Friday, November 25, 2011

Chickenhead: Allergies

Chickenhead assured us that the following is a true story.

April 24, 2001-Allergies

Thursday nights were big party nights at Terry Taylor College, but being
borderline agoraphobic, and stricken with numerous other anxiety disorders,
kept me in the townhouse every evening. It was me and the kitten, a stray my
roommate Bryan and his parents found on Ashland Street. It was a stroke of
genius naming her Ashland. I told Bryan that Ashley is more of a name, not
for a cat, but better than Ashland. He was insistent.
We were going to have a lovely evening, the two of us, watching NBC’s
“Must See TV” lineup while Ash climbed all over me. I grabbed the remote
control and tried to zap her as she attacked futilely. The remote fell to
the floor and she went after it, knocking over Bryan’s bottle of chewed
tobacco. That was Bryan’s idea of decorating apparently: A dozen beer
bottles filled with spit-out Skoal and Red Man and placed randomly like
landmines throughout the townhouse. Ash got some on her and I wiped her tiny
feet with Bryan’s blanket. Serves him right.


When “Will & Grace” came on, my cat allergies started kicking in. I have
since learned that I can be around cats and dogs as long as I don’t touch my
face until I wash my hands. My eyes watered and my nose and throat itched. I
had to come up with a plan without isolating myself from Ash. I placed a
chair between the couch I was sitting on and the television. Ash did not
like this and soon began leaping at me as if saying, “Why don’t you love me
anymore?” She leaped twice unsuccessfully, and on the third try banged her
little head on one of the bars under the chair. If I didn’t feel bad then, I
certainly did as she dejectedly crawled back onto the couch and buried
herself in my other roommate Nick’s jacket. It was heartbreaking. I went to
her, pleading, “I’m so sorry, Ash. I still love you. Are you all right?
Here, let’s play.” She recovered, but I needed something to help my
allergies. Then I remembered Q.Q.
Q.Q. was not so much the local allergist as he was just a guy who
practiced medicine and lived in an old whiskey bottle on our kitchen
counter. I gently rubbed his bottle, and out in a puff of smoke came Dr.
Q.Q., practicing his golf swing.
“What? Hey, what’s the idea, calling for me while I’m working?” he
“Q.Q., I need something for my allergies,” I begged.
“Didn’t I tell you that if you stay away from Miss Henrietta Pussycat
over there, you wouldn’t have this problem?”
“Yes,” I said. “But…”
“Yeah, but, but, but,” he said. “If shoulds and buts were beer and nuts,
we’d have one hell of a time, wouldn’t we, Sneezy?”
“Dr. Q.Q., please. Do you have anything to drink around here?”
Q.Q. opened the refrigerator and grabbed an open beer bottle. He took a
swig and immediately spit it out.
“What the hell is this crap?” he shouted.
“Oh, that might be some of Bryan’s tobacco spit.”
“Good Lord, I think I’m gonna vomit,” Q.Q. said as he ran into the
“Gallant thanks his host for the cold beverage,” I hollered. “Goofus runs
away screaming about how he’s gonna throw up.”
“Now, look, jar head,” Q.Q. said, returning. “You need to get rid of that
darn cat and get an armadillo or something. You’re like Elvis with the
“Q.Q.,” I said. “She’s not my cat to get rid of.”
“Hmm,” he said. “Wanna see a trick? You see this?” He pulled out a wand,
a magic wand perhaps. “Bet you didn’t know I was a magician. The Amazing
Q.Q., they used to call me.”
“They? Who’s they?” I asked.
“Well, mostly winos and prostitutes, but it was folks like that who made
Houdini famous.”
“Really?” I said.
“I don’t know. Watch.” Q.Q. motioned his wand toward Ash and she
“Holy shit, Q.Q.!” I said. “You made her disappear.”
“Yeah, so the narrator told us, Clouseau” Q.Q. replied. “Clever
observation, boy.”
“You’re a witch. They burn witches, Q.Q.”
“It would be warlock, and I’m not one. Thank you very much,” he replied.
“Bring her back,” I demanded.
“Fine, get sick and die.” Q.Q. motioned again and something appeared, but
it wasn’t Ash.
“Uh, Q.Q.,” I said. “That’s a bucket of fish.”
“So?” he said. “Cats like fish. Let me try again.” He motioned again, and
I began to worry about little Ash.
“Q.Q., that’s Fatty Arbuckle, silent film comedian. Please bring the cat
“Sorry,” Q.Q. said. “Better keep him away from all these tobacco
bottles.” Q.Q. tried again and a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex stood in our living
“Heavens to Mergatroid,” Q.Q. said. “You’re on your own, kid. I’m out of
here. See ya.”
“Bullshit, Doc,” I said. “I’m coming with you.”
We both jumped into Q.Q.’s bottle until the coast cleared, or so I
thought. Q.Q. informed me that mortals can get into a bottle, but not out.
Wonderful. For the rest of our lives, we would be The Odd Couple. I would
never see little Ash again, nor do I know where she is. And frankly, I was a
bit more concerned about living my life in a whiskey bottle, thank you.


