Benny Jay: Pam Grier

June 1st, 2010

I’m on the phone interviewing some hot shot when the text message from my old friend, Gaylon, comes in:

Pam Grier will b in town signing her new book — wanna go?”

Wanna go! Are you kidding me? Pam Grier’s one of my all time all times — Foxy Brown, Coffy, Jackie Brown. I’ve seen them all. I love Pam Grier!

FoxybrownThe great Pam Grier!

In a jiffy, I end the interview and call Gaylon. Don’t even say hi or how ya’ doing? As soon as she answers, I say: “Yes! Where? When?”

“June 11th,” says Gaylon.

“No problem,” I say. “Just let me check my calendar….”

I dig through the pile of papers on my desk to find my date book that’s buried beneath the debris. Turn from May to June. Let’s see. June 11th. Ugh….


“What?” says Gaylon.

“That’s my daughter’s high school graduation….”



My brain scrambles through all the possibilities.

“What time is Pam Grier gonna be at that book signing?” I ask.

“Six-thirty,” says Gaylon. “What time is graduation?”




“You could come early and then leave as soon as you get her autograph,” says Gaylon.

“Great suggestion,” I say. “Where’s the book signing?”




“Where the fuck is Matteson?”

“You never heard of Matteson?’

“No, I never heard of Matteson. No one’s ever heard of Matteson….”

“It’s in the South Suburbs….”

“Why would they have a Pam Grier book-signing there?”

“I don’t know….”

“They should bring Pam Grier downtown, maybe the Border’s on Michigan Avenue. Not hide her in some godforsaken suburb….”

“Well, let me know what you’re going to do,” says Gaylon.

We hang up. I look out the window. I pound my desk. I look back at the date book — just to make sure. Yes, there it is. High School graduation — June 11th.


I had it all planned. Was going to wear by Kangol hat. The one my wife got me which is just like the one Samuel Jackson wears in Jackie Brown. Which is the greatest Pam Grier movie of all time. Thank you Quentin Tarantino for making it.

tarantino2Pam Grier and Quentin Tarantino wearing the cool hat!

Gonna tell her how beautify and sexy and smart she is. How I love it when she outwits all the bad guys. How I love that rumble with the biker chicks in the lesbian bar. Was that Foxy Brown or Coffy?

How my list of favorite stars of the `70s  goes like this:  Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman and Pam Grier!

Think, Benny, think — what can you do?

While I’m thinking, I get an email from my buddy Sergio — another Pam Grier fanatic — asking if I’ll be at the book signing.

“No,” I write. “Got a high school graduation.”

“Oh, well — too bad,” he writes back. “Ha, ha ha, ha, ha….”

Now I got to deal with trash talking!

In desperation, I call my wife — you know, to check out the vibe. See if there’s a chance we can work something out.

“Guess what, honey,” I say. “Pam Grier’s coming to town same day as the graduation….”


“Keep it in your pants,” she says.

Oops. Didn’t quite work out like I’d hoped.

What can I do? What can I do? I think some more. It hits me! Call Milo. He’ll know what to do…..

He answers on the first ring. I lay out my conflict: High school graduation or Pam Grier?

The wise man thinks for a moment and then he makes his pronouncement. “Well, Benny, you know — you already saw one daughter graduate high school….”

“Good point, Milo….”

“Where’s the graduation?” he asks.

“McCormick Place….”

“Fuck it, Benny, it’s a piece of cake. Go to the graduation with your wife. Then tell her you have to go to the bathroom. Then grab a cab and go to the book signing. No one will even know you’re missing….”

“But, Milo — the book signing’s in Matteson….”



“Where the fuck is Matteson?”

“That’s what I said….”

“Hold it,” he says. I heard him typing on his computer. “I just looked it up on Google,” he says. “It’s in the south fucking suburbs….’

“At least an hour away….”

“Why the fuck would they have the great Pam Grier signing books in the south fucking suburbs?”

“That’s what I wanna know….”

“Well, Benny, I hate to break it to you, but….


“You’re fucked….”

“Tell me about it….”

“But I tell you what I’m gonna do,” he says.


“I’ll go see Pam Grier and I’ll tell her you said hi….”


“Ugh, one last thing — can you lend me your Kangol hat?’

3 Responses to “Benny Jay: Pam Grier”

  1. […] who else — Pam Grier. I haven’t stopped talking about Pam Grier since I heard she was coming to town to sign copies of her new book. The thing that amazes me is how many other Pam Grier fans there are […]

  2. […] Barn Boss: Or Pam Grier. […]

  3. […] to attend a Pam Grier book-signing party. I love Pam Grier. Spent the better part of the `70s watching Pam Grier movies. […]

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