Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Opera Adaptation

When Chickenhead went completely nuts he thought up ideas for Italian operas. Not much else can be said but, here is one of those stories.

July 5, 2001

Vanilla Ice is River Phoenix in “The Glen Campbell Story”

A work of fiction adapted from the Italian opera
"La Idiota da Nuovo Inghilterra," by Tinkerbell Mastriani

My friend Shane has a weird, irrational hatred for former NBA player
Charles Barkley. He would get that way about some celebrities, from Barkley
to Donnie Wahlberg to the guy that played Arvid on "Head of the Class."
Sometimes things got out of hand. When I hung out with him in the late 80’s
and early 90’s, Shane was arrested for stalking and/or threatening notorious
former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay, and
singer/guitarist Gunner Nelson.
One of the last times I got to hang out with Shane was on a cold winter
night in Boston in 1993. The Phoenix Suns were in town to play the Celtics,
and, with Barkley having just been traded to the Suns from Philadelphia,
Shane got us tickets right behind the away team’s bench. The night got off
to a bad start when we entered the hotel where Shane was sure the Suns were
staying. Shane grabbed a guy he thought was Suns guard and former Celtic
Danny Ainge and said, “You tell Barkley I’ll be at the game tonight.” I was
embarrassed and frightened. Luckily this guy was about six inches short than
Ainge and had jet-black hair, “a disguise,” Shane insisted.
We were able to get to the Garden without another incident, but as soon
as we got to our seats, Shane began chanting “Barrrk-leeey!” like the fans
at Fenway chanted “Darryl” at Darryl Strawberry in the 1986 World Series.
Fans around us became instantly annoyed, as did many of the players on both
teams. When he began shouting “Little pigs, little pigs, let me in!” and
expected me to reply “Not by the hairs of our chinny-chin-chins!” I tried to
leave, but he wouldn’t let me.
Once the game started, the fans really got upset at Shane. I myself was
pelted with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Shane, however, was
undaunted, still letting Barkley have it.
“Hey, Sir Charles,” he shouted. “You know who’s a braver knight than you?
Sir Pantsalot of Dropseat Manor. Why don’t you go fight Bugs Bunny and let
KJ lead the team?”
There was no telling Shane to shut up and sit down.
“Hey, Sir Charles,” he continued. “Who knighted you, Queen Sara Saturday
or King Friday XIII? Are you and Lady Elaine Fairchilde dating, or are you
seeing Miss Henrietta Pussycat on the side?”
Few knew what he was talking about, and even fewer cared. Everyone,
including me, just wanted Shane to stop. When security finally came to
escort us out of the building, Shane wasn’t going out without a fight.
“You can’t throw us out,” he protested. “My uncle plays golf with Robert
“Come on, buddy,” one of the officers said. “Don’t make us shoot you.”
“I’m the godfather of Reggie Lewis’ kid,” he lied.
“Oh, yeah?” the other officer said sarcastically. “Well, Kevin McHale’s
my brother-in-law.”
“Are you mocking me?” Shane said as they cuffed him. “Hey, Charles! You
got your goons to get rid of me? This ain’t over, Sir Charles! My anaconda
don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hon! That’s a knight! He’d kick your
And, before the end of the first quarter, we were heading home. I wish I
could say that this experience smartened Shane up, but five months later,
when Reggie Lewis died, Shane became a bit more insane and told anyone who
would listen that Charles Barkley killed him. I stopped hanging out with him
after he told me Sir Charles was also responsible for the deaths of
basketball player Hank Gathers, the two Cleveland Indian pitchers who died
in the boating accident, Sam Kinison, Stevie Ray Vaughn, pro-wrestler Kerry
Von Erich, Brandon Lee, and "Poltergeist" girl Heather O’Rourke. When he
mailed me a second list that included Sharon Tate, Rudolph Valentino, and
Edgar Allan Poe, I called the authorities and had him put away.
Years later, I visited Shane at the Wither Port sanitarium. Nothing had
“Hey, man,” he said. “Have you noticed how many people have died since
I’ve been in here because of that damn Barkley?”
“No, Shane,” I replied. “I didn’t. Like who?”
“Don’t you know who killed Nicole Brown Simpson? Jon Benet Ramsey? Owen
“Owen Hart?” I said in disbelief.
“Yes!” he shouted. “Robert Blake’s ex-wife, Lady Di, JFK Jr. The list is
almost endless now, man.”
“Well,” I said, turning to leave. “Take care, Shane-O.”
“Phil and Brynn Hartman!” he continued shouting. “Emily Dickinson and
I knew he’d be in here for a long time.

