Friday, August 19, 2011

Lent, Pizza and 80s Rock

In our Friday installment of "Worshipping Chickenhead Antonucci," CHA examines Lent, alien hunting, and the tragic breakup of the band Journey.

March 9 - First Contact

Jimmy said he was going to give up searching for aliens for Lent. It was
either that or give up his peeping, but, with it getting warmer, and
considering what Jimmy calls our “hot new neighbor,” that was not a valid
possibility. Everyone in the family had to give up something. I was giving
up junk food, Mom suspended her embargo on “that disgusting sexual act” with
Dad, and Dad, as always, gave up cigars. That he never once smoked a cigar
in his life was not The Lord’s business, he always said.

Lent was never a good time of the year. Worse than giving up something,
was not eating meat on Friday. Mom was a strict enforcer of this rule. Every
Friday at school was pizza day. My brother and I were the only ones who
answered “Plain” when asked plain or pepperoni. We’d beg the lunch lady for
some mushrooms, black olives, even anchovies.

One Friday night, Jimmy decided that if he couldn’t have a hamburger, he
was going alien hunting. I grabbed a Hostess Snowball and a Charleston Chew
and followed him. We wandered aimlessly around the woods for about six
hours. By midnight it seemed our little journey was little more than a more
tiring version of the Great Pumpkin. Not one alien. Not one flying saucer.
Not even a rubber octopus hanging on a piece of string. And while my brother
pointed out that we did find a Burger King, a paper bag with a thousand
dollars in it, and a naked cult dancing around and sacrificing rabbits, I
considered the evening a total bust.

March 11 - The Journey’s End

My sister Lucy cried when the band Journey broke up. That it happened
right after Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen added
to her already piercing agony. This was nothing like when they
cancelled Square Pegs. This was cause for a major bout of depression. Sure,
like many kids at the time, she would get into the glam-rock hair bands that
would follow: the Poisons, the Warrants, the Cinderellas, hell, even the
Danger Dangers. To her, it was not the same. Journey was an institution.
Steve Perry was a god. I certainly didn’t see it; he was no Huey Lewis.
When Nirvana became popular, Lucy wasn’t buying it. She buried herself in
her old Journey albums, and wouldn’t think of buying the CDs. I can remember
hearing “Open Arms” and “Separate Ways” constantly. Finally, in 1996,
Journey got back together, and Lucy rejoiced. It was amazing how
happy she became. Alas, two years later, Steve Perry left Journey, and, once
again, Lucy was left depressed.

I considered myself to be very comforting and understanding of Lucy’s
pain, which is why it surprised me when Nina Gordon left my favorite band
Veruca Salt and she mocked me mercilessly. I threw her Journey records into
the fireplace and we haven’t spoken since.

Up next...The Joys of Teaching

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