Headlock Press

Writing That Grabs And Holds

Home Games (Notes from the Compound)

Mama's Little Baby
Paul Agostino (Featuring the Agostino Family)
My brother Larry is the youngest of the six of us. There's a funny story about that. When we were all cooped up in the car during one family vacation trip, we asked our mother where babies come from. She said, "Don't they teach you that in school?" We said no. She jumped over the question and said, "Well, your father and I wanted four children: two boys and two girls." Then our sister Betty said, "Yeah, and everything was going perfect until the twins came along. Henry always ruins everything." To which Henry shouted, "BETTY!" And then my father said, "Don't make me pull this car over!" Then Henry said, "Well, Mom, if you only wanted four kids and you already had five, where did Larry come from?" To this, my mother shrugged her shoulders. Then, a little while later, when an argument broke out in the car and Larry chimed in, Henry pointed at him and said, "You shut-up, Little Larry. You have no say in this. Because you're a mistake!"

Letters to Editor  commented on August 20, 2017 :
Matthew Mankiewich: I'm the youngest of six. We were all mistakes.
Letters to Editor  commented on August 20, 2017 :
Tricia Cucinello: Betty, Henry, Larry...I guess the names have been changed to protect the innocent?

Paul Agostino: The names have been changed to protect the guilty. In other words: I don't need a lawsuit.

Tricia Cucinello: Good cover...they will never catch on...unless you use Alice's typewriter that drops the "y's" -- like on that masterful show from the 70's.

Paul Agostino: Why do you have to ruin everything with your distasteful Brady Bunch references? (P.S.: Last night, I watched part of a documentary about the Monkees, and every time Davey Jones came on the screen, I thought of you and your imaginary friend, Marcia.)

Tricia Cucinello: Now, Davey Jones was dreamy.

Paul Agostino: Davey Jones I don't mind so much. But the Brady Bunch represents everything I despise. I'm glad he didn't marry into the family.

Tricia Cucinello: Is it the six kids thing? Suggestion: you should use the Brady names in place of your family's names in your stories. The girl-to-boy ratio will throw everyone off and keep people guessing and reading. The twins can be Peter and Jan. your welcome.

Paul Agostino: Well since it was Henry who made us watch the goddamn Brady Bunch, it would serve him right if I changed his name to Jan. But I don't wanna have to throw that plot twist into the story at this point. Too much work. Hey, doesn't the butler have a Margarita waiting for you, poolside?

Tricia Cucinello: Awww...come on...once you learn to embrace the Bradys, a whole new groovy world will open up to you....

Paul Agostino: All these years. And that attitude of yours hasn't budged and inch. Has it? And it's a shame, too. Because as far as I can see, it's the only thing holding you back.... Well, that and your kleptomania problem.


Paul Agostino: You may have just ruined my Sunday. I hope you're satisfied.

Tricia Cucinello: That is the opposite of opening your mind...try again.

Paul Agostino: OK, Big Shot. Let's have a pow-wow. Me and my entire family will come over to your resort condo on the golf course this coming Thanksgiving. What better time and place to sign a peace treaty than that? It might not be too peaceful, but it should be quite eventful -- if my family holds true to form.

Tricia Cucinello: You read my mind....

Paul Agostino: Unfortunately, you'll be in Disney World this Thanksgiving. Like the last time our families got together for Thanksgiving. Right?

Tricia Cucinello: Would I chose Disney over your family? Again? I wouldn't make that mistake twice.

Paul Agostino: Yeah, there's nothing like family -- and family vacations.
Letters to Editor  commented on August 22, 2017 :
Molly Altizer: Paul, this is so funny! I so enjoy your posts -- even the ones where you blast journalists.

Paul Agostino: This post is completely true. That makes me a journalist...in my own way. A very rare and unconventional journalist.

Molly Altizer Yes, it does! That gal in N. Carolina would be proud. Bertie, the editor, as I recall.

