Benny Jay: Kobe Bryant’s Great Honor

December 18th, 2014

After giving it much thought, I’ve decided to bestow upon Kobe Bryant the greatest honor I can give him–a spot in the Benny Jay non-Bulls Hall of Fame.

That’s different than the Benny Jay Bulls Hall of Fame–reserved for the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Norm Van Lier. Especially, Norm Van Lier. I love you, Norm!

The non-Bulls Hall of Fame consists of dreaded opponents about whom I said, when their careers were over…

Man, I wish you’d played for my Bulls!

In short–the highest of praise.

The founding members of this illustrious club are, of course, the holy trinity of ballers from my grammar school years: Bill Russell, Connie Hawkins and Wilt Chamberlain. Especially Wilt Chamberlain.

I believe there was a time when I idolized Wilt Chamberlain as much as Paul Newman. And that’s saying a lot.

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Lil’ Nate Archibald could play!

 

That was followed by Hall of Famers from my high school days: Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Dave Cowens, Paul Silas and Nate Archibald. Especially, Nate Archibald. I always loved the little guards.

And onto my college years: Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas, Lionel Hollins, Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Rick Barry, and Dr. J. Especially, Dr. J. I revere him so much that, to this day, I order Crown Royal–when drinking shots–cause that’s the brand the Doctor endorses.

And into the `80s, 90s and 00s with Mo Cheeks, Moses Malone, Rickey Pierce, Terry Cummings, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Charles Barkley, Larry Joe Bird, Magic Johnson, Shaq, Allen Iverson and Dennis Johnson. Especially, Dennis Johnson.

You know, some people say my game reminds them of Dennis Johnson’s.

Well, I may be the only one who says that, but still…

At this point, I realize some of you might be thinking–damn, man, you spend way too much time thinking about basketball.

To which I say…

You’re probably right. Now back to the list…

craighodges

The great Craig Hodges!

 

Some guys are enshrined in both of my halls of fame, having played for and against the Bulls. I’m talking about Chet Walker, Clifford Ray, Artis Gilmore, Charles Oakley, Nate Robinson, Doug Collins (he coached the Bulls), Ben Gordon, Jannero Pargo and Craig Hodges.

Especially, Craig Hodges. I love three-point shooters!

As for Kobe, I used to hate on him with unabashed abandon. In large part because he had the audacity to act as though he were as good, if not better, than Jordan.

In truth, he deserved to act that way. Cause, in truth, he comes as close to being as good as Jordan as any player I’ve seen.

So now that Kobe passed Jordan on the all-time list of scorers, I might as well officially enshrine him into my Hall of Fame.

Congratulations, Kobe–if this was your Bar Mitzvah, I’d give you a fountain pen.

But it’s not. So what I’ll do is this…

I’ll raise glass of Crown Royal–what else–in your honor.

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No Blaise: Holiday Party FOMO

December 17th, 2014

It’s that time of year when people start going to work holiday parties. It’s also the time of year for family, love, giving, blah blah blah.

Once upon a time I had a job that threw a holiday party. Free booze, free food, free drunken interactions with people you normally don’t speak to, free awkward next Monday.

When I was interning at the PR firm they threw a big dinner AND THEN we all went out on a holiday trolley. Uh, hi, happy holidays to me. Though that job wasn’t my favorite and I was dating the ex-who-shall-not-be-named so it’s probably best I’ve moved away from that phase of life. If only I’d gotten to keep the trolley in the divorce…

Now, as a nanny the opportunity for a office-wide holiday party is pretty much nonexistent, legally speaking. Though I did get free food and booze at the boys birthday party about a month ago so, hey, that’s something.

Besides making me feel like a second class citizen, all my friends going to their works holiday parties make me wonder if I’ll ever attend one of my own again. Will I ever again get my soft spoken coworker to tell me about her sex life? Will I ever again shot gun a beer with  my boss? Will I ever again sort of like that annoying guy who sits near me who I thought I would hate forever? Will I ever get the chance to never speak to them at work post-party?

Maybe someday I will have a significant other who will trust me enough around his colleagues and free alcohol to bring me to their party. I just can’t be sure my future as a public school teacher will include drunk mingling in holiday sweaters. The way I see it, we will all be too tired from working long hours, being poor, and hating Rahm to be able to plan, let alone throw, a holiday party.

Rahm Emmanuel, the Grinch who stole holiday parties.

