Laugh Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017

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Best of RAH96
Biography of Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari

by Dave Bealer
Copyright © 1995 Dave Bealer, All Rights Reserved.

Curiosity is a powerful thing. It can kill cats, and get humans into lots of trouble too. Not all humans are equally curious, or even curious about the same things. The subject of this month's installment in the Vaporware biography series, Vinnie "The Knife" Calamari, is curious about things which don't even interest most people.

Vinnie never wondered who shot J.R., or where "the beef" was. Born in Philadelphia and raised in the Germantown area of that city, Vinnie demonstrated an early, abiding interest in just two things - making music and watching things die.

The second of three children born to Marco and Irina Calamari, Vinnie spent the carefree years of his early childhood safe behind a cliche-grade white picket fence. There he took up the piano and the torture of small animals and insects. As with most youngsters, his early piano playing was torture to any species equipped with aural sensory apparatus. Vinnie showed an early talent for the piano, however, and studied seriously.

At the age of ten Vinnie's father gave him his first hunting knife. This gift really helped Vinnie with his dissection of any local fauna he happened upon, whether it had stopped moving or not. As Vinnie grew older he began to display an athletic bent. By nature he tended towards the more violent sports. The young Vinnie gained his sense of sportsmanship from watching his heroes, the 1970s-era Philadelphia Flyers, skate their opponents into the ice, into mine fields, and into quicksand.

Intelligent and quick to learn, Vinnie nevertheless narrowly avoided going to prison over a tragic misunderstanding about the idea behind high school rifle team competition. For the rest of his school career Vinnie stuck with sports he knew well and enjoyed, such as football and hockey.

Eventually deciding on a career in music, Vinnie attended the Juilliard School on a football scholarship. A competent concert pianist, Vinnie realized soon after graduation that he would never be world class. Unable to accept not being the best in his chosen field, Vinnie found a new use for piano wire and became a collection agent for his Uncle Vito's sports accounting business.

Vinnie found he liked his new work. He turned down an invitation from his older brother, Carmine, to join him in the finance department of a large automobile dealership in southeastern Pennsylvania. Although he appreciated the magic Carmine could perform with numbers, making them change drastically for no apparent reason, Vinnie was looking for something different.

It was during a trip to Las Vegas, where he was tracing one of his uncle's more elusive clients, that Vinnie found what he was looking for. He met Luther Lecks while searching a dumpster behind the Frump Pyramid. Lecks had a lot more work for him than Uncle Vito, so Vinnie joined up. He has never regretted that decision.

A few years ago Vinnie repented his earlier mistreatment of animals and joined the animal rights movement. His rabid, radioactive hamsters were rescued from the Three Stooges Nuclear Power Plant in Isotope, PA., where they were being used to clean up the damaged reactor. (Previous attempts to use rabid snail darters and bald eagles had failed miserably.) The radiation has increased the life span of Vinnie's little friends, and he hopes to enjoy their company for years to come.

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Dave Bealer is a fifty-something mainframe systems programmer who works with CICS, z/OS and all manner of nasty acronyms at one of the largest heavy metal shops on the East Coast. He shares a waterfront townhome in Pasadena, MD. with a cat who annoys him endlessly as he assiduously avoids writing for and publishing Random Access Humor. Dave can be reached via e-mail at:

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