Benny Jay: Fix That Floor!

September 19th, 2017

This bit’s from the September 17th show. If you want to hear it, click here

 

So my wife comes home last night to find me in the kitchen eating hummus on a sweet potato tortilla chip. Man, life’s good. And she says…

Laura as wife: Benny, why aren’t you at bowling?

Something you should know. For the last 20 or so years I’ve spent almost every Monday night bowling in a men’s league, which generally starts the first week after Labor Day. Meaning bowling should have started two weeks ago. But…

Damien as me: Ah, it’s the floor.

Laura: Bob’s still installing the new floor? That’s ridiculous!

Something else you should know. Bob owns the bowling alley.

Laura, as wife: How long does it take to fix a freaking floor?

And with that she’s on the phone with Deb, the wife of another bowler in the league.

Laura as my wife: Can you believe this poop, Deb?

Dennis as Deb: Ridiculous.

Laura, as wife: That’s what I said. And I was all set to watch Magic Mike II.

Dennis as Deb: Oooh, that Channing Tatum can park his shoes under my bed anytime he wants. Hold it.

Dennis as Deb, yelling: Hey, get your feet off the couch!

Damien as Cap, yelling from the background: Huh? What I do?

Dennis as Deb, yelling: And stop eating corn chips in the living room. Pig.

Dennis as Deb back on the phone: Sorry, Pam. But I can’t take another minute of having him home on a Monday night.
marlonbrandostreetcar

He sounds like Brando…

 

Immediately, I head to the bowling alley to break the word to Bob that he’d better fix the floor. I find Bob and his brother, Mark, on their knees in the middle of an alley. The place is in shambles. Dust everywhere. This doesn’t look good for starting the league soon.

Damien, as me: Bob, when you going to install this thing, man?

Dennis as Bob: Ah, this [beep] floor sander is all [beep] up.

Something else you should know about Bob—he swears a lot.

Dennis as Bob: If I had a nickel for every [beep] time this [beep] machine [beep] up.

Then Mark pipes in.

Damien as Marlon Brando: Ah, yeah, ugh–Stella!

Something you should know about Mark. He mumbles. Not sure why. But he sounds like Marlon Brando. When it comes to conversing with Mark, I always ask—what? In the hopes I’ll understand him on the second go around. So…

Damien as me: Ugh, man, what did you say?

Damien as Marlon Brando: Ugh, yeah, ugh—butter.

Oh, well–didn’t work. Just then Bob’s phone rings. It’s Patti, the wife of another bowler.

Laura as Patti: Hey, Bob. What’s going on with that freaking floor?

Dennis as Bob: Gimme one more week.

Laura as Patti: You said that last week. Hold it [starts yelling]: I’m on the phone—what do you want?

Damien as husband, talking from background: Hey, what happened to the pepperoni pizza in the fridge?

Laura as Patti: How the hell do I know? Do I have a pepperoni tracking system in my uterus!

Oh, brother—sounds like trouble in paradise.

Damien as husband in background: Was it you? Did you eat the pepperoni?

Laura as Patti: I didn’t touch that freaking pepperoni!

Damien, as husband in background: It was your no good brother, wasn’t it?

Laura, as Patti: Look, Bob. Fix that floor. When I got married I swore to have and to hold in sickness and in health—but not on Monday nights!

Oh, brother. Look, Bob, for the sake of us all—fix that freaking floor!

 

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Benny Jay: Oh, Those Furries

September 17th, 2017

This bit’s from the September 15th show. If you want to hear it, click right here. As you can hear, cause of technical difficulties that we discovered about ten seconds before we went on the air, Dennis took Laura’s role and I took Dennis’s…

 

So it’s early Sunday morning, and I’m driving my wife to the airport to catch a flight, and she’s telling me about some lady she met.

Dennis as wife: Oh, Ben, so, I said you’re kidding and she said I’m not and I said…

Tell you the truth I’m only half listening. But don’t tell my wife.

Dennis: Oh my god–it was really weird.

I’m like—weird? What’s weird? I must have missed something good. So I say…

Me as me: What’s weird?

Dennis as wife: I just told you.

Me as me: I know—but just say it again.

Dennis as wife: Okay. She met this guy through a computer dating service.

Me as me: Who met a guy?

Dennis as wife: Jeannie’s friend—weren’t you listening?

