The following is a true story.
Chaos in the streets. An estimated 45 million people lost power in the United States on August 14, 2003. Another 10 million lost power in Ontario, but nobody seemed to notice.
It was the biggest blackout in history. How did this happen? What or who was to blame for this monumental disaster? These questions have gone unanswered – until now.
I’m ready to step forward. The guilt has become too much of a burden. I, along with Podswoggle creator Chris Mullet, caused the blackout. And I remember it like it was yesterday.
It was a sunny afternoon. We just got home from a long day of school and decided to see what was happening in the world of professional wrestling. We were so young, so fresh-faced and innocent. But all that was about to change.
After logging onto WWE.com, we saw that they were live streaming Byte This!, their call-in interview show where fans got to ask questions of their favorite wrestlers. Or whichever mediocre wrestlers were present at the moment.
Nunzio, a walking Italian stereotype, had a respectable run up until that point. He saw success in ECW as Little Guido, where he managed a stable called the F.B.I. (Full Blooded Italians). He was the only actual Italian in the stable. But he was so overtly Italian that anyone standing next to him became Italian by the transitive property.
He got signed to the WWE and changed his ring name to Nunzio. He was decently over and eventually formed a reboot of the F.B.I. Things were going great for him, and although his gimmick was based on acting offensively over-Italian, he was making his homeland proud.
We hopped on the live stream just in time to catch Nunzio answering questions, and the phone number to call in was listed on the bottom of the screen. “We have to call in,” we said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to interact with Nunzio.”
We dialed the number, and it was ringing!! We were giddy like teenage girls about to meet Donny Osmond.
“Quick, what should we ask him?”
Like a bolt of lightning into our minds, it flowed out of our mouths like freeform poetry. We’ve never agreed on something so quickly.
“Ask him what his favorite kind of pasta is.”
It’s what the world needed to know. It was a no-brainer.
After a few rings, the operator answered our call! SUCCESS!!!
“Hey, thanks for calling. What would you like to ask Nunzio?” the operator inquired.
“Ask him what his favorite kind of pasta is,” we said.
By this point our hands were shaking and we were sweating profusely. Mullet was sweating especially copious amounts.
“Alright, I’ll connect you!” responded the operator.
And then it happened.
As we were watching the live stream, the power in the Byte This! studio went out. The “technical difficulties” message was quick to follow.
We learned the next morning about the severity of the situation. Millions without power. Death and disorder abound. I became sick to my stomach.
We did it. By attempting to ask the Full Blooded Italian about his preference in pasta, we subsequently caused the largest blackout in history. And I’ve been too cowardly to come forward, until now.
I apologize on behalf of myself and Chris Mullet for causing such tragedy. But the biggest tragedy of all is that we never got to hear Nunzio’s response. The gods intervened, and in the worst way imaginable.
Perhaps it’s better this way. Like not knowing what state the Simpsons live in, or what’s in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction. Our imaginations are always more fantastical than reality.
But if I had to venture a guess, I would say Rigatoni.