Saturday, March 10, 2012

Four More Entries From Chickenhead

And now, more delightful entries from the notebooks of Chickenhead Antonucci, found in a pile of rubble in the burned up basement of a whore house.

Bitter Herbs
March 23, 2001

“Look at them,” Herb I said. “Celebrating Juliana’s promotion. I should
have gotten that promotion. I deserve it.”
“At least you were in the running,” Herb II said. “They didn’t even
consider me, and I’ve been here longer.”
“They think they’re so much better than us. All of them.”
“Especially that Adam. God, I hate him. Arrogant bastard.”
“Hey, I went to high school with the jerk. He used to pluck my leg hairs
in gym class.”
“Sounds blatantly homosexual to me.”
“And he dated the only girl I ever loved. I used to go to bed at night
crying and praying that he’d get cancer.”
“Well, he’s a smoker. So there’s hope. God bless the tobacco companies.”
“Excuse me, Herb,” the boss, Mr. Helmsley interrupted. “I need you to
stay late tonight to finish up those reports.”
“Which Herb, Sir?” Herb asked.
“It hardly matters. Like dogs, you can fight over it,” he said as he
walked away.
“That fat bastard,” Herb II said, as Adam and co-worker Matt sat beside
them, not noticing that the Herbs sitting there.
“Hey, did you hear Crazy Cabbie come out on Howard this morning?” Adam
“Yeah, that was great. Can’t wait ‘til next week,” Matt replied. “Hey,
where were you last night, dude? I tried calling you, but the line was
“We turned the ringer off. We watched a Shirley Temple movie with Nina.
She loves Shirley Temple.”
“What movie?”
“What the hell is that?”
“You know what? I don’t know. Marcus Welby is in it. She plays a girl
named Ching-Ching, or something.”
“I Dream of Jeannie’s dog?”
“No, that was Gin-Gin.”
“I’ve never seen a Shirley Temple movie.”
“You know which one is great? The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, with Cary
Grant, Myrna Loy, and a nineteen-year-old Shirley. She was hot.”
“Dude, you’re calling Shirley Temple hot?”
“Nineteen! Whoops, too loud.”
“I heard that the STP for Stone Temple Pilots originally stood for
Shirley Temple’s P-…”
“Woah, I heard that too. Don’t say that word out loud at work, dude.”
“Oh, hey, Herb. What’s up?” Adam said, finally noticing. “Who are you
again?” he then said, turning to the other Herb.
“I’m also Herb,” Herb II said.
“Huh,” Adam answered. “I guess I always thought you two were the same
guy. Hey Pete! Did you know we have two Herbs in the office?”
“You’re shittin’ me,” Pete hollered back.
“No, seriously.”
“Do you remember,” Matt said, “the Night Court episode in which Dan
drinks what he thinks is herbal tea, but is really the ashes of some guy
named Herb?”
“That’s messed up,” Adam said, getting up. “Anyway, back to work. See ya,
“As they walked away, Herb I stared at them. “Those vulgar
sons-of-bitches. We don’t even look alike, and they confuse us. Jerks."
“Let’s kill them,” Herb II said.
“In due time, Herb II. In due time.”

March 30

I made the mistake of telling the class to come up with three symbols of
empowerment. Actually, in a time when schools around the country have
installed metal detectors, the mistake was telling them to bring in a symbol
of empowerment. I was annoyed when Sean brought in a pair of symbols and
marched around the classroom banging them together like a five-year old.
When Rudolph, our foreign exchange student, showed up in his grandfather’s
Nazi regalia, I wanted to take a permanent sabbatical. Still, Rudolph’s
contribution was marvelous compared to when I asked Brian what his symbol of
empowerment was and he punched me in the face. My happiness that the rest of
the class didn’t bring in firearms was only surpassed by my dismay over what
some of them did bring: a bottle of viagra, a fake I.D., a dead squirrel, a
blanket with teddy bears on it, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Finally, I asked Jeff what his symbol was.
“Oh, you’ll find out,” he said. Suddenly, the principal and two police
officers entered to inform me that I was fired and to place me under arrest
for possession of cocaine. I told them that I was innocent as Jeff looked on
and laughed maniacally. The bastard planted drugs on me. As they
strip-searched me at the station, I thought again about how teaching may not
be for me.

