Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Percolator Files, Part I

It was about a year ago that we half-heartedly launched The Wither Port Review. Then we realized we don't want to read the endless submissions that would come in, and we ceased production.

Then we discovered The Percolator Files, stories penned by an author named Chickenhead Antonucci between February and September of 2001. In the coming weeks these stories will appear on The Wither Port Review unedited, just as they appeared ten years ago.

Thank you, and stay tuned...

Feb 23, 2001 -

I Don't Remember

"I don't remember, Sir," I said weakly.
"Who am I, Peppermint Patty? I'm your mother. Don't call
me Sir." She was going ballistic. "Did you eat the lemon
merange pie?"
I knew I had exhausted "I don't know" in the previous
interrigations. She's a nut for those stupid Family Circus
cartoons. "I don't remember" seemed to suggest there was
something wrong with my brain. If temporary insanity worked
in a courtroom, "I don't remember" just might work on my
"I don't remember."
Nope. Up to my room again. No innocent until proven guilty
in this courtroom.

A man, who was the spitting image of Paul Lynde, floated
about fifty feet in front of me. He was wearing a turban
and beige bikini bottoms. But then, maybe he wasn't. I had
been drinking. He yelled something to me. I could not hear
him. I tried to read his lips. It looked like "brain." Is
he questioning my intelligence? Has he found a human brain
in the woods? Does he want to discuss the dog from Inspector
Gadget? Perhaps it's "plane" or "plain." Is he Herve
Villechaize or am I passing out bags of M&Ms? The rain in
Spain falls mainly on the plain? I turned my head and, for
a brief second, heard "Train!" It was far too late.

Chris Jericho came at me with abandon. Actually, it was
my friend Rick, but when he leaps off the sofa and clothes-
lines me like a maniac, he likes to pretend he's Chris Jericho.
Sometimes I think pro-wrestling should be banned.
"Dude, what are you, twelve?" I said to him. "Stop coming
at me with adandon."
"I'm not coming at you with abandon," he replied. "I'm
coming at you with RECKLESS abandon!"
"Explain the difference." He replied by dropkicking me into
the bookshelf and James Joyce's Ulysses almost knocked me
unconscious. It seemed odd, watching wrestling in a room in
which Ulysses is on the bookshelf, kind of like Hulk Hogan
playing Hamlet. I gave Rick a savate kick and them Leopold
Bloomed him on the side of the head with the book. He yelled
"No foreign objects!", took a swig of Pepsi, and spat it right
in my face.
"What the hell was that?" I asked.
"Yoshihiro Tajiri!"
"You sick bastard. Do that again and I'll change it to Ally
McBeal," I bluffed. I was taping Ally in another room. I
wouldn't spoil it by watching any of it now, but this wrestling
was clearly out of hand. We needed to be without abandon
prontissimo, and since he thinks Ally is a "chick show," the
stupid, macho prick, this was a very good threat.
He behaved until the main event, when he tried to put me in
the Crippler Crossface, after which I threw him out like Fred
does the cat at the end of the Flintstones.

After the earth moved

We were all a malenky bit shaken up after the earth moved.
It was weird. It just kind of moved really fast and then
stopped. Scientists were baffled. They said it was as if
the earth saw an asteroid coming at it and quickly got out
of the way. They said it was more bizarre than the day
the earth stood still, but not quite in the league of the
day the earth opened up and swallowed half its people

"They're coming for you, you rat bastard," a voice said
from behind me. "They're coming for you, and they'll find
you. I'll make sure of it."
It was Bill, the new temp, who everyone in the office
already thought was on odd character.
"Bill," I said. "We've been over this. There is no one
coming for me, Susan in Accounting, or anyone in the office.
Not the pigs, not the Nazis. There are no Puritans who want
to set me on fire because I'm a warlock."
"Oh, really?" he replied. "You'd like to believe that,
wouldn't you? That would be a good thing."
"Yes," I said. "And you know what else is a good thing?
"How dare you mock the Grand Wizard!"
"All right, someone needs a time out, and a shirt. You're
freaking me out."
"They are coming!"
"Hey, Chicken Little," I was now upset. "I'm sitting here
minding my own business, watching my computer guess the
dictator or sitcom character. I don't need this."
"The Wizard cares not for your needs."
"Look, I sympathize with you. I used to be a temp. It sucks.
You ever see the movie Clockwatchers?"
"Good film, rent it. But you must stop this absurd behavior.
And stop sending me those Sylvia Plath peoms. Ask Wilson to
give you his shrink's card."
"I will give Bill my shrink's card."
"I will give Bill...look, you're not Obi-Wan Kenobi. Just
get back to work or stare at the wall. Do it quietly."
He started to walk away, then lunged at me and bit me on
the neck. I screamed as I kicked him off of me and tried to
nurse my wound. Suddenly I felt something weird come over me.
It was as if I was becoming someone, or something, else.
What was happening? Was I turning into a vampire? A giant insect?
The Incredible Hulk? No, it was worse. I was now Dick Clark.
"You bloody fool!" I yelled at the imbecile, Bill. "You've
doomed me to an eternity of making blooper shows and hosting
New Year's Eve specials and Miss Teen USA pageants! But wait."
I stopped to ponder the situation more carefully. "Bill, you
magnificent bastard! I'm filthy, stinking rich! So long,
suckers!" As I walked out of the office, Bill, who apparently
couldn't stand to see that I was happy with my new circumstances,
stuck a needle into my arm.
"Ow," I said. "TV's Dick Clark doesn't like needles."
I felt it again. I was changing. I would no longer be Dick
Clark. I vomited slightly and looked in the mirror. Holy crap,
I was Groucho Marx! And the moustache wasn't painted on. It was
real. Bill the temp laughed and disappeared into thin air. This
was how I would spend the rest of my life. That fortune cookie
was right.

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