Chickenhead loved a good pillow fight, but who doesn't, right?

April 22

“Stephanie, your friends are here!” my mother shouted.
It was a night I couldn’t wait for. Megan, Emily and Jen were coming over
for a slumber party. School was about over for the year, and we were
celebrating having the entire summer to ourselves. We wanted to go to the
movies to see “Teen Witch,” but my mom said it was playing too late. So we
stayed in, doing each other’s hair while watching “Perfect Strangers,” “Full
House,” and “Mr. Belvedere.”

We were all such good friends. Megan was the smart one. She already had
it planned out that, when she grew up, she was going to marry Donald Trump.
She was the pride of her family, which wasn’t very difficult to accomplish
considering that her brother was in prison for cocaine possession, stalking
Debbie Gibson, and sending threatening letters to Bill Buckner.

Emily was the one my brother called “The Ditz.” She was a huge New Kids
On The Block fan. She had shirts, CDs, videos, pillows, blankets…you name
it. If it was NKOTB, Emily had it. If you ever met her, she would
immediately tell you about when she met Joey McIntyre. He was signing CDs at
Strawberries with the rest of the band. We were all there; so we all met
them. Emily says Joey looked at her a certain way. So I guess Megan has
Donald, and Emily has Joey.

Jen was the cool one. She didn’t care much for “Teen Witch,” or “Full
House,” or the New Kids. She wanted to see “Pet Sematary,” and watched “L.A.
Law” and “Moonlighting,” and had a brother who took her to see Motley Crue,
Warrant and Cinderella. Megan would never see “Pet Sematary” because she
hates horror movies, especially ones that misspell words in the title.
Whereas Megan had Mr. Trump, and Emily had one of the New Kids, Jen had
my brother Gus. For some reason, she adored him. I kept telling her he’s
disgusting, and was named after a football-playing mule, but she doesn’t
listen. Gus came in after “Mr. Belvedere” to watch “Just the Ten of Us” with
us because he had a thing for Brooke Theiss and Jamie Luner, the pervert.
Jen started flirting with Gus and he hit her with a pillow. She hit him
back, and then he hit me. When I hit him back, Jen hit me and all hell broke
loose. The five of us kept knocking each other silly with pillows until we
were dizzy and there were feathers everywhere. This was bad, because Gus was
so dizzy, he fell down and knocked over my barrel of tar. Now we looked like
five drunken chickens and Mom was going to kill us.

“Gus, you idiot!” I said. “This is why I told you not to bother us.”
“Oh, shut up, dweeb,” he fired back. “You’re the one who made me fall.”
“Yeah, Steph,” Jen said. “Leave him alone. It was your fault.”
“What?” I was outraged. “I don’t believe this. My best friend and my
stupid football-playing-mule brother?”
“I told you, Steph,” Gus said. “I was born two years before that movie
came out.”
“So?” I said. “You’re still a dumb mule.”
“Hey, Gus,” Jen said. “Wanna come to the movies with us tomorrow?”
“What are you seeing?” Gus asked her.
“’Teen Witch,’” she replied.
“Isn’t that hottie from ‘Lucus’ and ‘Goonies’ in that?”
“No, Gus,” I said, knowing my stuff. “The hottie is Kerri Green, and she
was in ‘Lucas’ and ‘Goonies.’ Robyn Lively is in ‘Teen Witch.’”
“Shut up, loser,” he said.


“You shut up!” I screamed and began pelting him with my pillow again.
This only started the whole thing up again until we were all completely
exhausted, and Gus decided to leave, clean himself up, and go to bed.
“Way to go, Steph,” Jen said.
“Jen,” I said. “Why don’t you marry my brother if you’re so in love with
“Maybe I will.”
I didn’t have a reply to this. Everyone showered and went to sleep. The
night wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be, but the next day we went to see
“Teen Witch,” and we were friends again, ready for a great summer.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chickenhead's Ode to Calligraphy

Those who knew him know know know that Chickenhead was bat shit crazy. Ode need only read this little story to understand that.
Monday, 3/26 - Calligrapher's Code
It was my genius idea to take a calligraphy class this semester. For some reason, the class required two books totaling forty dollars. Even with the relatively low cost for an English major’s paperbacks, as compared to the fifty-plus-dollar math and science books, this was not in my budget. So I skipped the bookstore, and my friends Rick and John accompanied me to the college library. To my chagrin, the book was out. Wonderful, now we had to go to the town library. You would think that a town filled with extras from Deliverance wouldn’t bother building a library, but, sure enough, the Jethro Bodine Memorial Library stood within walking distance from campus.