The Nom de Plumes

Chickenhead Antonucci briefly toyed with pen names during his career, thinking that anti-Italian sentiment was ruining his livelihood. Here are two stories Chickenhead wrote under different names. The name he used in the second story, Sean Waltman, is, in fact, the real name of professional wrestler X-Pac. Chickenhead loved his wrestling.


by Calypso Mike

“Mommy, can we go to Friendly’s?” Morgan, my nine-year-old daughter
“No, sweetie,” I replied after driving past the restaurant.
“Because I said so.”
I always hated telling them “Because I said so.” Their father would say
“Because their food will kill you” or “Because it would make Jesus cry.” I
used to tell them it’s because of the Fourth Commandment, but they’re old
and smart enough now to reply with “But you and Daddy always say ‘Jesus
Christ’ and ‘God damn it,’ and we never go to church on Sundays, and Daddy
always talks about our neighbor Mrs. Dronzek’s ‘hot little body.’” Then I’d
have to tell them that adults can break the Commandments, except for killing
and stealing, which will put you in prison with Uncle Roy and “Night
Stalker” Richard Ramirez.
When I ask them why they did something and they say “Because,” I tell
them because is not a reason. So Morgan and her sister Stephanie try that on
me by saying “’Because I said so’ is not a reason.” This was exactly what
Stephanie’s reply was to my answer. These kids are too sneaky for their own
“’Because I said so’ is not a reason,” she said.
“It is when I say it, honey.”
“Because I’m the mommy.”
I try to remember the answers their father gives them, like “All that ice
cream will rot your teeth and give your brain damage” or “One of the
waitresses there was a Branch Dividian.”
“When I’m a mommy,” Morgan said. “I’m not gonna say ‘Because I’m the
“What will you say, Morgan,” I asked.
“I’ll say ‘Yes!’”
“What about what Daddy told you about the mutant sheep and the evil
dwarves? Friendly’s is full of those.”
“Daddy got those from movies, Mommy,” Stephanie said. “Uncle Paul told us
That Uncle Paul again. He gets to be the fun adult. This was probably for
the best. Morgan was having nightmares. Their father’s B-movie stories were
getting to me as well.
“When we get home,” I said. “You can have a light snack. But dinner is at
“What are we having?”
“Lasagna, Steph.”
“Are we gonna start this again?” I said. “How about because you’re father
loves Italian food, and I thought you girls did too.”
When we got home, they each had a banana, all the while complaining,
“Boy, it sure would be great to have some ice cream with this banana.”
This was the day I decided to take “Because I said so” out of my

May 28 (as Sean Waltman)

