Benny Jay: The Topper

November 20th, 2019

I’m sitting in my car, waiting for my wife to come out of the store, when I see her approach this guy in the parking lot.

I think: Who can that be?

I look closer. Oh, no — it’s Larry!

Haven’t seen him in years. When I met him way back when, he wasn’t such a bad guy. But then he made it big in advertising, and he turned into the world’s biggest name dropper.

We’re talking about an A-one topper. No matter what you say, he always has to top it.

For instance, if I say, I went to the Cubs game, he’ll say: “Did I tell you I had Sammy Sosa’s front row seats?”

If I say, I saw the Bulls play. He’ll say: “Did I tell you I met Michael Jordan?”

If I say, I really liked Woody Allen’s latest movie, he’ll say: “Did I tell you I just had lunch with Woody Allen?”

Only he won’t call him Woody Allen. He’ll call him Woody — like they’re best friends.

Anyway, here he comes. I think about running out the door, but it’s too late. Did I tell you I’m good friends with Barack?

I smile. We shake hands. I say, “Hey, Larry.”

I think: How long before he drops a name and which name will he drop?

He says: “How ya’ doin’, man?”

I run through some possibilities: Derrick Rose, Bono, Sean Penn….

“Did I tell you, I worked on the Obama campaign?” he says.

Wow! Forget basketball players, rock stars or actors. He’s going straight to the top.

“We hooked up through David….”

As in Axelrod, Obama’s chief political strategist….

Thanks to my other good friend — David Axelrod….

“David and I go back at least twenty years — we’re really good friends….”

I’m sure he was at your bris….

“David called me up and said, `Larry, I want you to work on the presidential campaign….”

Of course, cause they never would have won without you….

“But Barack and I go back to his senate campaign….”

Right. I think Obama mentioned you in one of his books.

“In fact, this is a really funny story that you’ll like….”

I’m sure it’s not funny and I won’t like it….

“So after the election, David calls me to Washington to work on this shoot. I’m sitting in this room, got my feet up on the table and I’m talking to my sister on my cell phone. It’s top security, you can’t get into the room without going through all this Secret Service. Geithner walks by. Rahm walks by. Then Barack walks by. He sees me sitting there and he waves….”

“Wow,” I say. “Great story….”

“But, wait there’s more….”

My lucky day!

“He comes back and he walks into the room. And Barack says: “Hey, Larry, how ya’ doin’?”

You’re right. Great story! I’m so glad you took the time to share it with me.

My wife gets into the car.

“But wait there’s more,” says Larry.

“Sorry, but I got a dentist appointment.”

“But it’s Sunday….”

“Emergency treatment.”

“Oh, well — see you around….”

Not if I see you first….

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