The library didn’t seem to devote itself to having sections. My first random glance at the shelves found
Don’t Shoot, It’s Just Me by Bob Hope, How To Catch Clams By The Bushel, and Kabuki Theatre of Japan all catalogued next to each other. We set about our task to find the elusive calligraphy books.

“What are these books called?” Rick asked me.

The Calligrapher’s Code,” I replied.

“What’s it about, Caligula?”

“No,” John interrupted. “It’s like a lie-detector test.”

“When is your first assignment due?” was Rick’s next question.

“In three weeks.”

“Oh, please. You’ve got plenty of time.”

“I’m not into procrastinating.”

“Oh, come on,” John said. “Everyone does it.”
I said PRO-CRAST-in-ating, you nitwit.”

“Hey,” Rick said. “I should probably look for a book for my Vietnamese sign language class.”

“Look, here it is.” As soon as Rick left, I found it. I knew he was bad luck. “The Calligrapher’s Code.”

“I know what that is now,” John said. “That’s when you have more than one wife.”

“Idiot,” I said. “It’s like writings and shit. You’ve got Roman, Gothic, Celtic, Arabic, Islamic. You can use it for diplomas and wedding invitations.”

“You ain’t graduating, and who would marry you? And who would you invite? Dennis Johnson?”

“Celtic!” I said. “With a K sound. Not like the Celtics. Hey, it says ‘Oriental brush lettering and Roman stone carving are equally a part of what we call calligraphy today’.”

“Yeah, great,” John said. “Do you think they have The Rock’s book here?”

“I somehow doubt it.”

“Hey, remember card catalogs?”

“Vaguely. Those were the days. Where’s Rick? Let’s get out of here.” We caught up with Rick and stood in line patiently, discussing those who are screwed now that Vince McMahon owns WCW, when it happened. A large, hideous creature entered, and not too politely.

“Holy shit!” John said.

“Dude, what the hell is that?” Rick followed.

“Oh, dear,” I said. “Is that…”

“I am Hrothgar!” the beast interrupted me.

“I was gonna say that,” I protested.

“Who the hell is Hrothgar?” Rick asked.

“I killed Beowulf, John F. Kennedy, and Jimmy Hoff-…I, um, I killed Beowulf.”

“Did he kill Beowulf?” I asked.

“I didn’t read the book,” John said.

“What’s the Bay of Wolf?” Rick said.

“And now,” Hrothgar exclaimed, “I will kill you all!”

“Excuse me,” John said as he fled from the scene.

“You pus…” I tried to yell at him, but Hrothgar stopped me.

“Watch the potty mouth in front of Hrothgar,” the beast was apparently offended. We stood in the middle of the library, fearing for our lives. Rick produced a set of rosary beads from his pocket.

“Dude,” I said, “I didn’t know you were Catholic.”

“I’m not,” then he threw the beads at Hrothgar futily.

“Rick,” I said sternly, “He’s not a vampire, and this isn’t Mardi Gras. We’re dead." Suddenly, someone fell down the stares and landed right at Hrothgar’s feet.

“Is it a bird?” I asked. “A decrepit, old, very sick bird?”

“Is it a plane?” Rick said. “Probably the exact plane the Wright Brothers crashed before the successful flight?”

No, it was Root Beer Float Man, here to either save or die along with us.

“Never fear,” our hero said. He then punched Hrothgar in the testicles and we ran like hell. We got halfway to our dorm when Rick and I turned around and Root Beer Float Man was gone. Seconds later, John showed up.

“John, where the hell were you?” I asked him.

“I had to get a book,” he said. “Mein Kampf.”

“Mm-him,” I said. “And who wrote Mein Kampf?”


“Uh-huh, and where is this book?”

“Hrothgar’s dog Gmork ate it. What do you want from me? Can we just go?”

“Okay, Atreju,” I said. “Let’s get the hell out of here. I think Gmork was a wolf, by the way. Not a dog.”

“Bite me.”

