• Mr Bigleys

Controversial Writer And My Grandpa, T.W. Bigleys, Fired From Retirement Home's Newspaper



Growing up, we all have someone we look up to and aspire to be. For me, that person was my grandfather, T.W. Bigleys. He spent most of his life writing for our local newspaper. He was bold, articulate, witty, and unapologetically daring. Many say he was ahead of his time, placing his opinions ahead of his journalistic duties.


He never did let me read any of his work, always saying, "You have to be your own man." I guess, in a way, he was preserving my unique vision. Instead, he used his influence through coaching, guiding me as I carved out my writing style.


Through the years, he was always hard on me. I can still remember having him read an essay I wrote in the 3rd grade on why dogs were my favorite animal. I was berated for my lack of creativity. He told me choosing a dog was a "cop-out" and that I should have chosen something riskier, like a narwhal. I can still picture him yelling, "Goddammit, son, did they take your balls after they snipped your foreskin?" (He's always had a dark sense of humor).

It was from that moment on that I promised myself I would never go mainstream. I ran to my notebook, opened the front cover, and wrote down an inspirational quote that he had told me. Being that it was 17 years ago, the exact words of that saying escape me, but I know they played a crucial role in who I am as a writer today.


My reverence towards my grandfather was unfortunately not shared by the corporate media groups. Although he was featured in the New York Times, he never did make it "big." He wrote for our local newspaper for 35 years - something he took pride in. He'd always say it was more important to stick with your own kind and build a close-knit community rather than sellout for the masses.

As fate would have it, grandpa would eventually be punished for that audacious tone of his. It's unclear whether the local paper fired him or he left on his own terms, but there was definitely some sort of disagreement with the direction of the paper. He retired shortly after and proceeded to live a relatively low-key life, always claiming the world was too far gone to understand him.

After my grandmother's passing in 2013, my family decided to move my grandpa to a nearby assisted living home, Sunnyside Estates. For whatever reason, it was there that he began feeling reinvigorated.

He started a weekly newspaper for the residents, which he named the Sunnyside Herald. For years it was a success. My grandpa would always jokingly say, "The Herald is beloved by most, and those who hate it forget by lunch."


Unfortunately, a few months back, a capital investment firm bought Sunnyside Estates. After taking over, they soon caught wind of my grandpa's (in)famous newspaper. It wasn't long before they forced him to shut it down, citing it created an "unfriendly environment," something he admittedly denies. For one final time, my grandfather's creative mind had been stifled.

Grandpa T.W. Bigleys is old and decrepit now, with his days being undoubtedly numbered. He recently asked me to share, what he considers, his "greatest hits" while writing for the Sunnyside Herald. I was hesitant at first, seeing as though he is 89 and his mind's not as sharp as it once was. I worry it may muddy his legacy, something I hope to preserve and share with my children one day.


After a week of contemplating my grandfather's request, I decided to grant his last dying wish. As his grandson and understudy, I owed it to him. When I informed him of the news, I could have sworn he was about to let a tear go. It ended up just being a sneeze he was trying to hold in, but the emotions were there, I'm sure of it.

Let me not waste any more of your time. I would like to share with you my grandfather's "greatest hits." I'm excited to experience this moment with my readers, as this will also be the first time I'll be reading his work:


Lol, grandpa...C'mon man...
Was...was that a shot at my mom and my sister?
Ok, well that took a depressing turn.
I don't know if I agree with this kind of approach to writing about the deceased...
Wait...was my grandpa running a morbidity gambling ring?
I'm sorry - I can't believe what I'm reading right now. I have no choice but to censor this.
I guess every old person has their set of prejudices...
...JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

Well, this is quite the platonic shift in my universe...Grandpa always said some messed up things, but I just attributed it to his dark sense of humor.


Those can't be his words. He must be in an advanced stage of dementia. Although...thinking back...no...I don't know...

...

Thinking back, he would do some morally questionable things. Like how he framed a picture of me getting pinned by a girl during a 7th-grade wrestling match. He would tell people, "That's my granddaughter." They thought he was referring to the girl, but my family knew he was referring to me.


But again, that was just his humor...although...I guess there was also that time in 9th grade when he refused to drive my friend, Jose, home, stating, "Call the border patrol if you need a ride back." It was funny until he actually wouldn't allow him in the car...

...

...

...

...and the time he told my Asian buddy he used to shoot people who looked like him in the war...

...

...

...

Fuck...I have to speak to my father.

That was the quote?

Are you still reading this? Could you give me some Goddamn space, please? This is family matter for Christ's sake. I've got a lot to think about...


**Thanks to our sponsor, the Westboro...Fuck.**





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