Coming Out

Nearly eight years ago, I tied a bandana around my face, donned a Mexican sombrero, and started writing this column, “Mental Vacation,” under the pen name of Antonio Winnebago. I used that name because I always liked the name Antonio, and Winnebago “¦ well, it rhymed with Antonio.

The main reason I didn’t use my real name was out of fear of offending someone whom I did business with in my “day job.” I make my living as an attorney “” not as a humor writer.

I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, Antonio, or Steve, or whatever the heck your real name is, if you were so afraid of offending someone, why are you confessing to the whole world that you are an attorney? What could be more offensive than that?”

Well, let me tell you “” there are lots of things worse than being an attorney. For example, I could be an attorney who is also a politician. (OK, there, I’ve gone and offended all the attorney/politicians. Good luck to me ever getting anything passed in the legislature!)

“¦like most authors who have an ego the size of Kim Kardashian’s engagement ring, my main goal in writing a book is to achieve immortality via the Dewey Decimal System.

Now that I’m using my real name, I need to be extra careful not to offend anyone. This will not be easy, because as Will Rogers used to say, all humor is the truth exaggerated. This is still true today, except when you are writing anything about a city council member, in which case no exaggeration is necessary to be funny. (Darn! Just offended the entire City-Parish Council! Hope the ditch across the street never needs cleaning out!)

There was another reason I kept my identity a secret for so long. I was afraid that people would read something silly I wrote, just to be funny, and think I was crazy. I am not crazy, at least insofar as the term “crazy,” as defined in the clinical sense under the generally accepted standards of the American Psychiatric Association, has ever actually been proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to the satisfaction of a Sanity Review Board made up of past contestants of the TV show Wipeout, after I have been afforded what I would consider adequate legal representation.

Anyway, we are all crazy to a certain degree, and it’s nothing to be worried about. I’m just one of the lucky crazy people who get to climb on top of a big rock once a month and look down at all the other crazy people and write about them. (Shoot! Just offended all the crazy people out there who think they’re perfectly normal! And those are the craziest!)

The reason I’ve decided to stop hiding behind my mask is that I’ve just written a book, and like most authors who have an ego the size of Kim Kardashian’s engagement ring, my main goal in writing a book is to achieve immortality via the Dewey Decimal System. Now, I ask you, how am I going to achieve immortality through the Dewey Decimal System if I don’t use my real name? It’s not like someone’s going to enshrine me in the Tomb of the Unknown Author!

My book is entitled The Only Book You’ll Never Need. Actually, the title was supposed to be The Only Book You’ll Ever Need, but by the time I noticed the error, the self-publication company I was using was going to charge me an extra $50 to correct it, so I said, “To hell with it, just keep it like it is.”

What’s my book about? I’m glad you asked that question. Among other things, it’s about love, sex, marriage, the economy, diet, exercise, the human brain, time, space, war, God, death, airplane restrooms, and how to look great naked.

Despite the mistake in the title, this book is in fact a book you most definitely need, because it’s about the No. 1 most important topic in the world today “” YOU! The emphasis on YOU is reflected by the titles to the different sections of the book: You and Your Health; You and Your Money; You and Love, Sex, and Marriage, etc.

By doing this, I am by no means trying to promote the sale of my book to self-absorbed people. Quite the contrary. It is rather my intention to emphasize that YOU are important, and YOU should never have to apologize to anyone for that. After all, before you can take on the weighty problems of the world, such as global warming or nuclear proliferation among rogue states, you first have to take care of YOU. That’s why I’ve written this book, and I hope YOU enjoy it, because this one’s for YOU!

That was a crock, wasn’t it? OK, I admit it. I am trying to appeal to flakey, self-absorbed people, because God knows, there are lots of them out there, and if I can just get a small percentage of them to buy my book, I’ll have a best-seller. (Gosh, I didn’t mean to offend self-absorbed people, and I’m sure I haven’t, because they’re probably all too wrapped up in themselves to notice!)

Before I offend any other major cross-section of the book-buying public, let me invite you to browse my website at, where you can find out more about the book and buy it if you want.

Thanks. I hope I didn’t offend anybody. 

About Antonio Winnebago

Antonio Winnebago
"When you remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." - Mark Twain

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