Paul Agostino: Bertie Burleson, editor, publisher, and writer of The Avery Post. Bertie is a Mountain legend, as is her newspaper. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Avery Post's award-winning sports reporter, Deke Rivers. He once compared a local high school football rivalry to 9-11.
Letters to Editor  commented on August 22, 2017 :
Raymond Martin: I recall that you were most traumatized the night Larry was born. Your mom went to the hospital. My mom offered to have you and your older brother sleep over our house around the block. We double-bunked in the bunkbed Wayne and I had. Four boys, two beds.

Paul Agostino: If I forgot to thank you then, Ray, I thank you now. Gabriel said he was going to send a card and sign both our names to it. I guess he forgot. By the way, Ray, you do know that Joe/Larry's real name is "Anthony," don't you? Do you know the story behind the name switch?

Tricia Cucinello: Since you are using names, I think I remember something along the lines of Anothony Joe Rocco Rocco Agostino the Third.

Paul Agostino: Joe's (Larry's) real name is Anthony. I was six when he was born, and our parents asked us what we thought the new baby's name should be. I don't know what everybody else said, but I wanted the new addition's name to be "Steven." Somehow, though, he wound up being named "Anthony." My father said that we'd name the new lawnmower, "Steven" -- but even then I knew a bullshit line when I heard it. So when they brought our final edition home, I simply started calling him, "Joe," as a compromise of sorts. And then everybody else started calling him "Joe," too. Ray Martin's brother, Wayne, even made up a song entitled, "Joe," that a bunch of us kids all sang around his crib. And that's how "Joe" (and now, Larry) was really born. It was all, basically, thanks to me.

Raymond Martin: I'm just starting to decipher all this on paper. Yes, the characters are the same, but the names appear to have been changed.

Tricia Cucinello: Way to take control, Paul. I like that in a man. I do remember something about a Rocco Rocco, though. Where does that fit in?

Paul Agostino: My father's full name is Salvatore Rocco Rocco Agostino, Jr. Why two Roccos? One is his middle name, and one is his confirmation name. My father always used the two Roccos, even though he was not a religious man. He was left handed, though, and always had an off-kilter view of things (to put it politely), so that might have had something to do with the "two Roccos." Mystery solved. Any other questions?

Tricia Cucinello: That will do for now...where is that damn butler with my Margarita?

Paul Agostino: It's so hard to get good help these days, Tricia. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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All Saints' Day (Featuring Henry, Betty, and Co.) - Paul Agostino - November 02, 2017
All-Star (Featuring Irene, Sal, and Gabriel) - Paul Agostino - November 02, 2017
Henry and Me and a Date with History - Paul Agostino and Thomas Henry Eggbert Agostino - August 28, 2017
Mama's Little Baby - Paul Agostino (Featuring the Agostino Family) - August 20, 2017
The Greatest Compliment I've Ever Heard - Paul Agostino (Featuring Henry Agostino) - August 19, 2017
Family Portraits, 8: As My Father Used to Say to Me - Paul Agostino (#2, The Peacemaker) - August 09, 2017
Family Portraits, 7: The Green-Eyed Monster - Gabriel M. Agostino (#1, Mr. Make Believe) - August 08, 2017
Family Portraits, 6: The Land of Fun - Paul Agostino (#2, The Gifted One) - August 06, 2017
Family Portraits, 5: Don't I Deserve A Participation Ribbon? - Lawrence J. Agostino (#6, Mama's Little Baby) - August 05, 2017
Family Portraits, 4: Talking Back to Refrigerator Magnets - Ferdinand L. Agostino (#4a) - August 03, 2017
Family Portraits, 3: My Brush With Fame - Betty S. Agostino (#3, Dad's Favorite) - August 01, 2017
Family Portraits, 2: Thank-You Note - Henry E. Agostino (#4b) - July 31, 2017
Family Portraits, 1: My Mother, the Taskmaster - Gabriel M. Agostino (#1, Mom's Favorite) - July 30, 2017
Classroom Clippings, Part 2: 4:55 - Michael Cummings (Intoduction: Paul Agostino) - May 25, 2017

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