Clayton, AL —

While serving a 10-year sentence for financial fraud, Dave Thompson never acquired a prison nickname. His first cellmate, 6 Pan Dan, told him to be patient. A prison nickname will reveal itself organically and cannot be forced. “It will come,” Dan assured. “Try not to think about it.”

Thompson, an impatient man accustomed to taking shortcuts, had other ideas. One night, he placed a mop on his head and sauntered into the showers. “Hey fellas, how’s it hanging? I’m your tiny dancer. Anybody want to dance? You can call me, uh, Mad Mopsy!”

“Quit fuckin’ around, Dave Thompson,” instructed Manned Moon Landing. “Yeah, Dave Thompson, quit fuckin’ around,” echoed Rough Puff Pastry.

Thompson wasted no time with another attempt to be crowned a prison nickname. He made his way to the Dominoes table and pounded his fists, causing them to become slightly unaligned. “Ten! Ten! I’m Crazy Ten Thompson!”

“What’s the matter with you, Dave Thompson?” asked Evacuated Tube Collector. “Yeah, Dave Thompson, do you mind?” dismissed 18 Hole Stroke Play.

Dave made other attempts at securing nicknames. He started a food fight and declared himself “Dirty Buffet King!” but he was merely met with disappointed responses, such as “Thanks a lot, Dave Thompson.” and “What the hell, Dave Thompson? Now we gotta clean it up.”

Thompson once started a riot, so he would be known as “The Instigator Extraordinaire!” Unfortunately, it led to the untimely deaths of fellow inmates Hot Tip Injection Molding and Easy Cucumber Salad, may they rest in peace. This also landed Thompson in the hole for 30 days. There, he called himself Down in the Hole Dave, but nobody was around to enjoy it.

Upon his release, Thompson’s prison buddies wished him well. “Take care, Dave Thompson!” waved Muddy Mountain Top. “Good luck out there, Dave Thompson!” wished Vanilla Protein Seed.

No matter where life takes him, Thompson will always be remembered fondly and affectionately by his fellow inmates as “Dave Thompson.”

By Tommi Becker