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
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
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.
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:
Marching to a different kettle of fish.