Charles Fleming

A Goomba's Guide To Life

Welcome to the world of goomba. This is your guide. What we got here is two things. First is the story of me, Steve Schirripa, and why I'm proud to be a goomba. Second is the story of what a goomba is, and what it means to be one.
This ain't as easy as it looks. The first part -- no problem. I know exactly how I was raised, and how I went from a Bensonhurst kid to a guy with a big job at one of the biggest casinos in Las Vegs to a man with a wife and two kids and a regular berth on one of the best televison shows that ever was, The Sopranos.
The second part -- that's more difficult. Explaining and defining the goomba ain't easy. It looks easy. How hard could it be, right? Everyone knows what a goomba is. He's a fat Italian jerk, right, or a gangster?
Wrong. That ain't the goomba.
To most goombas, the word "goomba" is a term of endearment. He's what the Jews would call a mensch or what a Southerner calls a good ol' boy. A goomba is a man's man. He's tough. He's usually pretty big. He's got a big appetite, too -- for food, and booze, and broads, most of the time.
He's not too smart, maybe, and probably not too educated. He ain't no rocket scientist. He might not have a lot to say. But he ain't stupid, either. Like my friend Vinnie says, "When a fish opens his mouth, he gets hooked." The goomba knows when to keep his mouth shut.
Things You Will Never Hear A Goomba Say
Two tickets for The Vagina Monologues, please.
Excellent putt, Arthur.
Guilty, your honor.
You Might Be A Goomba If
You have more than two uncles with goomba names, like Vito, Vinnie or Frankie
You have more than two uncles, with women's names, like Sally, Angie, Julie or Allie.
You have more than one pinky ring.

"Finally, a Goomba guide for everyone that is one, knows one, or wants to be one. Steve Schirripa is a great storyteller with a touching and humorous story to tell." James Gandolfini
"Steve Schirripa's A Goomba's Guide To Life absolutely killed me, stuffed my body into the trunk of a Monte Carlo, and then dumped me in the river." Bill Maher

Selected Works

Non-fiction, biography
The heart-breaking, award-winning National Public Radio story of childhood lobotomy survivor Howard Dully, now grippingly told in book form.
Explosive story of 1950s Las Vegas; "Impressive, sure-bet thriller,"
Pre-Castro Cuba catches fire in this sequel to The Ivory Coast.
Nicky Deuce returns with more meatballs and mayhem.
Thrilling young adult adventure story for boys and girls aged 8 to 18.
Riveting autobiographical story of the chief who caught the DC snipers
How to live like a guy from the neighborhood ...
How to make amore like a guy from the neighborhood ...
The fast life and ugly death of Hollywood's most notorious film producer
Travel Essay
Ten damp days in Havana