Me as me: I was—sort of. But I got the pronouns mixed up.

dennisintigerhat

Dennis had to play the role of my wife…

 

Dennis as wife: Whatever. So they go out and he brings her home for, you know, their big moment. And he goes into the bathroom and when he comes out, he’s dressed like a squirrel.

Me as me: A squirrel?

Dennis as wife: Yep. A squirrel.

Me as me: No way.

Dennis as wife: I’m telling you. Apparently, there’re people who dress up like Benny the Bull and do the nasty.

Me as me: Let me get this straight. The guy was gonna do it while wearing a squirrel suit?

Dennis as wife: Yes.

Me as me: And she was supposed to dress up like, what – a chipmunk?

Dennis as wife: Or a bunny rabbit. Or whatever.

Immediately, I’m overwhelmed with questions.

Me as me: So, like — how do they do it?

Dennis as wife: What do you mean how do they do it? How does anybody do it?

Me as me: I mean, does he, you know, have, like, a little hole in his squirrel suit for—you know?

Dennis as wife: How do I know?

Me as me: Well, you know everything else.

Dennis was me: Well, I don’t know that.

I can’t get that image of the guy in the squirrel suit out of my mind.

Me as me: So what happened next?

Dennis as wife: Well, she freaked out and ran out of the bedroom, though it’s not really his fault cause on his Internet dating picture he was holding a stuffed animal. I mean, duh, that’s a signal, see, that you’re a Fluffy. Or Pluffy. Or whatever they call it.

Me as me: Damn, you’re like a freakin’ expert on animal sex.

Dennis as wife: I tried to tell you about this months ago.

Me as me: No, you never told me this.

Dennis as wife: Yes, I did. You just didn’t listen, numbskull. You never listen when I tell you about people at work.

Me as me: Oh, no, this is not some boring story about women doing yoga. If you had told me about guys in squirrel suits I definitely would have been listening.

It’s get me wondering: How come I don’t know about this stuff? I bet millions of people know this stuff. Just to be sure—the next day at work I ask Yoda.

Me as me: Hey, Yoda, you ever heard of a Fluffy?

Yoda: A what?

Me as me: You know, guys who dress up like squirrels or chipmunks before sex?”

Yoda: It’s not a Fluffy. It’s a Flurry.

Me as me: Yeah.

Yoda : Duh, Ben, everybody’s heard of that.

Once again—I’m the last to know.

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Randolph Street: Hook `em!

September 13th, 2017

1DSCF9884Revetment near Belmont

 

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5DSCF9898Lake Trout

 

All photos © Jon Randolph

jonrandolph.com

 

 

 

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Benny Jay: One Man Book Club

September 12th, 2017

This bit’s from the September 6th show. If you want to hear it, click right here

 

So the other day, I’m walking down the street and I’m talking to myself. Saying something like this.

Damien as me, in British accent: Michael Connelly is the master of the universe in which he lives—the sphere of crime fiction.

This is not as strange as it sounds. Though, now that I think about it—it’s pretty freaking strange.

Damien: His tales are disturbing yet cathartic. Like a mental enema.

The thing is I read a lot of books. But I don’t have people to talk to them about. Well, there’s my wife. But she’s reading her own books. And she doesn’t want to hear me going on and on about mine.

Damien, as the real me: So the one guys sneaks into the other guy’s house and he chops him up with an axe, man.

Laura: That’s nice. You don’t mind if I’m not really listening.

A lot of people tell me I should join a book club. But, I don’t know. That seems like a lot of trouble. So I created the Ben Book Club. It has one member. Me. and late at night I walk by myself and talk about the books that I’m reading. It’s freaking out the dog.

Dennis as Nicky, the dog: Dude, this is weird.

Damien in British accent: Connelly’s latest is a swift, unpredictable thriller.

Dennis as Nicky: Dude, you need help.

davidniven

I sorta sound like David Niven…

 

Sometimes I pretend I’m being interviewed by a radio host who sounds like Laura Vaughn.

Laura with British accent: So, tell me, Ben, if I were to look on your night stand, what books would I find?

Oh, yeah, everyone has a British accent.

Damien with British accent: Well, Laura, it’s funny you should ask. Lately, I’ve been reading Gabriel Tallent’s astoundingly brilliant debut novel—My Absolute Darling.

Laura, with British accent: My god, that novel’s the talk of the town.

Anyway, the other night I was walking and talking about My Absolute Darling, when…

Dennis as neighbor: Ugh, Ben? Is that you?

