many other intellectual pursuits, which led him to form his own iconoclastic answers which differed from 'theirs'. He taught me a lot. I only knew one other Mennonite - my paternal grandmother, a straight-laced, imposing woman, - who lived with us till I was a toddler. I barely remember her, but Mother was relieved when she went to live with another son back up north.

Me? My two children were born in an Air Force hospital. :-) But after that 18-year marriage, which crashed and burned, I later met my soulmate who'd been in the Navy; - not an aviator, but a ship's captain. We sailed blissfully through 30 years together till he died a few years ago. (I've not really ended up yet. haha.)

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Alas, I keep answering points from this hub in my other hub and even...the other way around. This how my stories get confusing.

To agree on your thoughts of cutting-edge humor, in the end, for people I care for...it's about the respect. In the case of Sarah Palin and other folks who bustle about and, thereby, invite scorn...hey...I got some scorn to share...

A ship's Captain, eh? My, my, my...that's wonderful! I'm so very sorry for his passing and amazed at the notion of a 30-year blissful sail. It gives hope to those of us still looking!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you. I miss him. Yep, he was awarded his own LST to captain during his WWII stint in the South Pacific, when he was involved in running up the Yangtze River as part of the defense of China toward the end of the war. He went into it as a junior officer in the thick of things, though, - on LST 715, at places like Iwo Jima, delivering the Marines who took the island & planted the flag atop Mount Suribachi - as commemorated in the statue of that action. I've a series of pages on my website about his Navy days. He wasn't career military though. During that time, service was compulsory, so as soon as he left college, he chose a branch he preferred. I didn't know him then. What a shame, but I was just a kid. He'd have been out of my league then. The smooth sailing together came many years later.

Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, Thomas. If you don't see much of me during the upcoming week, it's because I'll be really focused on reading poetry. . . (A chance to keep your hub comments less tangled. :-)

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I am hard put to believe that anyone would be out of your league my friend!

I Google-ed LST 715...mighty impressive record for your future beau. I'm glad you two found each other as smooth sailing is awesome whenever you may happen upon it!

You enjoy your holiday, as well as, the hundreds of poems you will be diligently sifting through over the next week! Please come and tangle my Hubs any 'ole time.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

OK, out of my AGE league. 10 years difference, the young'un kid; he, the older hunk. Our paths hadn't crossed, besides. haha. When they did, I was 47 and he was 57. And still we had those lovely 30 years. So when one finds THE one; it's never too late. Well worth the wait, in golden years. He was so young in every way for most of them.

Now you've done it! Showing interest in George's ship encouraged me to recumbent the webpages I made about him and it. I posted the link to it on my HP profile just for you, should you be a glutton for hearing more about it.

If you do visit that link, be sure to click on the other pages in the series, in a box at the bottom of the page, just above the other links listed; it's part of my vast personal website. I collected some of the information from the scrapbook his mother kept and from what I could eke out of him plus a few items from the web, put together with my own kind of style. May still add more things I've come across since he died.

There are other pages on my site about him. What a guy!

I've only read about 150 of the 500 qualified poetry entries. . . Then I'll be sorting down on the ones I've rated 9 and 10. It's not easy. I see why JenLo didn't want to judge American Idol another session: too sad for any of the good ones not to win. And too sad that many others don't have a chance in hell. sigh. I'm still waiting for one to lift me out of the ordinary, though some are really good in most ways.

But today I'm having a happy Thanksgiving, going out to dindin with some friends in a few hours. No dishes, no leftovers! Whoopee! Hugs, Thomas. Thanks!

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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


My first love has always been the study of history with military history being something of a fetish. I most certainly look forward to getting to know George and the exploits of the LST 715!

Thank you for the opportunity.

Truth be told...when I first landed on Hubpages it was my intention to write serious history hubs...my...that did not happen.

Still...there are so many awesome history authors on this site that I just get lost in their stories and compelling ways of writing it!


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

That's fantastic, Thomas. I'm thrilled at your interest in George's service story. Thank you. And glad to learn of your overall interest in history and the military aspects. Not to late to write some of those hubs you had in mind!

I love history, too, though probably with more emphasis on overall features than specifically military, though military always figures prominently in history. Not necessarily great that war is prevalent, but it is ever factual. I like to ferret out what led to it, as well as what the people of the time were like and what motivated them.

