Randolph Street: Five Shot

April 18th, 2014


Steve–Augusta & Willard Ct.



Three Wheeler–Ada & Concord Pl.



Brickyard Worker–Elston & LeMoyne St



Blocks–Ada near North Ave.



Steve–Augusta and Willard Ct.


All photos © Jon Randolph 2014

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Benny Jay: Hacked!

April 17th, 2014

It has come to my attention that my AOL email account was hacked.

I don’t know who did the hacking.  I presume it was some malicious little fucker in eastern Europe, though I have not rule out Rahm Emanuel as a suspect.

Just kidding, Mayor Rahm.

l learned about the hacking from several email friends, who wrote or called to say something along the lines of — “Hey, man, you’ve been hacked.”

With an occasional f-bomb dropped here or there.

Apparently, the hacker or hackers sent emails to every address in my  address book, saying “Hi! news.”

That was followed by a link to a site which, for all I know, exposes someone to various forms of credit and/or identity theft.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I did not send out an email that says, “Hi! news.”

But just to be sure, allow me to issue the following statement…

I was hacked!

I hope that clarifies things.


For all I know, the hacker might have been this guy…


The episode raises some interesting questions about how one is supposed to respond to a suspicious message from a computer that’s obviously been hacked.

Some people were irritated, as in — “hey, fucker, stop sending me shit.”

Others were apologetic, as in: “You probably already know this, but just in case…”

Others responded as though I had done something wrong: “It’s a good idea to change your password every once in awhile…”

Others used it as an opportunity to rail against AOL — like Steve Case did the hacking himself.

Others took the opportunity to say something nice, like: BTW, how are you doing? Let’s have lunch.


Or this guy…


And, of course, there were a whole bunch of robo messages along the lines of — “so and so will be out of the office until April 21.”

In other cases, the hacking was educational. At least, it was how I learned that several people had left their old jobs.

The real good news is that I changed my password. So I hope it will be at least a few months before I get hacked again.

For what it’s worth, I have been thinking of changing my email account. Kind of sick of the AOL home page.

Of course, changing the account seems like a lot of work.

If I know me — and I’ve known me for quite awhile — I’ll be thinking about changing my email for at least another ten years. At which point, I’ll think about it some more.

In the meantime, sorry about the hacking. Though I swear had nothing to do with it.


Editor’s Note: Breaking news! This just in!! Benny’s email has been hacked — again!!! This time he really might have to get out of AOL…

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No Blaise: Moving Slowly

April 16th, 2014

Turns out, finding a place to live isn’t the hardest part about moving,  moving all your shit is.

And we’ve got a lot of shit.

If you’re wondering what I’ve decided to pack first, the answer is my feelings about moving, which I’ve packed into the back of my brain and use that method to pretend that all of my stuff is going to transport itself into the new house with no effort from me.

Those of you who live in reality know that this will not happen, and so I’ve been trying to get my brain to organize itself like a normal person. This Chicago Sprinter isn’t helping my cause any, either. What am I supposed to do, pack up all my sweaters cause today it’s 75? Can’t do that cause god damnit it’s gonna snow two days later.

Still, I have a lot of empty boxes piled in my room.

Now, to say that I’ve done nothing to help move the move wouldn’t be right. Hannah was in town a week ago moving her stuff out, and I kinda sorta helped her pack up and move her stuff. I also kinda sorta laid in her bed the majority of the time.

Hannah’s moving her stuff out left me both motivated and depressed. When she left she essentially took all of the art work, which motivated me to well, invest in some art for gods sake, as well as pack up all my own shit as a reminder that I’ll be leaving this white walled cave soon.

Her moving out depressed me for pretty much the same reasons, and, my best friend living on the other side of the country sucks pretty bad, too.

Life, man.

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Benny Jay: Pack Mule Blues

April 15th, 2014

Saturday afternoon

I’m running late to drive cross town to meet my sister for lunch. I race to the garage, open the door, head for the car, only to discover…

The car’s piled high with boxes filled with stuff. My daughter’s stuff, to be exact. Shoes, blouses, shirts, pants, dresses, socks, books — you name it.

