My pen name was once Henry Rifle. It was a swell handle, one that rolled off the tongue real nicely. In addition to having a catchy ring to it, it’s also a real gun. According to Wikipedia, it was ‘the basis for the iconic Winchester rifle of the American Wild West.’ So I suppose there was at least a dash of romance to it too. But no matter how I feel about it now, it’s part of the package. It’s cooked into the stew.
All that being said, I did come by the handle somewhat honestly. After all, my bloodline is thick with Wild West gunfighters. First, there was Kid Vaseline. He was a mysterious fellow, one who…kept largely to himself. He was in one gunfight and one only, and, naturally, he lost (his gun slipped out of his hand).
His son picked up that gun, wiped it off and did his best to carry on the family tradition. But the fact of it was, he was sick a lot; a whole lot. Like his dad, he kept to himself. Which is how he acquired his nickname – Kid Quarantine.
Kid Quarantine’s son? His son was the last of the gunfighters in my family. Like his old man, he had a predisposition to catching colds. But by the time he came of age, the Old West had passed. So even though he was pretty handy with the steel, the chance to test his mettle never materialized. And so, just like that, The Tonsillitis Kid faded quietly into the history books.
And now you know…the rest of the story.