Will & Ariel Durant's "Story of Civilization" has a neat way of presenting the big issues, but then in smaller print goes into those more 'people' features of each era. Makes reading it more demanding, though, which is one reason (along with a tendency to read the footnotes) that I've only read 3 of the very thick volumes out of the 11 which I own; and I think there are several more I don't have. I have poor eyesight and type faster than I read, so there's the rub. haha.

Many HubPage writers located in varied areas of the planet bring great insight into their own areas' history and geographic features. TonyMac from South Africa comes to mind. Have you met him?

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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ack! Make that ". . .not too late. . ." rather than ". . .not to late. . . "! I hate when that happens!

Just don't ever forsake your humorous and wry-witty hubs!!! Never!!

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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


So I went to your LST 715 site and I am thrilled. I walked amongst the halls and got to know George and his people...your cats and his brave efforts in the war (um...George...not the cats). Thank you for putting this up and I intend on returning!


PS...no worries on the 'to late' vs. 'too late' when I first read it I thought it said Latte...yeah...too much screen time I think for these old eyes.

PSS...thanks for the heads up on TonyMac...where I was previously unaware...now I am stalking him.

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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Haha - I had to scroll up and check to see if I had also misspelled "late" - whew! Talk about too much screen AND keyboard time. My eyes are bleary and my fingers are begging off.

Want to thank you for your interest in my Navy pages! You must have ventured beyond them, to have met the cats! They were 'there' to greet George when he stepped out of this 'plane'.

Hope you meet Tony. He's quite a guy, though I haven't seen a lot of him lately. Just reading some of his hubs introduces him, though.

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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

I love your Navy pages and (of course) I wandered off and peeked at other things. Just one of my idiosyncratic behaviors, I suppose, which I mentally liken to tossing through the linen drawers of people when I know they are on vacation.

A subject for further therapy or short story development, I think.


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

No therapy called for from here on the cause of peeking at Oasis things! I was just showing off my observational acuity. What else are all those other pages for, if not to be peeked at by folks, especially friends?

However, I can't say what's a likely outcome for in absentia tossing through people's linen drawers, or through their silk or cotton ones, for that matter. tee hee

Definitely a subject for further perusal, Thomas.

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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

Actually...by tossing peoples "linen" drawers...I really meant silk and cotton. I believe you are correct...short story treatment it is!


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Well, of course people do have actual linen drawers or cabinets in which they store their fine household linens for tables and for bed sheets, though not necessarily made of actual linen fabrics. "Linens" has come to mean any washable household cloth items, from showy to dishtowels.

But somehow a visual of you prowling through folks' tablecloths, napkins or bed linens just didn't seem to jibe. What was I to visualize, then, but you enjoying the tensile feel of more delicate personal 'linens' (more often referred to as lingerie, which is almost never made of real linen, which is a fiber well suited to outer wear and household things where lack of lint and coolness to the touch is valued.) Its long, smooth fibers are not very absorbent, though - - ergo- not used much for underwear much. Its basic traits make it wrinkle badly and starch ruins it. One can identify it by the deep wrinkles. If it doesn't wrinkle, it's some kind of shabby blend. It's not grown too many places on Earth, so it's rather pricey material, another reason it's not widely used for tooly purposes. Maybe a fine handkerchief linen for a luxurious summer nightie & moomoo in a hot climate. . . But cotton has the value of being more economical and lots more absorbent - and with all that perspiration. . . .

Lots of fodder for a short story. My mind is racing. So get onto it! (the story, not my mind, which has proven to be dyed-in-the- er - cotton(?) incorrigible! :-)

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ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


I will be cutting and pasting the entirety of the last comment into any future stories about...um...unmentionables (shall we call them?)

You were right to question...I have long since moved out of my table cloth fetishes and moved into the land of...um...(shall we call them)...unmentionables?


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS


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jhamann 4 years ago from Reno NV


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ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author


Woot! Thank you my friend for an awesome and the share!


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fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

OMG......Damn, Thomas....where have you gone?? Once again, your incredibly outstanding humor nearly killed me. I am in disbelief myself at how hard I laugh at you. But...what is this? It looks like you have abandoned your site..

Please tell me you haven't. Worst of all, you've eliminated hubs.....to include my FAVORITE ....the Orphan Hubs.

Now, I have to leave here and have a good cry...........You ARE the craziest funny.......funnyman alive.

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