Questions that Matter with John J. Parrino

Carnal Envy at Valencia High by [Parrino, John J.]

I asked the questions that matter of John J. Parrino! But first the book:

Now, we ask:

Hello, John! What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

My weirdest scar is just below my chin, which is currently covered by a goatee. I busted my chin playing sandlot football in the twelfth grade while tackling a running back. Hit the guy way too high and my chin came crashing down on the top of his head, which was sporting a crew cut, so not much padding of hair to cushion the blow. We played without pads, hitting, tackling, crashing to the ground without benefit of anything to prevent serious injury. We were young and impulsive and crazy as hell. I ended up in the emergency room due to significant bleeding which required twelve stitches, and was back out on the field the very next weekend. Once again, crazy as hell.

But now you have the story to tell! How did you meet your best friend?

I met my best friend Dick as a child since, well, he’s my cousin who was born right down the street from me in our ethnic neighborhood. The character of Rick in my book is loosely based on him.

I suppose we had our first real bonding experience during early puberty. My mom got the bright idea that we needed dancing lessons to be attractive to the Latino girls in the neighborhood who loved to rumba, samba and tango. Dick and I bought the idea as a means-to-the-end of getting dates. What we didn’t anticipate: We had to dance with each other first. I got the worst part of the deal because my good friend was a foot taller than me. Thus during the tango, my head was stuck in the middle of his chest, which was already sprouting hair at an alarming rate. There is a comic illustration depicting that embarrassing scene in my book.

Real-life is the best inspiration! What’s your favorite cheesy pick-up line? Have you ever used it for real?

”By chance…any of you chicks from New Jersey.” Yes, I used the line quite regularly with Northern girls who visited the beach close to where I grew up in Florida. My gang of friends and I met lots of young ladies from up north, perhaps because of the quantum cheesiness of the line, which stopped them in their tracks (one of those odd gestures that compelled them to stop and investigate). It worked about 2% of the time.

Cheese is best left to the pizza! Do you know what your name means or who you were named after?

My last name Parrino, in the Sicilian dialect of Italian, means godfather. When I say that to others, they immediately think of the mafia godfather. It is, however, more akin to the Godfather who is your guardian, typically a good friend or family member. So ironically, I called my godfather parrino. If you want to pronounce it correctly, you must roll the r’s, Par…rrr…eno.  

Rrrrright! Were you the class clown or teacher’s pet?

I was the class clown, but a closeted one. That is, I wasn’t like some of the outrageous guys in my school that jumped out of a second story classroom for a laugh or threw condoms at the student council president as he made his announcement (I went to a rather rough inner city school). Nope, I was the guy who sat behind you and whispered goofy things so you would giggle out loud for the entire class to hear…”I’ll bet you fifty bucks Mr. Gomez isn’t wearing any underpants today.”

And let them take the fall! Let us see your TV show Friends “Five Celebrities” list!

Sigmund Freud would make my list (perhaps not officially a celebrity) because I’m a Psychologist and, even though I don’t practice as a Freudian, he was a bona fide genius who was the first to tap the workings of the unconscious mind.

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David for coming up with the greatest comedic ideas for a sitcom.

Lawrence Sanders, author of twenty or so of the best mysteries I have read, including the Deadly Sins series, particularly the Third Deadly Sin.

Matt Damon for many of my favorite movies, particularly The Talented Mr. Ripley.

A lot of talent in that list! Flash me! Write us a flash fiction story, no more than 50 words please!

Joey desperately wants to be a babe magnet like his best friend Rick, but he doesn’t have the right stuff. One day, he accidentally discovers his brain, uses it to become a Shrink and solves the mystery of his neurotic need to compete with Rick: Carnal envy.

That story sounds familiar….Thank you, John, for joining us today! Support John by checking out the book! Then, brush the chest hair off your face and join us for another fun interview!

Happy reading! 🙂

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