Behind the Moroniverse: Peppi and Bernadette

Manteno’s own Peppi and Bernadette Cacca might seem like empty characters at first, however there is a much darker side to them. Like all my characters, the Caccas are inspired by a combination of real people.

Bernadette fires her window-mounted Turd Machine at Gothic Diana Ross

I have known Bernadette’s main inspiration my entire life. She had lived next to my grandmother. As kids, she was the entitled brat who wanted things her way or the highway. I used to try and dodge her, running the other way because she annoyed me so much, but then she would not leave me alone.

I clearly remember her insisting on calling me my deadname, despite my pleas for her to stop. Bernadette hasn’t any concept of boundaries and neither does her main inspiration. She just pretends to care.

In high school, she had found a way to manipulate people into thinking she was a wonderful person. I had to ask her an urgent question for a design I was creating for a play in which she starred, right before I had to catch the bus to trade school to design it. Instead of turning around and answering me, the “stage manager extraordinaire” sitting atop a desk kept talking faster and louder to the other student, drowning me out.

To add insult to injury, the real-life communal narcissist tricked the teacher into making ME apologize to HER. I will never forgive her for that abuse.

The real-life communal narc had been working on an app-only HBO show of some sort and playing piano for an LGBTQIA+ charity. You read that right; the same person who deadnamed me repeatedly is raising money for an LGBTQIA+ cause. Hmmm…

Now she is gaslighting people into thinking she cares about the Russian invasion into Ukraine, singing at charity events to raise money, and course to get that almighty photo opportunity. My best friend and her husband have family in Ukraine; this is personal for me. I do not care about a moronic photo op when my friends and their family are fighting for their lives, running from a DIC-tator who wants to bring about the Apocalypse.

I read she yelled at a late-night television host for getting too close to her piano. This behavior does not surprise me, having come from a person who has a history displaying her sense of entitlement to those closest to her.

I created my character to help cope with a lifetime of abuse from a narcissist who tricks virtually everyone into seeing her mask, which I suspect has been crumbling. I hope it falls off for good and she slithers away into a life of obscurity, working by herself, abusing nobody. Or maybe she will live out her life in the bog, devouring the living like the character whom she had inspired, Bernadette Moran Cacca.

Have you known a person like this?

Peppi Cacca’s name came from a rabid doorman in Italy who sexually assaulted me. Character Peppi Cacca’s main inspiration is a toxic, former neighbor who had stunk up my apartment with skunky weed and sadly abused his cat. I had gotten the idea from Pepe LePew and used to call him Pepe LePuke as I heard him through the ceiling vomiting every morning while he was upstairs visiting his boyfriend with whom he was having an affair. I am so glad to be out of that apartment complex, and in a much quieter, cleaner place – waking up to birds in the trees, not skunk-weed stench.

Awhile back, I had overheard him on the bus bragging to the driver about his drinking, making the excuse “can you blame me?”

I blame him for his own behavior.

Bern Cacca Gets Yeeted

“Here I sit all broken-hearted, tried to crap but only farted,” a forlorn Bernadette “Bern” Cacca sings on her porcelain throne, practicing kazoo and accordion. She lights a fart, burns her doodoo in the fireplace, then makes a call to a Northwestern Illinois bar on her smell phone.

“Poopy’s.”

“Hi, my name is Bernadette Cacca. I’m a famous singer near Chicago.”

The bartender giggles.

“I have a wonderful offer to make your bar.”

“May…I take your order?”

“I would like to open a Poopy’s here in Manteno.”

“I thought you were from Chicago!”

The bartender continues to giggle as he hangs up on Bern.

To increase her bottom line of attention, money and bootlickers, communal narcissist Bernadette offers to sing and play her accordion cover songs at a charity event to raise money for the victims of the Russian war against Ukraine. She dreams about all the photo opportunities she can gain from her virtue signaling. She does not care about the efforts of living beings trying to stay alive, fighting or fleeing a psychopath trying to take over their beautiful country. She just loves to pretend.

Bern heads home from a long day working her and her husbands’ business Peppi’s Portapotties, excited to burn the porta-poopies in her fireplace, only to be interrupted by a phone call.

“Hi, Bernadette…ummm…Cake-Uh?”

“Cacca.”

“Yeah, I am calling about your gig at the Gaslight Bar tomorrow night.”

“Oh hiiii! I am THRILLED about playing this extraordinary gig at 7:00 tomorrow night.”

“Good. We are calling to tell you about a slight time change. Due to staffing shortages, we need to move your gig back an hour.”

“I am a pillar of the community and a national treasure! Your tone is not appropriate for someone doing business. I would get used to people like me.”

“So are you coming or not? We have other guests who want to play and help—“

“Okay, okay, see you tomorrow. Don’t forget it!”

Bern teams up with local cybercrook Pat Splatt to develop her pretend money Craptocoin. The bum-waste-bin overlord thinks it is cute to sell Craptocoin at the charity event and decides she will solicit tips using her funny money.

“Hello Manteno! Thank you all for coming! Let’s raise some money! Gimme your requests! CraptoCoin only, my handle is @BMCacca! Maybe you already doing it, and that’s awesome!

ALSO, a shout-out to my extraordinary hairdresser @lilacroule from Croule, Young and Lovely who keep me lookin’ good! AND, my makeup by fabulous @marigoldyoung! So much love to their salon. Practices are things done more than one time regularly, and I have been practicing hard for tonight’s fundraiser! That’s why I call them practices!”

“And…without further ado, give it up for the Manteno Wonder herself, Mrs. Bernadette Cacca!”

A slow clap is heard, mixed in with hoots and hollers from Bern’s obsessed fanboys.

After finishing her last accordion cover tune for the first half of her set, “My Fart Goes Boom”, Bern runs to the washroom, humming “Let’s all go to the restroom” as she poops and farts.

Mrs. Cacca emerges, approached by a Chicago television reporter. 

“Hi Bern. I would like to interview you. We got a press release—“

“Not now, after.”

“I have other stories to cover. Let’s do this now.” 

“The show must go on.”

“I am from Ukraine and have family there.”

“Fair enough, let’s do this interview up on stage. We will both look awesome up there!” Bernadette gushes.

The Chicago TV reporter enters stage right, Bernadette stage left. Reporter Elena Emm stops to remember her questions so she can begin her interview. 

An impatient Bernadette sighs loudly, whistles and hums.

“Why are you staring off into space? Are you in a fantasy world?” Bern snarks, snickers, thinking only Elena can hear her.

“I am blind,” the reporter advises the oblivious Bernadette, unaware a camera operator is filming the entire interview.

“Here let me touch your face,” the ableist and ignorant Bern belittles the Chicago TV news reporter, reaching for her face.

Elena knocks Bernadette unconscious with a single blow to her piehole, then proceeds to yeet her into the crowd of bootlickers.

“This show is getting entertaining” Gothic Diana Ross says to her bandmates, The Midnight Supremes, who are waiting in the wings.

“I may be visually impaired, but I’m not stupid” Elena Emm says to the crowd who had poured in to find out where their entertainer Bernadette had gone, only to have that communal narcadoodle chucked right into a pile of them, knocking the fanboys over like a set of bowling pins. Strike!

Happy she got a scoop on the poop-mistress extraordinaire, Elena and the news team head back to Chicago to produce their segment for the next morning’s newscast.

“Next up, give a hand for these lovely ladies, Gothic Diana Ross and the Midnight Supremes!” announces the emcee, who had called the Manteno girl group last minute to replace their annoying neighbor Bern Cacca on the bill.

“You look so good on the outside”

— Cold Cave