LaCucaracha residents were up in arms this past week following the revelation that local proprietor and fellow Texan, Garth Chesney, is actually a big, fat Italian guy from New York named Sal Merlino. Merlino moved to LaCucaracha several months ago and opened the town’s first hoagie shop, Cowboy Longhorn Hoagies. Though locals had no idea what the hell a hoagie was, the establishment was a massive success. “The Italian sammich is so good it made me slap my mama. Er—not mama—wife. It made me strike my wife. And I got in a big ole’ heap a trouble for that,” said Jett Boudreaux, who pronounces “Italian,” "Eye-talian."
While the town is still reeling from the damn Yankee’s betrayal, some locals claim they were on to Merlino’s ruse from the start. “I knew he wadn't no Texan when I done asked him if he saw the game and he said ‘I don’t watch high school football’ or somethin’ or other,” volunteer fireman Eddie Perez revealed. “I had a friend from New York. Guy was killed for $43.00 with a switchblade knife. I’d love to spit some Beechnut in that dude’s eye,” he added. (Editor’s Note: Perez’s story turned out to be the lyrics to Hank Williams Jr.’s classic, “A Country Boy Can Survive.” He couldn’t be reached for comment as we went to press.)
The jig was up when housewife Marie Clark saw Merlino on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives on DVD, hawking sausage and peppers to host Guy Fierri in Brooklyn, NY. She wasted no time in telling all the gals at the community center and word spread like wildfire. (Ed. Note: No relation to the actual wildfire southeast of town.) The restaurateur was confronted, and after some initial denial, came clean about his past. Merlino later addressed the issue in depth on his blog, Gabagool In Texas, writing, “I’m deeply sorry to all youse [sic] guys in LaCucaracha. I just wanted to be accepted. Salud!” There was an accompanying video of him, without audio, just waving his arms in a very over-the-top manner.
Mayor Meyer weighed in on the controversy stating, "While impersonating a Texan is a serious offense and certainly cuts deep, I do hope Mr. Merlino sticks around as that hoagie thing he makes is a, pardon my French, damn fine sandwich."