I sat at my desk, playing computer solitaire as I
always do the hour before lunch, when Peter came in
all excited.
“Jack, Jack,” he said.
“Yes, Peter,” I replied. “What is it?”
“There’s a goose in the parking lot.”
“Yeah? So?”
“He’s stolen your car.”
“What?” I said in disbelief.
“I’m serious,” he said, actually seeming it. “Mary
and Simon saw him too.”
“Well, Simon’s an idiot,” I said. "I’m not trusting
“Hey, Mary,” I said, seeing her pass by my office.
“This may sound ridiculous, but did a goose just steal
my car?”
“A goose?” she said. “I didn’t see any goose.”
“You were standing right next to me,” Peter piped.
“Well,” I said. “It sounds like Mary is being quite
contrary.” I looked outside, and, sure enough, saw a
goose driving my car around the parking lot. We ran
downstairs and my car passed us as we reached the lot.
The goose was joyriding with Humpty Dumpty, Ole King
Cole, and that fiddle-playing cat in the passenger
seats. We all entered Peter’s car and went on a wild
goose chase.
“Where do you think they’re going?” Peter said.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “A giant shoe?”
“Hey,” Mary said. “Has anyone thought about how
surreal this is?”
“No, hadn’t thought of that,” I said. “But if we
pass three rodents with sunglasses and walking canes
or a spider harassing a chick eating curds and whey,
I’m driving straight into the nearest building.”
They pulled into the old Hubbard place, and the
thief and her pals goose-stepped out of my car and
into the house. We got out and went after them, only
to find that Mother Hubbard’s dog had beaten us to it.
He tore into Ms. Goose, and then went after Mr.
Dumpty. There were feathers and yoke everywhere. The
cat calmed the canine down with some music, but it was
too late. The king pronounced both of them dead, and
Mrs. Hubbard gave her dog a bone.
We never received any explanation for the auto
theft. We all just went back to work and went on with
our lives, that is, except for me. I quit my job after
finding my car filled with golden eggs.

The Story That May Have Killed Chickenhead

Rumor has it that in 1996-97, Chickenhead Antonucci wrote a screenplay called The Old College Try. He fell into a deep depression when, in 1998, a film called Dead Man On Campus premiered with essentially the same plotline. Here are the remnants of this story written by the man himself.