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Benny Jay: The Great Alan Turing

December 16th, 2014

Over the weekend, I saw The Imitation Game, a movie about Alan Turing, the brilliant British mathematician, who helped bring down the Nazi war machine by cracking their secret code.

Thanks to Turing, the Brits were able to spend the last three or so years of World War II listening in on Hitler’s private conversations with his generals.

So we, the allies, knew what they, the Nazis, were up to.

As a token of their appreciation for his immeasurable service to civilization, the Brits drove Turing to suicide by persecuting him for being a homosexual.

Think about that, people. The man saved the world only to have his nation hound him to death.

That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the idiocy of man.

In any event, The Imitation Game is a great melodrama, which I liked way more than it probably deserve. If only cause I never tire of watching World War II movies in which the Nazis lose. Just like they did in the real war!

Something I didn’t know about Turing until I saw the flick…

He was aided by a crack team of brilliant mathematicians, who, if you believe the movie, had a singular talent for solving crossword puzzles.

This crossword puzzle connection intrigued me, as I’ve been doing crossword puzzles for roughly 30 years.

Not that I have anything to show for it. I’m the worst at solving crossword puzzles, with the possible exception of my mother and sister.

alanturing

Mr. Turing…

 

As a further blow to my self esteem, I’m surrounded by people who’re really good at solving crossword puzzles, including my cousin Robert and my two partners in this esteemed blogging empire–Jonny Randolph and Milo.

Yes, it’s true. Despite years of hard drinking, Milo’s great at crossword puzzles. In contrast, I suck at them and I rarely touch a drop. Relatively speaking.

Oh, the injustice of life.

My sister has improved at crossword puzzles ever since she purchased an iPhone that enables her to look up the answers on the Internet.

When I tell her that’s cheating, she tells me it’s no different than when I call cousin Robert for assistance.

An interesting point that’s worthy of more debate.

To give you an idea of what it’s like to do a crossword puzzle with my sister and my mother, here’s an exchange that took place just the other day…

Sister: What’s a 10-letter word for master of the universe?

Mother: What?

Me: Do you have any clues?

Sister: I’m gonna look it up on my iPhone.

Me: That’s cheating.

Sister: Shutup!

Mother: What?

I think we’ll all agree that if Turing had to depend on me, my mom and my sister to crack the Nazi code, we’d all be speaking German today.

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Letter From Milo: Jealous Guy

December 15th, 2014

I’m not a jealous guy, but it’s not easy being married to a fine looking woman like the lovely Mrs. Milo. In the back of my mind, there’s always the nagging thought that other men are leering at her, giving my wife the old up-and-down, admiring her rack, checking out her butt.

I’ve been tense and on edge ever since I met my wife, more than 30 years ago. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since we began seeing each other. I’m plagued by nightmares. I have horrible dreams about hordes of drooling, slobbering, lust-crazed lechers, all of them scheming and plotting, hoping to get a shot at my wife.

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not a jealous guy, but I’m no dumbass either. If I find my wife attractive, then I’m sure a lot of other guys feel the same way – and the rotten bastards are everywhere.

Wherever we go – supermarkets, department stores, theaters, restaurants, or just walking down the street – I notice men giving my wife the eye. Some guys are discreet, but others are blatant in their piggishness, eyes bulging, jaws dropping, panting like dogs. And it drives me fucking crazy.

When I mentioned my concerns to Dr. Gretchen, the psychiatrist I’ve been seeing once a week for the past few years, she said, “Your jealousy is fueled by guilt.”

“Huh?”

“Your obvious inadequacies as a husband are causing you to fixate on other men who you perceive to be better husband material.”

“What the fuck….”

“You’re afraid that if your wife finds a man who doesn’t drink, smoke, abuse drugs, gamble, lie and cheat, and happens to be a good provider, she’ll dump you without thinking twice about it. And, honestly, I wouldn’t blame her a bit.”

“That’s a helluva thing to say to a guy.”

“Hey, I’m not your friend, I’m your shrink.”

As I was leaving her office, Dr. Gretchen gave me a prescription for some new medications. “Maybe these will help,” she said.

The new meds did make me feel better, especially when taken with bourbon and a little bit of weed, but they didn’t ease my mind. If anything, the meds sharpened my perception, focused my thinking. I was more alert than I had ever been, watching for any sign of trouble.

