Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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.

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