The Old College Try (My Idea First, And I Can Prove It)
Adapted March 28, 2011

I decided I was finally going to kill Tom, one of my college roommates.
Due to his drunken shenanigans, my grades had really been slipping. There
was always this thing going around that if your roommate kills his or
herself, the school gives you a 4.0 GPA for the semester. All I had to do
was kill Tom and make it look like a suicide. My first problem was that my
other roommate, Scott, found the rat poison and arsenic that I bought. He
wasn’t exactly gung-ho about the idea. I told him not to get in my way. I
prepared a lovely spaghetti dinner and rang the big triangle we keep by the
“Kiddies! Dinner!” I yelled. Tom, Scott, and our other roommate Jeep-Jeep
stampeded into the dining room. I had put the plates down before they
arrived, and Tom, being one for goofy pranks, switched his plate with
“What was that?” I said. “Did you just switch plates. Switch them back.”
“Why?” Tom asked.
“Because I, uh…,” I stalled. “Because Jeep’s plate has coconut in it, and
I know how much you hate coconut.”
“Coconut spaghetti?” Jeep protested.
“Yes, so eat from your own frigging plate.” At that moment I noticed
something rather odd. Although, I specifically placed the plates in a
certain way, we were now all sitting on the same half of the table. I had to
speak up about this. “Hey, why doesn’t anyone ever sit on that side of the
“The cameras?” Tom said.
“What it this, the Real World? What cameras?”
“You know how on television characters always sit facing the camera.
Except on the Brady Bunch. There were probably too many of them to pull that
“This isn’t a television show, Thomas,” I said. “This is a short story.
You can sit on the toilet for all these people care.” I had noticed that
Troy was slow getting started with his dinner, and I was also worried that I
didn’t put enough arsenic in.
“Troy, darling,” I said. “Would you be a dear and get the cheese?”
“Darling?” Troy said, getting up. “Are you coming on to me?”
Once he got up, I sprayed some of the rat poison on his food. Scott, the
attentive bastard, saw this.
“What the hell was that?” he asked me knowingly.
“It’s spray cheese.”
“Spray cheese?”
“Can I have some?” Jeep asked.
“No,” I said. ‘There’s a bottle of castor oil in the cabinet. You can
have that.”
Troy returned with the cheese, a bit too soon for my taste.
“Uh, do we have any pepper?”
“Why not just tie me to a tree and cut my feet off?” Troy said.
I dropped a happy little pill in Tom’s drink, as Jeep, for some reason,
took a bite of Tom’s food. I tried to stop him, but it was too late.
“I want some.”
“Would you like some cheese with your whine, Jeep?” I said. “Tom’s not
having anything you’re not having.”
“Now what the hell was that?” Scott said.
“What?” I tried to defend myself. “It was an ice cube. Jeep, eat from
your own plate.”
“You poisoned his food, didn’t you?” Scott whispered.
“Shut up, Scott,” I told him. “Oh, Tom, would you get some salt too,
“Jesus,” Tom answered. “You know, I don’t even remember the boat ride. I
must slept the whole way.”
“Your not going to get away with this,” Scott threatened me.
“All right,” Tom said, returning to the table with his hands full. “Salt,
five packages of duck sauce, a can of chicken soup, twenty packages of hot
mustard, and twelve non-dairy creamers. Anything else?”
“No, that’s great,” I said. Tom started to take a drink, finally, but
Scott slapped it out of his hands.
“Don’t drink that,” he said.
“Damnit, Scott,” Tom said. “Why the hell not?”
“Because my, uh, teeth are in there.”
“I’m not cleaning that up,” Jeep said.
“Your teeth?” Tom said. “You’re a damn weirdo. You know, this is so much
fun. We’re like a little family. Why don’t I cook dinner tomorrow night?”
“I mean it,’ Jeep said. “I’m not cleaning that up.”
Scott then spilled his beverage all over Tom’s spaghetti.
“Scott, Jesus. You clumsy bastard. Are you going to clean this?”
“Club soda will get that right out,” Scott said.
“We don’t have club soda,” Tom said.
“What do we have?”
“We have beer.”
“But it was beer that you spilled in the first place.”
“All right, everybody shut up,” I yelled, getting impatient. Amid all the
arguing, Jeep-Jeep passed out onto the floor. Tom didn’t notice, but Scott
and I certainly did. I tried to hide what happened from Tom by propping Jeep
back up.
“Hey, John,” Tom said as I lifted the 200-pound student up. “Why don’t
you come to the party with us tomorrow night?”
“Uh, sure,” I said. “Why not? What’s the occasion? Kegfest? The Indoor
Binge Drinking Championships?”
“Hey, what the hell happened to Jeep?” Troy asked.
“Uh, he’s just a little…”
“So, really? You’ll go?”
“Tom,” Scott said, “Jeep just passed out.”
“Yeah, so? When hasn’t he passed out?”
“If you’ll excuse us, Tom.” I said, “Scott and I have to take Jeep to the
“Okay, whatever, have fun.”
We exited the townhouse urgently. Jeep ended up being all right and Tom
had foiled yet another of my plans, but as Dr. Claw always told Inspector
Gadget, I’ll get him next time.

New Chickenhead Stories Uncovered

After a holiday break that saw a catastrophic fire and several murdered hookers, we realized that there are indeed more stories to be unearthed by the one and only Chickenhead Antonucci. In this next tale, Chickenhead plays with the Marx Brothers and James Joyce.

Written: April 28, 2001

What I didn’t need after three hours in the library was the commotion I
came home to. Troy was complaining about a book he had to read for his
Irish-American Literature class, Jeep-Jeep was reading aloud to me the dirty
parts in James Joyce’s “Ulysses” that I highlighted for him, and the
neo-Nazis Troy hired to fix our refrigerator were here.