We never spoke of the incident again.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Curse of the Hornswoggled Honcho

After a long hiatus, The Wither Port Review returns with more newly-discovered writings from the great Chickenhead Antonucci. Here we learn how Chickenhead was nearly arrested for stalking a rock goddess.

March 25

The Curse of the Hornswoggled Honcho

It had been nearly a year since my roommate Steve was burned by an unruly gang of Puritans for being a warlock. He had toiled all semester to try to break the Curse of the Bambino. Well, Steve would have been glad to know he died for a good cause. Eight months later, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, and eighty-three years of disappointment was a distant memory. By Christmas, however, word had been going around about another curse, “the Curse of the Hornswoggled Honcho.”

Through word of mouth, Honcho somehow became Hondo. This in itself was a mystery no one would ever solve. Who was the Honcho, and exactly how did he come to being known as Hondo? This didn’t matter. I would solve this case either way. The rumor became that the curse had something to do with Yosemite Sam and either John Havlicek or John Wayne. My gut told me it was Havlicek, a former Boston Celtics star with the nickname Hondo. All these curses seem to have Boston roots.

On question puzzled me. Why Havlicek? Why not Russell or Cousy or Bird or McHale? I had my other roommate, Charlie, help me do some research on witches and warlocks. All he found were a couple of movies about witches and a Bewitched marathon on TV Land. The Bewitched marathon was no help. They were the later, hippy episodes with the second Darrin. The movies were The Witches of Eastwick and The Craft. I threw out the first one immediately. I could never watch a Cher movie. That dame just makes me ill. Charlie and I sat and watched The Craft together, and there was something about it that caught my interest. I studied the cast: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell and Rachel True. It was a dead end. Charlie studied them also, then excused himself into his bedroom. I knew he would be no help.

Then I realized what it was. It was the soundtrack, the music. Something in the soundtrack to this film would lead me to the answer. I went to my CD collection, where I happened to have The Craft soundtrack. I made sure to keep in mind the mysterious Boston connection. There were two artists that I knew of on this CD that were from Boston, both of which I was quite familiar with. They were Letters To Cleo and Juliana Hatfield. There it was, clear as day. JH. Juliana Hatfield. John Havlicek.

I didn’t know what this curse was all about, or why I was trying to break it. I just knew I had little time. The next evening Miss Hatfield was playing at the Paradise in Boston with her old band, the Blake Babies. This was my chance. I drove there alone and waited by the back door. An hour later, there she was. She was a pretty thing, much smaller than one would expect in person. Like I suspected she would, she brought her dog. I didn’t know the dog’s name, nor did I care. I pulled out the juicy steak I brought with me and waved it around. Sure enough, the dog came towards me. I threw the piece of meat in the dumpster. The dog leaped in to get it, and I closed the door, trapping the canine.

When Juliana came running, I grabbed her, tied her up and put tape on her mouth, then stuffed her in the back seat of my car. I drove to a secluded area and stopped, jumping in the back seat with her. When I pulled the tape off of her mouth, she didn’t have many kind words for me. That was for sure. I gave her a big kiss to shut her up.

“Miss Hatfield,” I said. “I’m your number one fan. I love you. I have thirty-two of your CDs. That’s including EPs and bootlegs. I have three T-shirts, one that you actually signed, and three posters. I also have some videos, including bootlegs from ’93 and ’95 of you in Philly and Washington, and an in-store in Bridgeport. I’ve seen you live four times. Well, actually, I saw you twice in Cambridge, at the Middle East, and then twice in one day during your Newbury Comics tour last year. I was in Shrewsbury and Natick. My favorite CD of yours is Become What You Are. I love “My Sister” and “For The Birds.” Those are my favorite songs, but I also love “Little Pieces” and “Feelin’ Massachusetts.” Did I mention that I love you?”

I was rambling on like a madman. It wasn’t long before the police arrived. Someone saw me leave and gave them my plate number. I was busted, and they weren’t buying my curse story. I knew I had to come clean.

There was no Curse of the Hornswoggled Hondo, or Honcho. It was all in my head, a sort of psychotic, delusional reasoning to kidnap Miss Hatfield. I needed help. The whole thing, John Havlicek, The Craft, Letters To Cleo, just absurd pieces in my maniacal puzzle. I began this thing convincing myself I’d be a hero. I ended up a sad, pathetic, strange and creepy stalker and kidnapper. My roommate Steve had good intentions. He died a hero in Boston and all of New England. I was as low as Charles Stewart, the Boston Strangler, and John Salvi. Maybe even Bill Buckner. Massachusetts didn’t have the death penalty, but I knew, when the time came, I would be going straight to hell. Then I’d realize my life-long dream of stalking Sylvia Plath.