Classically Shitty: To Kill a Mockingbird

The Journal of Boo Radley

Dear Diary,

The world is a cruel place. As you know, diary, everything was great until a few years ago when that annoying Finch family moved in next door. The mother was nice, I suppose, but she died a while back. After that, the father was completely unable to raise his children with any sense of decency or respect. He’s a small-fry lawyer, and he’s working so much, he’s clueless what his kids are doing. And it’s precisely what his kids are doing that bothers me.

I was living a happy if not solitary life in my parents’ house. I kept to myself, mostly. I don’t like to get in the way of other people. I don’t like to stick my nose where it doesn’t belong. I value privacy above all else. So, when these supervision-less kids started snooping around my house, I got understandably upset.

At first it was small things. They would knock on the front door and run away. Yeah, that’s annoying, but I did the same thing when I was their age. I let it slide. But as time went on, they got bolder and more aggressive. Pretty soon they were throwing tires at my front door. Sometimes they would roll inside the tires like they were in a Mad Max movie.

They would run around and shout at all hours of the night. It was impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Pretty soon, I became nocturnal. Even though I try my damnedest, I can’t get my internal clock back on track. I feel like a vampire. Now, all I do is sleep in the basement in the day and walk around the silent streets at night. At least my dad helped build me a cool room in the basement.

The two kids, Jem and Scout are the definition of the word brat. Go ahead and look up the word in the dictionary, I’m sure you’ll see their picture. I know they have funny names, my name, Boo, is funny, too. We’re Southerners, after all, so we delight in giving ourselves cringe-worthy names. Anyway, my point is that these kids are bratty as all get-out. They constantly disobey their father, running around town and interrupting him at the courthouse even when he specifically tells them not to. Just about everyone in town hates them, but no one has the guts to tell Atticus (the father – another goofy name) the truth.

Sometimes they run through the little garden I planted alongside the house and trounce my vegetables. They even twisted up the chicken-wire fence that I specifically put up to keep them out. I guess I’ll have to go with barbed wire next.

I tried to scare Jem once. He was really getting on my nerves. So, I lumbered out to the front porch, pretending to be Frankenstein’s monster. He freaked out, which was my intention, of course. Even so, it didn’t stop him. The next day he was right back to his usual antics.

As if things weren’t bad enough, they soon began to steal from me. I have a favorite hiding place from when I was a kid. There’s a hole in a knob of the tree between our two houses. Sometimes, when I’m feeling nostalgic, I like to stash my childhood things in there: an old pocket watch, a couple of carvings, and a spelling medal. Well, wouldn’t you know it, those kids took my stuff. They didn’t even bother to ask. My dad got so fed up with it, he actually slapped cement into the hole so the thievery would stop.

Scout gets in fights all the time at school. She admonishes people for being poor without considering their feelings. The other night, they brought someone over for dinner, to apologize for her behavior, and she started berating them at the dinner table. I don’t think Atticus even bothered to discipline her.

And that’s another thing that bothers me. Atticus allows his kids to call him by his first name, just like in The Simpsons. How can he expect to discipline them or have them obey when they think they are equals? He’s got some weird ideas about parenting, I can tell you that. I don’t have kids of my own, but I’m pretty sure you can’t just talk to them. Nope, hitting them with a switch is the only thing that works. Best if they pick out their own switch.

For a while, Atticus was working late every night. He’d be gone for hours, guarding the courthouse jail from angry mobs. I watched from across the street. I’d say he’s an admirable guy. He spent a year defending a black man in a court case. He found several holes in the prosecution’s case, and he damn-near found the real culprit. But instead of spelling it out for the jury, he expected them to be smart enough to piece it together on their own. Of course, they didn’t. He lost the case. I’m sure he meant well, but he’s shouldn’t have been so naïve. American courts are pretty dumb places.

Things settled down after that. For a while, at least. I went on nightly walks, enjoying the warm, sweet air. Autumn came around the corner and nights became cooler. I enjoyed being out until the wee hours, until the sun just began to peak its yellow face over the horizon. It was a magical time, and one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

And then, just before Halloween, there was an incident. And wouldn’t you know it, it involved those pesky Finch kids. It was dark, and I was just beginning my evening stroll. I heard someone screaming nearby. Being a good citizen I ran toward the shouts, eager to help. I saw a little kid and a giant ham attacking some poor, defenseless man. I rushed to the man’s aid. Unfortunately, I was overcome by the dual attackers and blacked out. I’m not sure I didn’t hallucinate the whole thing. When I awoke, I found Bob Ewell dead, with a knife in him.

Jem was nearby, unconscious. He looked hurt badly, so I picked him up and rushed him home. The giant ham chased after me. Believe me, I was totally freaked out.

A lot more happened, but the gist of it is that Jem turned out fine. Atticus invited me into his home and gave me a proper introduction to Scout. She was a nice girl, after all, but definitely on the skittish side. I hope she doesn’t turn out too much like her grimy brother or that foppish friend of theirs, Dill (again, a Southern name).

When I look back on the last two years, I must say it’s been fairly interesting. If they ever made a movie about Maycomb, the first hour would probably be wasted on those bratty Finch kids, which would be a major letdown. I hear Atticus is crack-shot, though, maybe they should focus on that instead?

I continued to stay in my house after that. It’s better to sleep during the day and go out at night. You encounter fewer people this way. Humanity is pretty terrible. If it isn’t kids constantly terrorizing you, it’s people accusing others of crimes they didn’t commit. If I had my way, everyone would stay inside all the time. That way, you’d never have to deal with anyone.

The Finch kids are back to their old ways again, shouting and banging on my front door. I do my best to hide in my basement, and write in you, diary. Someday, I hope the kids grow out of this phase. I’m sure they will. When they grow up, I hope they don’t come back to Maycomb and find their father suddenly turned to a racist, and acting nothing like he did in their childhood. What a silly idea, people don’t change that much.

— Boo Radley

December 31, 1937

Verdict: Shitty

Check out these other entries in the Classically Shitty series:

Lawrence of Arabia

The Third Man

Rio Bravo and High Noon


Raging Bull

Blazing Saddles

Citizen Kane

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The Hustler

2001: A Space Odyssey


15 Responses to “Classically Shitty: To Kill a Mockingbird”

  1. September 14, 2015 at 7:25 am

    *snort* this one is an absolute ripper, dude. You’ve outdone yourself. Love it.

    I disagree with you, but this is hilarious.

  2. 3 Themaster20000
    September 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

    LMAO!. That was some great stuff. I do disagree,but that was by far the best negative review of it I’ve read.

  3. September 14, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I had this book read to me in class, and don’t remember anyone from it.

  4. September 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

    To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorites, but this is still hilarious. Those damn brats.

  5. 9 Janet
    December 8, 2015 at 8:23 am

    I appreciate negative reviews of movies and books – even if I liked them – if they are written intelligently and with reason. You definitely do that. I enjoyed reading your review, and also the fact that you wrote it from Boo’s POV. I always did wonder what he thought and felt about his life and surroundings. Bravo.

  6. December 29, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    So what were your REAL thoughts on the film?

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September 2015


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