“Ah, Professor Wagstaff,” Troy said.
“Pinky, Baravelli, how are you gentlemen this evening?” I replied. It was
a stupid game Troy and I played to confuse Jeep, pretending we were
characters in Marx Brothers films, in this case “Horse Feathers.”
“Professor,” Troy said. “You will never believe the crap I have to read
for this stupid class. Tell me, what are the two main classifications of
“Fiction and non-fiction,” I said.
“Okay,” Troy said. “Would you believe this piece of garbage is both? She
dances between fiction and non-fiction. I just want to grab her and say
‘Pick a section of the book store and stick with it!’”
“Is Jeep reading Joyce?” I said, distracted. “How cute! Where’s the gay
erotica we gave him?”
“Uh, nowhere,” Troy said. “I certainly didn’t take it. But listen…”
“Hey Professor,” Jeep said. “This ‘Ulysses,’ by Joyce Brothers…”
“No, Jeep,” I said. “I told you it’s James Joyce. Remember, he wrote ‘The
Cat in the Hat’ and ‘The Joy of Sex?’”
“Ich dien weir!” one of the Nazis said. Don’t expect any translations
from me.
“Whatever,” Jeep continued. “It’s hilarious. Like there’s these whores,
and they say to this guy…”
“Jeep,” I stopped him. “It’s a twentieth century classic, yes. But,
“But,” Jeep said. “Okay, then there’s a picture that this woman, Mrs.
Bellingham, has with a ‘partially nude senorita,’ right? ‘Practicing illicit
intercourse with a muscular torero,’ whatever that is. She says some guy
implored her to ‘soil his letter in an unspeakable manner,’ and to ride him
and ‘give him a most vicious horsewhipping.’”
“Shocking,” I said. “That’s just the kind of filth the potato famine
“Okay, hello!” Troy shouted. “What about me? This nut calls this an
autobiography, then all of the sudden admits after each chapter: Sorry, this
is just a literary orgy of bullshit. Me and my husband caught malaria. Oh,
wait a minute. I mean killer bees attacked my parents. She says it was
nearly impossible to sort out the guesses and the partially remembered from
the unquestionably real. Isn’t there some sort of medical diagnosis for
that? They ought to get the net and straight jacket and sentence her to
writing fairy tales?”
“Hey, hey, hey,” Jeep stepped in.
“Jeep, shut up!” Troy yelled.
“Honestly,” I said. “The two of you are like children.”
“Listen to this,” Jeep said. “’Did he not lie in bed,’ blah blah blah,
‘gloating over a nauseous fragment…’”
“Jeep, not now, please,” I said.
“What?” Jeep said. “But the nasty harlot!”
“Professor,” Troy said. “Professor, uhhhh…What was it?”
“Wagstaff!” I said.

