Bring Me the Head of Charlie McCarthy (handmade collage)


I consider myself among the blessed few who knew from an early age his true calling. Raised in a large loving and supportive family, my gentle parents were surprised to discover my precocious talent for organized crime leadership. Saturday mornings when other children ran off to the cinema to immerse themselves in Walt Disney's color saturated worlds, I sneaked into revivals of Edward G. Robinson's Little Caesar, and Paul Muni in Scarface. Those ruthless characters gave me the strength to face my own greatest fear—my sister Donna's creepy Charlie McCarthy dummy. The sight of that monocled and top hatted doll had terrified me for as long as I could remember. That is, until one day I decided to deal head on with the problem .

Although only six years old, I called upon my four-year-old brother Danny and placed two brotherly hands upon his shoulders and said, "Danny, I don't like Charlie McCarthy. He's scary. I don't want him in this house any more." Danny looked up at me with blind devotion. "Yeah!" he said, "Charlie McCarthy is a stupid head." I patted his shoulder. "And what do we do with stupid heads that no one likes Danny?" I asked. "Throw him in the garbage can!" shouted my little brother. I couldn't help but smile. 'Direct,' I thought, 'but so obvious.' "Danny," I whispered, "Bring me the head of Charlie McCarthy." An hour later just as we were sitting down to dinner, Danny came into the kitchen with my mortal enemy's head cradled in a soup bowl. Donna gasped and burst into tears. My parents stared in shock at my brother. When they turned to me and saw the satisfied grin on my face they put one and one together. Just below their troubled brows, I couldn't help but recognize a glint of pride in their eyes. The next day, my father enrolled me in St. Valentine's, an elite private school operated by the Gambino family.