She’s moving from Chicago to California. And on Thursday my wife and I helped her move her stuff from her old apartment to the car.

At the time, they were giving me major amounts of shit. Saying I had a bad attitude. Said all I do I do is complain.

Can you believe this? Okay, maybe I did complain. But I had a legitimate point. Which was — I’m lazy. I mean, what’s so wrong with that?


I’d rather be doing this…


So we fill the car and drive home. And I tell my wife – let’s get this stuff out of the car now, so we don’t have to worry about it later. Only she says she’s too tired, we’ll move it in the morning. Promise.

And I say – I know you’re tricks, you won’t be around in the morning. And I’ll have to move it by myself. And she starts in again about my bad attitude.

Well, obviously, Friday morning came and went without her cleaning out the car.  Let this be a lesson to all you youngsters out there.

No matter what they tell you — you’re gonna be the one who does the heavy lifting.


I’m a mule — like Francis…


So here I am lifting shit out of the car and stocking it in the garage. And I’m sweating like a mule, cause it’s hot. And this shit is heavy.

And I get to the bottom of the trunk and what do I find?  A bag of kitty litter!

The kitty litter bag my wife bought — over my objections — weeks ago just in case we got stuck in the snow. Cause someone told her that kitty litter makes the perfect traction to help cars get out of snow.

As she dumped that kitty litter bag into the back of the car, I predicted that I’d be the one to find it, when the snow melted it.

I believe she said I had a bad attitude.

I haul the kitty litter bag out of the car and dump it in a corner of the garage. Which is where I’ll undoubtedly find it months from now when my wife tells me we got to clean out the garage.

Only guess who will be doing the hauling?

Fellas, once a pack mule, always a pack mule.  Might as well get used to it.

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Letter From Milo: Big Pimpin’

April 14th, 2014

There’s no Wi-Fi in the Cook County Jail, so I used my one phone call to contact Benny Jay, my partner here at The Third City, to explain why I wouldn’t be posting a new blog this week.

“Jesus! What are the charges?”

“I’ve been accused of violating the Mann Act, transporting a bunch of women across state lines for immoral purposes. It was a set-up. I was framed. They’re trying to say I was taking the women to Indianapolis to work the Shriners’ convention.”

“Isn’t that called ‘white slavery’?”

“Well, I had some black chicks in the van, too.”

“I’ve got a feeling this is going to reflect poorly on The Third City.”

“Benny, don’t worry about it. It’s all bullshit. The charges won’t stick. Next to drug dealing, trafficking in sex may be the most popular, and ignored, illegal business on earth. Nobody’s going to give a shit.”

If prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, then pimping is a close second, followed by the priesthood. From the moment humankind emerged from the mire, and women discovered they had something between their legs that drives men wild, there have been slick, fast-talking and ruthless bastards trying to make a profit from the female sweet spot.

Pimping isn’t what it used to be. The old business model – a guy wearing flashy clothes, driving a flashy car, running a small stable of streetwalkers – is becoming obsolete. The pandering business has changed beyond recognition. Old school pimps, like Iceberg Slim and West Side Wally Popovich, would be hard-pressed to make a living these days.

The big pimping money is in human trafficking, finding and transporting young women and girls from all over the globe to work in strip clubs, brothels, escort services, and satisfy the internet porn market’s insatiable demand for fresh young bodies.

A new breed of amoral character has evolved to meet the new pimping challenges. He’s no longer an opportunistic local boy, preying on the neighborhood girls, trying to find the ones who will fuck for money and give it all to him.

Now he’s an international player, often a member of an organized gang or cartel, traveling the world, exploiting impoverished young women and their desperate families. He’ll say or do anything to acquire new talent, promise glamorous jobs, marriages to kind, wealthy men, or educational opportunities. If that doesn’t work, the girls are sometimes kidnapped, or purchased outright, bought and paid for like livestock.

