Joseph Ronald Bednarczyk, lovingly referred to by Internal Revenue Service agents and Secret Santas everywhere as “Joey Twist-Off,” age ninety-three, of Cicero, Illinois, formerly of another part of Cicero, Illinois (“the shitty part, where the Crumb Bums cavort”). Despised brother of the late Carl Bednarczyk, disappointing son of the late Alojzy Bednarczyk and the late Bronislawa Bednarczyk (Sojka). Mercilessly-taunted uncle of Carl Bednarczyk, Jr. and Carla Bednarczyk (McNally), unacknowledged great-great uncle of Luke and Kiersten Bednarczyk and the late Seamus (“Scrappy”) McNally.
Born on May 27, 1919, in what can best be described as a bramble patch, and so as to shield him from the busy hands of neighborhood Gypsies, Joseph enjoyed a childhood of skipping stones, rolling wheels down various streets with the assistance of a stick, and boning up on the racial slurs for each Eastern, Central, and Southern European immigrant group that comprised his Whitman’s Sampler community. A once-promising prospect in the then-Philadelphia Athletics organization, Joseph lettered in baseball and harmonica in high school until a recently-expelled teammate, simmering with jealousy and high on Brylcreem, bludgeoned him repeatedly with aged hard salami, resulting in the loss of approximately twenty-five percent of his brain function. Against these tall odds, Joseph claimed to have bedded two women of Canadian extraction, with the indication that “you probably don’t know them” and he was introduced via a cousin in Medicine Hat whose name and contact information have yet to be produced.
A self-proclaimed “Career Man,” Joseph got his start fighting “the uppity Swedes” that patronized his father’s kielbasa cart for rent money, nursing his many contusions with the icicles that hung from the gutters of his three-flat and, later, claimed the lives of a number of unsuspecting milkmen and mail carriers. After losing his right ear in a sledding accident, Joseph traded in his tire iron for a clip-on tie and served as a fair-to-middling salesman for the Sears Holdings Corporation (specifically, its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kmart) for thirty-two years, tendering his resignation under protest on February 4, 1987, and amid allegations of impropriety with regard to certain pieces of Jaclyn Smith’s Intimates and Sleepwear line. His career received a real shot in the arm approximately eighteen months later, however, when he became the oldest enrollee in the International Correspondence Schools’ (now Penn Foster Career School) industry-disdained TV/VCR Repair Program. Regretfully, Joseph’s education was tragically cut short when he received a real shot in the face from classmate Glen Scrumpee’s Glock 19, who insisted he was “just trying to get him (Joseph) to loosen up a little” upon learning of Joseph’s intent to approach administration regarding an alleged grade-fixing cover-up that would have implicated Scrumpee and several members of then-President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet. After undergoing multiple reconstructive surgeries and receiving a seemingly-unending series of voice-distorted telephone calls, Joseph entered early retirement and spent the last twenty-five years of his life doing what he loved most: spending his Medicaid checks on hard candy and frantically pleasuring himself to late-20th century basic cable erotica.
Joseph died of complications related to human mortality at approximately 4:32 pm on July 5, 2012, and in a Sbarro restroom. Having never married or procreated, his estate entered probate and his crates of vintage copies of Soldier of Fortune were promptly auctioned on eBay, with the proceeds padding the pockets of a number of Cook County Clerk’s Office employees lacking in scruples.
Joseph’s arrangements are being handled, albeit reluctantly, by Carl Bednarczyk, Jr., who “just wants to wash his (Carl Jr.’s) hands of this whole thing (Joseph).” Carl Jr. can be reached via his employer, as his landline is “on the fritz” again:
Pegasus On The Fly (Zagat Food Rating “21”)
c/o Chicago Midway International Airport
5700 South Cicero Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60638
Originally scheduled for Saturday, July 7, 2012, 10:00-10:05 am, and in the Chicago Midway International Airport Terminal Garage (please see address above) but cancelled due to Carl Jr.’s last-minute acquisition of White Sox-Blue Jays tickets.
Please see “Visitation.”
Sunday, July 8, 2012, Midnight, Des Plaines River, Des Plaines, Illinois. Closed to friends, family, the general public, collections agents, and local law enforcement.
Thomas Mundt is the author of one short story collection, You Have Until Noon to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (Lady Lazarus Press, 2011), and the father of one human boy, Henry (2011). Additional teambuilding opportunities and risk management advice can be found at www.jonathantaylorthomasnathanmundtdds.com.