Archive for April, 2010

Tilt-a-Whirl Nearly Kills Dover Teen

Friday, April 30th, 2010

“If you substitute marijuana for tobacco and alcohol, you’ll add eight to 24 years to your life.~ Jack Herer

Here’s a funny story, no wait – it’s funny to me now, but it really wasn’t all that funny a few decades ago when I was a stoned teen about to have my brain jostled around for an entire afternoon!  Here’s what happened:   I was about fifteen, it was a beautiful warm and sunny Saturday in Dover …  my friends and I were hanging out doing what many of us little punks did back in the late seventies – smoking a joint.  No harm done, right? I mean I never got into anything heavier, so the whole “gateway” drug stuff seems like total B.S. to me.

There I am with my friends having a good time, talking, laughing and most likely stuffing our faces with a zillion Doritos, and along comes a dark blue Chevy Impala.  Damn! You see, this Chevy happened to have my dad behind the wheel, and his passengers included mom and my cousin Tracy.  They were on a mission: to find me, get my ass in the car and head to Bertrand’s Island Amusement Park for the day.  HOLY SH!T!

Tilt a Whirl at Bertrand's Island, NJ

(ITALIAN LESSON: amusement park =  parco dei divertimenti or luna park)

Bertrand’s Island was usually a thrill for me, but going to an amusement park high was not on my agenda that day.  I almost tossed my Doritos on The Tilt-a-Whirl, my brains got scrambled on The Scrambler, and flying around on that huge old rickety roller coaster – geez, what a nightmare!

That night when we arrived home, I swear I was the happiest kid in town, and my little stoner secret stayed with me – until now.

Why couldn’t Dom turn the car around THAT day? Oh well, head back to the home of Madness here:

Just a Crazy Italian Famiglia from NJ

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
“Sempre Famiglia = Family Forever”
Family Forever
Mom certainly contributed her fair share of insanity to our little Romano clan, and I love her for it, I really do.  Come on, how many other daughters can go on about how their mom threw her shoes/purse/dad’s wallet out of the car window, flipped her spaghetti plate at the dinner table, ran away a few times (well, it was just around the block, or to the corner of her walk-in closet), had special “turn-the-car-around” powers, or flipped on the gas oven to do the family in? Seriously, mom and I share many a laugh over these memories, complete with those precious “pee-your-pants” moments, and this is just beginning. 

(ITALIAN LESSON:  She comes from a noble, ancient family = Viene da un’antica nobile famiglia)

Like the time when mom ironed counterfeit bills for my gansta brother, her saintly patience with sixteen different foster kids (in all varieties) her sisters who mastered the craft of putting curses on people (oops – sorry your house burned down!) and an almost- daughter-in-law (seeing her in the morning, you would’ve sworn she was boxing promoter Don King) who beat down an enemy with a plastic lawn goose and occasionally went berserk on family members with a Ginsu knife!

MADONNA MIA! I could just go on and on, so let me gather up some snippets to share and I’ll be back with more decades of true-life lunacy.

If you have a weak bladder, pop on your trusty Depends and hang on for the ride!

It's Fun to be Crazy

Crazy or not, head back to the HOME PAGE here:

Mother in Cream Resplendent (guest post)

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Numero Uno in a series of guest posts authored by those willing to share snippets of their own madness.  Enjoy!(ITALIAN LESSON: Guest of honor = ospite d’onore)
 Reddi Whip Retro

I had a humble upbringing. I wouldn’t say we were poor, even though dinner often consisted of one vegetable, usually beans, and a slice of buttered white bread, the kind that never seemed to go stale. But if the Middle Class were a train, my family would have been clinging for dear life off the back of the caboose.

All this is by way of introduction to what my mother did, so many years ago, on a rare occasion when we actually had dessert. A neighbor, who was several train cars ahead of us in the economy, dropped off a freshly baked pumpkin pie and a can of some new-fangled cream in a can called Reddi Wip.