These new age entrepreneurs may have changed their recruiting methods, but some pimping techniques have never gone out of style. Once young women fall into their hands, pimps use drugs, isolation, intimidation and violence to control them.

The shelf life of a sex slave is generally pretty short. They get sick, become drug addicts, suffer physical abuse from pimps and customers, spend time in jail, run away, get killed, or kill themselves. Worst of all, from a pimp’s perspective, they eventually lose their looks, lessening their earning power.

That’s why a pimp with business savvy is constantly looking for new talent. He understands that a successful business man is one who rotates his stock, keeps his inventory young and fresh. And he’ll travel to the ends of the earth to keep his customers happy.

Some estimates say that as many as 30 million women a year are trafficked as sex slaves.

So, fellas, the next time you go to your favorite porn site to watch a young girl sucking cock, being gang-fucked, or taking it up the ass for your viewing pleasure, just remember, there’s a good chance she’s drugged, diseased, physically abused, scared to death, and a long, long way from home.

When they released me from jail, I went straight to The Third City’s plush Michigan Avenue office. When Benny Jay saw me, he said, “Oh, man, I’m glad you’re back. The place was falling apart without you. What happened?”

“They dropped the charges.”

“How did you explain driving a van filled with fine looking babes across the state line?”

“I told the judge I was a Mormon, on my way to a family reunion.”

“The judge fell for it?”

“Well, that, and an envelope stuffed with cash.”

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Benny Jay: Cheap is Cheap!

April 13th, 2014

It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep — must have been something I ate — so I’m sitting on the downstairs sofa reading In Cheap We Trust by Lauren Weber.

It’s all about our need to be more frugal, so we don’t destroy the world by using everything up.

She makes a convincing argument, but I wish she used a different word in her title. To me, cheap and frugal are not quite the same. Frugality is a virtue — waste not, want not, and all that. But cheap is selfish.

Most cheap guys I know — and I’ve known a lot of them — aren’t cheap cause they want to save the planet. Hell, no — they’re cheap cause they don’t want to pay the bill.

Take Jamie, for example.  Cheapest dude I know. The next bill he picks up will be his first. When we go out to eat, he scours the menu looking for the cheapest thing he can buy.


Jack Benny was cheap…


“Jamie,” I’ll ask. “Why you only eating a salad?”

“Ah,” he says. “I’m not really that hungry.”

But tell him you’re treating? Fuck the salad! Next thing you know he’s ordering the steak.  It’s interesting how hungry he suddenly gets, when he realizes someone else is paying the bill.

Another notorious tightwad I know is Bill, an old college friend. He’s so cheap, he’d bogart my coffee when we’d go out breakfast, instead of ordering his own.

“Hey, man, ask the waitress for a refill…”

“Just order your own cup, you cheap motherfucker…”

“C’mon, man….”

When the check came, he’d go over it like a CPA, making sure I paid for the coffee. Cause, technically, he hadn’t ordered it.


And Tiger Woods is a notoriously cheap tipper…


I’ve told my mom that story at least a dozen times. She never tires of hearing it. She loves trashing cheapskates. Then she’ll tell my father: “You have to hear this one…”

And he’ll say: “Don’t you people have anything better to occupy your minds?”

My father’s really big on how we occupy our minds.

I think Lauren Weber would love my parents. As children of the Great Depression, they understand the need for frugality cause they remember when there was barely enough food to eat.

But cheap? It’s just the opposite. When the bill comes, my father’s quick like a cat — grabs it right out of the waiter’s hand. The man doesn’t have a cheap bone in his body.

My sister on the other hand…

The last time the family went out for lunch, she grabs the bill before my father can get at it, looks at me and says, “Let’s treat.” You know, like she’s the big sport.

So I get out my Master Card and she gets out her American Express. But the waitress says, “sorry, we don’t take American Express.”

I wind up paying the whole bill.

Come to think of it — I wouldn’t say she’s cheap. Just sorta slick.

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