Oh, no—it’s Henry. My neighbor.

Damien, as me: Oh, what up, Henry?

I didn’t see him coming down the street cause I was so busy talking to myself.

Dennis: Who were you talking to?

Damien, as me: Oh, I was, you know, just on my cell phone.

Dennis, as neighbor: That’s good. I thought you’d gone nutty on us.

I waited for Henry to disappear into his house and then I picked up where I left off.

Damien:I think continually of those who are truly great.

Laura, in English accent: Really, Ben, your insights are inspiring.

The best part about being in a one-man book club is that you’re always the smartest guy in the room.

 

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Benny Jay: Sound Bite

September 10th, 2017

This bit’s from the September 8th show. If you want to hear it, click right here

 

So yesterday I decided to catch up to the rest of the 21st century and do something that most radio folks have been doing forever.  I tell Dennis.

Laura as me: Man, I think I’m gonna send that Chris Kennedy’s interview over to a reporter.

You know, I swear—I think I’m starting to sound just like Laura Vaughn. anyway, Dennis tells me.

Dennis as Dennis: Great idea, Benny. Now you’re thinking like a pro.

Laura as me: Yeah, man. I’m gonna send right it over to my girl Natasha Korecki .

Natasha Koreci being the bulldog reporter at Politico.

Dennis as Dennis: Oh, good idea. Natasha’s the wo-man!

So I send over the interview and sit back and light up a big cigar. Metaphorically speaking, of course. A few minutes later Dennis asks.

Dennis as Dennis: Hey, man, did you send Natasha the sound bite?

Laura as me: The what?

Dennis: Sound bite.

Laura: Isn’t that a thing you go to the dentist for?

Dennis: No, Ben, that’s an overbite—sound bite.

Laura: No, man, I just send her the whole interview.

billclinton12

Not Clinton–Kennedy…

 

Dennis: Dude, you can’t send a big-time reporter like Natasha Korecki a whole interview. She doesn’t have time to listen to all of that.

Soon enough, everyone was telling me about sound bites. Like Yoda, our wise and enlightened station manager.

Yoda: Do not give into the dark side. In life as in radio, there’s enormity in brevity.

Laura as me: Huh?

Yoda: Next time just send Natasha the freakin’ sound bite!

Laura was also chiming in.

Laura: Oh, my God, Benny, no one listens to a while segment.

And, my man, Antonio, our union rep and station engineer? He had something to say

Antonio: How many times do I gotta tell you–less is more, bro. Now drop down and give me twenty!

You can take a man out of the Marines, but you can’t take the Marines out of a man.

Antonio: Hoo-rah!

Like I was saying. And Rickey Hendon also chimed in.

Dennis as Rickey: Did I tell you my show is now on Saturday.

Well, as always, Rickey went off script. Anyway, I quickly raced through the Chris Kennedy interview to find sound bites to send to Natasha. Like this one…

Dennis as John Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Ooops, wrong Kennedy. How about this one…

Laura singing as Marilyn Monroe: Happy birthday to you…

Oh, wait—that’s Marilyn Monroe at JFK’s birthday party. No, this one.

Dennis as Mayor Quimby: All right, I’m in charge here.

No, wait that’s Mayor Quimby doing his Ted Kennedy imitation. Try this one…

Dennis as Bill Clinton: I did not have sex with that woman.

Wait—that’s Clinton not Kennedy. Oh man—this sound bite business is a lot harder than it looks.

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Benny Jay: Just Warming Up

September 8th, 2017

This bit’s from the September 7th show. If you want to hear it, click right here

 

So it’s about 11 in the morning, I’m sitting at my desk writing another great Ben Joravsky theater piece. When the door bell rings. I go to the front door to discover…

Dennis, as appraiser: Hi, I’m Joey, an appraiser from the insurance company.

Damien, as me: Huh, ugh, what?

Dennis: Just a few questions.

Damien: Okay.

Dennis: What time did you get up today?

Damien: Huh?

Dennis: You’re still in your pajamas.

Didn’t really ask that. I’m sure he thought it. His first question was about the electrical panel.

Dennis: When did you get it that electrical panel?

Damien: Hold on. Let me call my wife. She knows all this stuff.

So he’s waiting while I call my wife, who’s out and about in the car.

Laura, as wife: Hello.

I hear great music playing in the background.

Laura singing: Walk on by…

Obviously, she’s binging on Dionne.

