Hannibal’s Most Famous Hick: An Interview With Hick Finn
Hannibal's own Hick Finn, as he's known, is truly a multifaceted person, and if I may... a character. A writer, former radio host, avid outdoorsman, Harley-Davidson enthusiast, and at least partly tongue-in-cheek philosopher, Hick is one of those people everyone should know. So with that in mind, let's get to know him.
We asked Hick to gives us some insight on what makes him tick in between his daily "Hick Finnisms" that he shares with his Facebook friends. Things like:
"7 years ago to this day, I swallowed my gum and broke a mirror, so as you might imagine, this is a pretty big day for me."
"If you try to pronounce 'lmao' you sound like a french cat."
"I was going throw an Earth Day party, but I forgot to planet."
And a personal favorite of mine: "I wonder how much bigger oceans would be if they didn't have sponges in them?"
Trust me, he's got a million more. So here's the story of Hick Finn.
Where did the name Hick Finn originate?
Brian, I began writing on a local message board owned by the Hannibal Courier-Post called RiverTalk. Everyone had screen names. I decided to take a cheap shot at Mark Twain. Make no mistake, Twain was a literary genius, but knowing the sense of humor he had I thought he’d appreciate a silly name aimed at his works. I settled on the name Hick Funn distorting the name of Huck Finn. Unfortunately I typed the wrong name in with my size 16 fingers and I was instantly stuck with Hick Finn.
I was eventually asked by HCP to concentrate my posts into one column on RiverTalk, which eventually led to me writing for the Saturday issue HCP for a couple of years.
I wrote for L.I.F.T (Life Inspirations and Fun Times) until the paper dissolved. It was a fun publication left in hospitals, nursing homes, and gas stations. It was the brainchild of Carol Toetde of Quincy, Il. formerly of Rensselear, Mo. Tourists picked up copies of the paper as well as truckers. Many people sent copies to deployed soldiers. That was really neat getting fan mail from 47 states and 7 countries.
I currently write for Hannibal Magazine. I love the freedom Rich Heiser gives me to be me. That is pretty awesome in magazine terms!
How did you get into radio?
After following me on RiverTalk, I was offered a radio bit on KHBL radio. I originally agreed to supply the material for a voice talent. David Norman insisted that I could read my material best since I knew the intent of the material. Entering a new media was eye opening. I learned how to record and edit my own material. I wrote daily for a show that aired 4 times a day, 7 days a week. That gig lasted about 3 years. I had a lot of side writing projects and radio. I wrote for fun, but eventually it became a second job. I think everyone was enjoying my material but me. That is the point I decided to leave radio.
Since you are an avid outdoorsman do you have any stories about ”the big fish that got away” or a great hunting story?
As a child, I was hunting or fishing every weekend. Every weekend was an adventure with my Pop. After work on summer evenings my Pop and Mom took me fishing. My compiled list of excellent adventures are endless in my mind and heart. My parents were the greatest and my best friends. Everything that I am I can attribute to them.
What is the farthest you have ridden on your Harley?
After nearly 25 years of not motorcycling I rediscovered it thanks to my wife leading me to a Harley-Davidson dealership. Three motorcycles later we are deeply involved in biking. We just bought a new trailer and we plan on traveling to Sturgis, Kentucky this summer. The first thing I discovered when we started riding was suddenly I was old. Our first few trips were comparable to straddling a Brahma bull. Once you permanently dislocate your hips your rides become more comfortable.
Have you ever considered running for president?
I try to avoid political discussions in my writing, but since you asked I would have to say no. I love humor and I love to laugh. Unfortunately, many foreign leaders don’t have a lot to laugh about or they completely misinterpret American humor. If I was elected president, we would be in a world war in less than 6 months. It is safer to keep me isolated in Hannibal. I can do less damage that way.
Can you tell us where your Hick Finnisms come from?
Seriously, Brian, the isms just happen. Most times they just roll out there and even surprise me. That is like asking Bob Ross which trees he painted were the happiest ones. I have always been the class clown and had a lightning fast wit. I just love making people smile and laugh. The world is full of hate and despair. I wake up every day to make at least one person smile or laugh out loud. I have never wondered what is my purpose in life was. I have always realized what my mission in life is. I was recently told I need to pursue stand-up comedy. That would be awesome, but I am currently addicted to eating three meals a day and living in a house. Fame and fortune are fine, but making the world laugh is all the riches I need.
Thanks for the interview, Brian. It has been a pleasure! …Hick