April 4
Bell Bottoms, Beetles and Smiley faces

I rested nervously on the couch in Dr. Zbysko’s office. He was already
scribbling like a madman in that notepad of his, and I hadn’t yet said
anything. This was only my third visit, and I was convinced he though I was
insane. I thought this even though he said there was nothing wrong with me
except for the General Anxiety Disorder and the strange dreams I had been
“Okay," the doctor said. “Why don’t you tell me about the last dream you
“Well,” I started. “I’m driving around Liverpool, England in Herbie the
Love Bug with John Lennon and Paul McCartney. They’re each eating from a bag
of crisps and wearing only bellbottoms. John hands me a bag, and I open it.
Instead of crisps, it’s filled with beetles.”
“Wait a minute,” Dr. Zbysko said. “You were driving in a beetle with the
Beatles while eating beetles?”
“Apparently,” I replied. “Anyway, suddenly it starts raining, pouring
really hard. I notice that it’s not water, but something much bigger. I pull
over and we all get out of the car. Then I see that it’s raining Smiley
“You mean like the ones on T-shirts?”
“No, I mean it was raining severed heads of Guy Smiley, the game show
host Muppet from Sesame Street.”
“I see.”
“What does it mean?”
“You know what?” he said. “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“Did you do yesterday’s prompt? The Great Remodel one?”
“Yes, but it got delayed, damnit,” I answered. “What do you mean you
don’t know?”
“I was kind of fading in and out. Do you want to go see ‘Josie and the
Pussycats’ this weekend?”
“With you? Not really.”
“Come on. You told me you were having sexual fantasies about Oliver Reed.
Was it Oliver Reed?”
“It’s Tara Reid,” I said. “I can’t believe you’re not listening to me.”
“I’m listening. How can you say that? What about ‘Blow?’ You want to go
see that?”
“You want to do some blow?”
“Please be my friend.”
“This is supposed to be a doctor-patient relationship,” I said as I got
up and turned to face him. He was sitting in his chair completely naked. I
didn’t know what to do. I didn’t think to ask why or yell at him. I just
wanted out.
“You know what?” I said. “I’m cured. No more weird dreams. No more
anxiety. I think my car is on fire.”
I ran right through the closed door like a cartoon character. Over time,
and through shock therapy and the Ludovico Technique used in Anthony
Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange,” I overcame my anxiety disorder, and stopped
having the bizarre dreams. I would also become violently ill whenever I
heard a Beatles song or watched a movie with Tara Reid in it. One day I
entered my apartment, where one of my roommates, Nick, was watching the film
“American Pie,” while my other roommate, Pete, was listening to “Rubber
“Oh, shit” I said. And I exploded right there in the doorway, spontaneous
human combustion. As I floated up to Heaven to be with my grandfather, my
cat Snuffles, and actress Jean Harlow, I laughed, thinking that Nick and
Pete were each way too lazy to ever clean my guts out of the doorway.

4-5-01 Baseball, Junk Food and Grandpa

It was a breezy summer evening. Grandpa and I sat on the porch watching
the Red Sox game while my parents were out for the night. I always valued
the time I had alone with my grandfather. He sat quietly, walking cane in
hand, cheering the Sox on.
“Come on, Yaz!” he yelled. “Knock one out of the park!”
“Grandpa,” I said. “Yaz isn’t playing.”
“Of course he’s playing. He’s two for two tonight.”
“Grandpa, Carl Yastrzemski retired eighteen years ago.”
“What?” he said irately. “You mean to tell me that’s not Yaz up there?”
“Yaz was a lefty. That’s John Valentin, who’s a righty.”
“You think you’re pretty smart, don’t you, with your CDs, and your MTV,
and your lemon-scented air freshener? Now where’s the hot dog guy?”
“Grandpa, we’re not at Fenway Park.”
“Don’t tell me where we are. Don’t you think I know the difference
between Fenway and one of those new-fangled, fancy-shmancy ballparks of the
“Of course, but…”
“I can’t sit here eating cracker jacks and cotton candy all night.”
“Grandpa, those are potato chips.”
“Oh, now you think I don’t know cracker jacks and cotton candy when I’m
eating them. When do the trapeze artists come on?”
“You think I’m some doddering old man. Crotchety, old Grandpa crapping
himself and flushing the toilet, going ‘There’s nothing on tonight.’ Well,
I’ll have you know that when I was your age, I was always out partying with
the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.”
“What?” I said. “Look, I don’t think Katharine Hepburn was partying with
“I was in World War II. I was the last person to shake Carole Lombard’s
hand before she crashed to her death. And why does this cotton candy taste
so funny?”
“Grandpa, Grandpa,” I said, trying to shut him up. “It just occurred to
me that this story isn’t really going anywhere.”
“What do you mean? Baseball! Let’s do ‘Field of Dreams.’ You be that
Costner guy; I’ll be Shoeless Joe.”
“No, Grandpa.”
“All right, ‘The Natural.’ I’ll be Roy Hobbs; you be Glen Close.”
“Okay, then, ‘Bull Durham.’ You’re Kevin Costner again, and I’m Susan
“Ew, Grandpa. That’s disgusting.”
“Well, what do you want to do? You wanna do a musical number? Get this.”
Grandpa proceeded to perform “Lydia, The Tattooed Lady.” It was quite
impressive, but it didn’t help our situation. And when he turned “Lydia”
into “Clamydia,” I had to stop him.
“Grandpa,” I said. “We have a serious problem here.”
“You can smell that, huh?”
“No, I mean this story.”
“This looks like a job for Root Beer Float Man!”
“Oh, no,” I said. “No. No, Grandpa, not Root Beer Float Man.”
Suddenly, here he came, crashing through the window of the porch, and
landing flat on his rear end.
“You called?” our hero said.
“Oh, Mr. Float Man,” Grandpa said. “We need your help.”
“Well, let’s get drunk and sing!”
An hour later, we were all hammered and singing “Everyone Says I Love
You.” That’s when the police came. They kicked the door down and handcuffed
all three of us. We were taken to the courthouse and charged with public
drunkenness, a charge that made absolutely no sense, and practicing idiocy
in a short story. We asked for an appeal, but were immediately sentenced to
be burned at the stake. This is why baseball, cotton candy, and music from
Marx Brothers films should never be mixed.
“See, boy,” Grandpa said. “This was a good story. It even has a moral.”
“Could you burn him first?” I pleaded.
“Why do you use the passive voice so much?”
“Shut up.”

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