Damien: This dude from the insurance company wants to know when we got the electrical panel.

Laura: Hm, let me see. I think it’s when the girls were in kindergarten.

sammysosamarkmThe year was 1998…

 

Something you should know. My wife measures time by key dates in the lives of our children. I tell the appraiser.

Damien: Yeah, the year was 1997. Slammin’ Sammy Sosa hit 67 homers. Sosa steps up to the plate. He’s chasing Mark McGwire and baseball history…

And I measure time by sports.

Dennis: Ugh, okay. that’s a lot of information there. How about the boiler?

Damien: When did we get the boiler?

Laura: Oh. Ugh. Hannah was in fourth grade.

Damien: Ah, yes. 1998. Game six. Utah up by one. Three seconds on the clock. Jordan with the ball. Jordan shoots. He scores. Bulls win…

Dennis: Ugh, yes, well. Okay. More details than I requested. And, finally, your roof?

Damien: The roof?

Laura: What about it?

Damien: When did we get it?

Laura: Oh—I’d say. It was the year that Rachel went to prom.

Damien: Ah, yes. 2009. that was a great year remember. Bulls Celtics. Game six. In the United Center. Overtime. Paul Pierce bringing the ball up the court. Joakim Noah steals the ball. He’s driving. He dunks it. And the foul. That’s a pumpkin pie in your eye!

Dennis: Wow. Thank you. That should be it.

Damien: Oh man, this is fun. Got any more questions?

Dennis: No. I think I’ve had enough.

Damien: How about the sump pump? It’s October 2003. Cubs-Marlins. Wrigley Field. Luis Castillo hits a pop up. It’s drifting toward the bull pen. Alou heading over to catch it. But, oh, no…

Dennis: My god, I need a new career. By the way, please don’t ever call our company again.

Oh, well—I was just warming up.

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Benny Jay: Emailgate

September 5th, 2017

This bit’s from the August 31st show. If you want to hear it, click right here

 

So the other day I’m chatting with my old pal, Chuck, while he’s sending an email on his cell phone, and what do I see?

Damien, as me: Damn, Chuck, you got something like 3,700 unopened emails.

Dennis, as Chuck: Ah, don’t bother me. I’m sending an email.

Like sending an email is so important, he can’t be interrupted.

Dennis, as artist: It’s not email—it’s art.

It’s at this moment I realize that not everybody is like me. Okay, I may have realized this a few hundred times before. But I’m realizing it again in a new context. More precisely, I’ve discovered a great truth…

Dennis, radio voice: The world is divided into people who kill their unopened emails as they come in, and those who let them pile up.

Sample conversation with my friend, Karen.

Damien, as me: Karen, why in the name of Jesus Allah Buddah do you got 12,000 unopened emails.

Laura as Karen: I know, that’s why I never answer email.

Damien, as me: What’s the point of having email if you don’t use it?

Laura as Karen: Did anyone ever tell you not to ask annoying questions?

Damien, as me: Not really. Maybe once a day.

jamesfrancoyoungplayingvideoThink of it as a video game…

 

 

A few days ago, I discovered the champ of the unopened email. Call him Bill. At last count, Bill had 50,000 unread emails. Here’s his explanation.

Dennis as Bill: Well, you see, it’s gradual. When an email comes in, I’m busy. So I say, I’ll look at it when I have time. But, by then, five others have come in. And while I may have time to read one email, I don’t have time to read six. So I hold back until I have time to read six. But then I have 66. And so on and so forth until—until 50,000.

In contrast, I view killing unopened email as a form of Ms. Pac-Man, a game I spent much of the `80s playing. Just send them to trash–it’s like getting Ms. Pac-Man to swallow those little pellets. In fact, while writing this post, I’ve killed the following unopened emails…

Dennis: Love your body again.

Damien: Charmin toilet paper–you just won free samples–click here.

Laura: Sperm count low? Give us a call.

Dennis: Got varicose veins—we’ll take care of them.

Damien: Spring rewards, everybody!

Laura: Losing your hair. We’ve got the implants for you?

Dennis: Lose weight now!

Damien: Funeral and burial insurance—give your family peace of mind.

Laura: eharmony on line—find love for free.

Dennis: Porn. Last longer in bed. Porn.

Yep, I killed them all. Bam, bam, bam. Well, maybe not that porn one. Anyway, it’s more fun than playing Ms. Pacman.

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