Mom wanted the pie to last a while, so she cut out one-inch slivers for each of us and handed the can of Reddi Wip to my father, who shook the can furiously for several minutes before sputtering foamy cream all over his slice until it disappeared. My brother did likewise, followed by me and my sister. Finally, the can was passed to my Mom, who dutifully upended it and pressed the nozzle, only to hear not a cream-filled sputter, but an airy Pffft.

The can was empty.

At first I thought she was going to scream. Then I thought she was going to cry, her expressions changing by the second. Finally, a look of calm determination came across her face. She slowly pushed back her chair and went to the kitchen doorway, where we had a wall-mounted can opener. She upended the can, inserted it into the can opener, pressed down on the lever, and started to give the crank a turn.

And the rest is history.

I’ve seen a lot of I Love Lucy shows and know how wonderful Lucille Ball was at “comedy takes,” but I think for one brief moment my mother was her equal as she stood there, covered from chest to forehead in whipped cream.

Len Boswell

About our guest author: Len Boswell was born in a hospital that has since been torn down, and grew up in a house that has since changed its number, on a street that has since changed its name. Everywhere around him his life seems to be erasing itself. Before the erasure is complete, he spends his time on both sides of the publishing equation, managing a small press by day and writing whenever possible. He is still wary of Reddi Wip.

Pfffft! Read more and head on back to Madness home page:  

Chuck Mom, Keep the Feet!

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

“I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes. ~  Oprah Winfrey

After trying to call my mom for a couple days (she couldn’t speak on the phone, because she was out of Parliaments, and you know, you MUST HAVE a smoke to engage in any phone chats.)  Friends? Screw ’em! Family? Nope – let the whole friggin’ world wait – mom needs her smokes!

When I finally get ma Romano on the phone, the first words which spilled out of her mouth were about how old and decrepit she is -or should I say FEELS (really makes me want to b!tch slap my own mom, because  she’s still in her sixties for Christ’s sake)!  She finishes by saying that after careful consideration, the only part worthy of her approval are  — her feet.  Peggy’s perfectly plump little piggies passed her wrinkle test, for whatever that’s worth.

Good for mom – maybe one day I’ll bronze them.   As for me, I inherited my dad’s feet.  Not as pretty & plump as mom’s, and I’m OK with that.

Peggy's Piggies

(ITALIAN LESSON: Feet= piede)

Head to toe, you can go back home here:  

Learn to speak Italian!

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Enjoy this comedy break with pisano Dom Irrera – a South Philly guy!

(ITALIAN LESSON: Comedian = commico)

(BONUS LESSON: Pisano, or pisan = slang for full-blooded Italian. Real meaning: from Pisa)

FUHGETTABOUTIT! Head back home here:  

I got your MADNESS FEED right here, pal! /

Dad’s Infamous Vapo Smear!

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

“Like everybody else, when I don’t know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds.”  ~ George Jean Nathan

Catching a cold is the body’s way of telling you to take it slow and chill out for a few days, because it’s ALL about them.  Colds remind me of spoiled rotten brats, and they like to show up with their entire entourage: body aches, snotty noses, fever, chills and chest congestion  — sometimes the whole damn brat-pack pays you a visit.

(ITALIAN LESSON – Fever = febbre)

Vicks Vapo Rub

Now my Sicilian grandmother (Nonna in Italian) often covered me from head-to-toe with raw potatoes (an “old world cure”), but in our household Vicks Vaporub was the ticket.  “Noooooooooooooooo, not the VICKS, dad!”  I’d shout out when Dad came to my room with that funky little blue jar in hand, ready to rub its pungent menthol-scented goop onto my chest as he tucked me in for the night.  Now that part I loved, but what came next was the WORST!  Dad would take an extra dollop of Vicks goop, smear his finger in it and rub it SMACK DAB under my nose! It was like the “Dirty Sanchez” of cold and flu season!

Tonight I’ll be sure to give myself a good ol’ smear — which, along with my stuffy nose — will bring me some fond memories of Dad. ♥

I love you Dad, and I miss you beyond words.

Dad & Me

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