“Professor Wagstaff,” he continued. “She says ‘We awoke weeks later in
the living room.’ She then corrects herself with, ‘It could not have been
that long.’ Well, then why the hell did she say it in the first place? Just
say ‘We were sick for about two weeks,’ or ‘We didn’t wake up. We died?’”
“Troy,” I said. “Baravelli, that version of the book is like a second
edition. She probably felt guilty about all the stuff she said about her
family in the first one.”
“Oh,” Troy said. “Well, it still sucks.”
“Admittedly,” I replied.
“This guy Boylan, right?” Jeep said.
“Eureka! Die Zauberflote!” Again, the Nazis were being really loud.
“He holds out his finger and tells Lenehan…”
“Jeep,” I said. “Let’s not make this NC-17 in front of the Nazis, okay?”
“Gluckliche Reise!” one of our repairmen said.
“Then,” Jeep continued. “Boylan tells Bloom he can put his eye in the
keyhole and…”
“Jeep!” I said.
“But, he’s with this chick,” he said.
“It’s his wife, Jeep,” I replied. “Boylan is with Leopold Bloom’s wife,
“Yeah?” he said. “What a stupid name, Leopold. Anyway, then Leopold
thanks him and asks if he can bring some other guys and take pictures.”
“Hapax Legomenon!” I wondered exactly what training these Nazis had. “Uh,
excuse us,” One of the Nazis, a guy named Kool, said. “We’re gonna have to
blow this up completely.”
“Uh-huh,” I said. Then he just left before I could say anything else.
“Hoi Polloi!” The other Nazi, Simon, said.
“Are they speaking Greek now?” Troy wondered aloud.
“Hey,” Jeep began again. “Do nude statues have, like, you know, like…Why
can’t I say dirty words?”
“Because we have guests,” I told him.
“Hey,” Kool came over and said. “Could you guys keep it down, please,
“Can I read the part about the tremendous big red brute?” Jeep asked.
“No,” I said.
“What about when she compares men’s and women’s…”
“Can I field this one?” Troy said. “We have guests, Jeepathan.”
“Jeepathan?” Jeep didn’t like this name for some reason. “Come on, the
hat rack?”
“No,” I said.
“The wretch behind the tree?”
“I’m confiscating that book,” I said.
“No, don’t, please?”
“You should give him ‘American Psycho,’” Troy said.
“If he behaves, maybe,” I said.
“Okay,” Kool said. Apparently the Nazis were done for now. “We need to
confer to our boss as to whether…”
“Whether,” I said. ‘Whether’ is sufficient.”
“Confer to my boss ‘whether’ any papers need to be signed. Some guys only
need a verbal agreement.”
“You mean an ‘oral’ agreement,” I correct him again.
“Okay,” he said. “That’s disgusting.”
“A written contract is a verbal agreement,” I said. “Verbal simply means
with words. And I’m sure you meant confer ‘with’ your boss, not ‘to’ him.”
“All right,” he said. “Do you want my help, or not? Now, he once told me
about a place on the other side of town.”
“All this for a fridge?” Troy asked.
“Am I talking to you?” Kool seemed upset. “All I can tell you is that it
has some of the most unique people…”
“Excuse me,” I said. “Unique means without like or equal. ‘Most unique’
is incorrect. See, there are no degrees of uniqueness.”
“Listen, schmuck,” he said. “You’re gonna be walking in a unique way if
you don’t shut up. Now, if we can utilize this facility…”
“I’m sorry,” I interrupted again. “But I have a problem with the word
‘utilize.’ I have an English professor who always says ‘Don’t utilize
utilize; use use.’ And I grew up on the word ‘facility’ meaning restroom.
So, utilizing the facilities, to me, simply means taking a leak.”
“Look, Professor Bucket Head,” Kool went ballistic. “Do you have any
other corrections? Do you want to edit my film class essay on Hattie
McDaniel? Question my use of semi-colons? My spellings of it’s, there, and
your? My non-use or misuse of hyphens? Not enclosing a comma within
quotation marks when it’s followed by an attributive phrase? Among or
between? Farther or further? Will you please diligently check my work for
me? My God! I’ve split an infinitive! Slap me. Please, I deserve it. Hit
me. Go ahead.”
“Jeez,” I said. “Sorry.”
“Juss schtop mit ze kaos!” Now Simon was going nuts. “Me und my brudder
hav und schtatemet! Gar schone schpiele schpiel, und tanzen und singen der
luft balloons! Schtick to der blitzen und vant to hobnobben!”
“Good Lord,” Troy said. “What language is that?”
“Est der job uf me und mein brudder! Dos clammen udderweise art mistokken
und wir haben die dumkofs schtifled! Die muss be kilt!
“Chief?” I said, playing another game with Troy to break the monotony.
“McCloud!” Troy replied.
“I schplitz on dem und der mutters! Meine mutter est der betwedden en der
It was then that the refrigerator exploded, which was nothing that we
hadn’t come to expect. The Nazis sent us a bill and threatened to break our
legs and rape our pets if we didn’t pay it. The three of us moved to a
school out of state under different names, hoping there weren’t any neo-Nazi
organizations there. I couldn’t believe that I was only in college and I was
already on my second identity.