I began to notice a lot of suspicious activity on my street – cars slowing down as they passed my house, guys walking their dogs and lingering a bit too long by the tree in my front yard, more guys than usual hanging out at the corner tavern, an overabundance of meter readers in the neighborhood.

Then, a few days ago, I spotted my wife chatting with one of the neighbors, a guy named Leonard.

“What were you and Leonard talking about?” I asked when she got home.

“Nothing important.”

“Did he, by any chance, get fresh with you?”

My wife gave me an odd look and said, “What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Milo, Leonard’s 90 years old.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t trust the old goat.”

This past Saturday, as I was on my front porch, enjoying a cigarette with my morning whiskey, I saw the mailman approaching.

“What the fuck do you want?” I asked when he rang the doorbell.

“I’ve got a package for your wife.”

“You’ve got what?”

“A package for your wife,” he said, with a knowing look in his eye. “Special delivery.”

“You rotten motherfucker!” I shouted, then grabbed the machete I keep by the front door and went after the bastard. I chased him for half a block, but he’s a lot younger than I am and outran me.

When I realized I wouldn’t be able to catch the fucker, I went home, poured another drink, and waited for the police to show up. I figured they’d be arriving soon.

But I wasn’t too worried about the cops, because I was pretty sure when I explained everything to them, they would understand.

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Benny Jay: Ryan Gosling Update

December 14th, 2014

Finally get around to seeing The Driver — the hot, new Ryan Gosling action flick.

Actually, it’s neither hot nor new — been out for awhile. And it’s not even The Driver. It’s Drive.

I just can’t stop calling it The Driver. I’m not sure why.

Very violent movie.  Gosling plays this super tough guy who hardly says a word, probably cause he generally has a toothpick in his mouth.

You try talking with a toothpick in your mouth.

By my count, he kills five guys. Stomps one to death. Drowns another. Sticks a pipe through another guy’s chest.  Stabs a guy. And shoots two others.

Correction — that’s six dead.

Albert Brooks plays a gangster who gouges a guy’s eye out with a steak knife.

Hard to imagine Albert Brooks playing a gangster, let alone gouging a guy’s eye out with a steak knife. Guess the producers wanted a comedian to play the gangster role.

Woody Allen must have been busy.

Yo’, Ryan — what’s with the toothpick?

Here’s the thing, when we leave the movie, my wife drops the bombshell.

“Ryan Gosling,” she says, “is gay.”

“What?”

“You heard me.”

“No way…”

“Yes, he is…”

“No, he isn’t…”

And so forth.

Finally, comes down to this.

“What’s your proof that he’s gay?” I ask.

“He’s sensitive…”

“What kind of logic is that?”

“He’s gay — and that’s that…”

For the record, let me say this. I don’t care that Ryan Gosling’s gay. I just don’t think he’s gay.

Of course, my track record’s sort of spotty in this department. I may have been the last one in America to catch on to Rock Hudson. And I watched McMillan and Wife for years.

“I’ll ask Sean,” says my wife.

I was the last to know about Rock Hudson….

Sean would be our friend who knows absolutely everything about absolutely every celebrity.

Thing is — Sean’s gay. So I don’t completely trust him on the whole subject of is this or that celebrity gay.

In all due respect to gays everywhere, your credibility on these matters is a little sketchy.

I remember having an intense debate with my hygienist, who’s gay.

He insisted that Sheryl Crow was a lesbian.

Conversation went a little like this….

Hygienist: Ask any lesbian….

Me: But she’s married to Lance Armstrong. (Only it comes out — “bah, she’s maweed to Wance Ahmstrong” cause he’s cleaning my teeth.)

Hygienist: That’s just for show.

Point is gays tend to claim every celebrity as one of their own, whether its true or not.

In this way they’re not unlike Jews who insist that any athlete with a vaguely Jewish sounding name is Jewish. Speaking of Bernie Kosar…

Anyway, when I get home I go to the computer and look up Ryan Gosling.

It says he used to date Sandra Bullock and then he dated Rachel McAdams. But now he’s apparently not dating anyone, though he lives with his dog named George.

Hmmm…

Then just for kicks, I Google “Is Ryan Gosling gay?”

Wind up in a chat room called the Human Sexuality Forum, where Karen from New Jersey writes: “The hand gestures among other things make me really begin to think he’s gay in his private life….”

To which, Emily, also from New Jersey, writes: “I had the same exact feeling….”

Apparently, there wasn’t a whole lot going on in Jersey that night.

Well, you be the judge….

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