Note: In honor of our sister publication the Bay News’ 70th Anniversary, we give you the Big Screecher’s first-ever column, written back when he was just a 9-year-old Li’l Screecher. Enjoy this last-ever appearance of Carmine on Brook
I’m madder than that baby you just took candy from over the fact that no matter how I pout and cry and refuse to eat my dinner, my mother won’t buy me the pony I so desperately need!
Look, you all know it’s a long haul from my cold-water flat in Little Italy to my favorite candy store around the corner, and there is absolutely no reason why I should have to hike it all the way over there on my own two legs when I could be saving valuable calories and riding on my own black pony just like my idol Diego Vega, better known as Zorro, does in the motion pictures!
I’ve seen the talkie “The Mark of Zorro” with Tyrone Power about a hundred times, and not once in all those times has he ever decided to walk a long distance when he could instead ride on his trusty steed Tornado!
Now that’s the life for me!
In fact, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t walk anywhere — especially outside where the heat and humidity in this city could drive you batty, and I have to constantly look down not only for money, but to also make sure that I don’t step in someone else’s horse’s manure!
Why is it that science can give us giant bombs to end wars, but it can’t come up with a way to keep me from breaking a sweat every time a get a hankering for a glass of Moxie?
But every time I bring up the fact that I absolutely need a pony to get me from point a to point z, my pain-in-the-rear-end mother shoots down my plan like a kamikaze pilot!
“Butta da Carmine,” she says to me in her broken English — as if she is from another country or something! “Where-a we gonna putta disa filthy beast?”
Me being me, I’ve got all the answers! I told her there’s a stable around the corner on Mott Street over by Grand. We could keep him there!
But she won’t let me have it, no matter how hard I pound my fists and feet on the floor!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Carmine, why don’t you play that old ‘good cop, bad cop’ game and get your dad to purchase the jackass for you, thereby working around your mom?”
The answer is simple: My dad doesn’t speak English. Not even the broken kind!
That’s right! I’ve never had a conversation with the man in my life. In fact, I don’t think he knows my name!
He comes home from his job on the dock, looks at me up and down, and calls me “cretino!” — whatever that means!
Maybe my cheapskate mother will spring for one of those Italian-English, English-Italian dictionaries I keep hearing about on the radio so I can look these words up and have a better understanding of the conversations going on around me.
Speaking of which, I can’t stand the fact that all these people either haven’t taken the time to learn American English or simply choose not to speak it in front of me to keep me out of the loop!
Just the other day, I walked in on a conversation between my mother and my three sisters, and they immediately went from perfectly understandable English to some gibberish they only speak on the other side of the Atlantic!
I guess that there are some things that they don’t want me to know, but I am going to make it my life’s mission to find out what everybody else is talking about, then let them know just how wrong they really are!
And if my mom continues to refuse to get me that pony I so richly deserve, I will do whatever it takes to ensure I will one day never have to walk someplace again! And one day, dear reader, I promise you that dream will come true!
I will one day have my own Tornado!
Screech at you next week!
©2015 Community News Group
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