Hello, My Name is Jeff.

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Archive for March 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Bowen

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thirdmanalleyThursday February 12, 2009

I swear, if I had a nickel for every time the Dame has told me to get rid of my guitar amp, I’d be under investigation by the IRS.  Jeff’s the name, and in days past, the big amp used to sound the beat of my heart.  That was back when my heart was a six-string electric guitar, and the boys and I played under the name Triple Bypass in basements and garages in our suburban paradise.  These days, my heart has two broken strings, and the amp sits facing a corner gathering dust.  I still get a nostalgic buzz whenever the dust gets kicked around in my face and cakes in my lungs like cigarette smoke.

But nostalgia means less to the Dame than a Betamax tape, and now she’s telling me to get rid of the amp again.  “Alright,” I say. “I’ll get rid of it.”  I mean to speak as if getting rid of the guitar amp is my idea, but her smile tells me my place.  Deep down I know I’m just playing into the Dame’s hands like a toy soldier.  I should feel uneasy at the lack of control, but I kicked the illusion of control a long time ago like a bad habit.  These days I know I’m playing the patsy, but I can’t help it.  A smile from the Dame makes me feel richer than Donny Trump, and keeps me coming back for more.

The next day, while the Dame’s out counting coins in the warehouse district to the tune of 10 bucks an hour, I’m sitting in a comfy chair, typing, and snapping photos of the product in our second story apartment.  I post the classified to a place where I figure some interested body’ll see it.  I figure my ad seems friendly and legit enough.  I can’t tell though, so I pound my computer keys like meat tenderizers to soften it up even more.

Bandit 65 Guitar Amp – $180 (Provo)
Reply to: sale-1033480694@craigslist.org
Date: 2009-02-13, 1:07PM MST

Peavey Bandit 65 Solo Series

20″x9 1/2″x18″… LxWxH dimensions
200 Watt Amp
High Gain and Low Gain inputs.
A little dusty but in great condition.
Works great. Maybe 10-15 years old (I got it used).
Can get really loud! I’d keep it, but don’t have room for it in the apartment since getting married.

$180.00 obo

I know the “can get really loud!” segment sounds stupid, but I want to come off sounding just like everyone else on Craigslist: stupid.  And I figure I’ll charge 180 bucks ’cause it’s an antique.  But no one bites and I start getting restless.

Finally after nearly a week, I get a tug on the line.

ben bowen
<8bbowenn@gmail.com>    2009/02/19 7:33
To: sale-1033480694@craigslist.org

** Avoid: wiring money, cross-border deals, work-at-home
** Beware: cashier checks, money orders, escrow, shipping
** More Info: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams.html

I would like to know if this is still available

The message is short and sweet.  No embellishment.  I figure Ben Bowen is the kind of fish I can deal with.  Just to be sure, I make sure this guy’s local.

<jeff@***.com>    2009/02/19 8:26
To: ben bowen <8bbowenn@gmail.com>

It sure is.  Do you live in the provo/orem area?

The response comes later that night, but something’s wrong.

ben bowen
<3bbowenn@gmail.com>     2009/02/19 20:16
To: Jeff <jeff@***.com>

Thanks for the prompt response, I am satisfied with the explanations and condition stated at craigslist and i will love to make an instant purchase.  I will pay an extra $50 for the posting to be taken down from Craigslist.I should be rest assured that the item is reserved for me and will also like you to know that i will be paying via bank check, which will be over night payment due to the distance .You also dont need to bother yourself  with the shipment, my secretary will take care of that. I will need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate my secretary to cut the check.

Your full name,Your mailing address be it residential or postal address, and Your phone number.

I will have my mover come over as soon as you have the check.


Ben Bowen doesn’t have to dodge my question like a bullet for me to know there’s nothing local about this stooge.  The whole deal he’s proposing reeks like chicken fat that’s left sitting in the kitchen trash can too long.  In the seedy world of Craigslist, your only friends are Franklin, Grant, Jackson and, when necessary, the occasional Hamilton.  Taking a bank check is like accepting a knife in the back.  And I don’t particularly care for unnecessary surgeries.

On top of that, I can only guess that the “mover” is none other than some local tough with a crowbar looking for some fresh goods to move to market.

But I’m nobody’s sucker.  I send the following, and be sure to act civil:

<jeff@***.com>     2009/02/19 21:56
To: ben bowen <3bbowenn@gmail.com>

I’m sorry “Ben”. But I will only deal in cash.  I hope you understand that this sounds like a scam.  I apologize if this is inconvenient.


I don’t expect a reply, so it’s like throwing my own surprise party when he doesn’t answer.  I figure he’s off putting grandma’s china in the back of an unmarked truck and swallowing grandpa’s retirement.  There’s millions of gullible fools on the internet who eat stuff like this up, like it’s the last roast beef dinner before Armageddon.  That’s why in this town, it pays to be a universal skeptic.  If you want my advice, keep your collar up and your eyes open.  And if you get “a limited time offer on Oprah’s acai berry diet” remember this lesson: you’re better off buying my guitar amp.  It’s still for sale.  And the Dame’s still chiming away until it’s gone, like a grandfather clock at midnight.


Written by Jeff

March 12, 2009 at 8:47 am

Imposters of the Night/Imposters of the Day

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A Hello, My Name is Jeff Double Feature!

Tonight, we offer two frightful tales of the macabre: the first, a horrifying campfire story of what happens when one man’s wife is seized by the supernatural as they sleep, and the second, a harrowing poem fueled by greed and deceit, the depths of which cannot be contained in this post alone.

Imposters of the Night!

March 2, 2009

It is 2 AM on Monday morning.  I am spooned out of the dark pudding of deep sleep by movement and the realization that my wife, Shannon, is sitting up and staring at the clock.  Still emerging from lethargy, it sounds like she is saying something about colons.  I can’t be sure.  And she’s not wearing her glasses, so she couldn’t possibly read the clock’s digital illuminated face.  “What?” I try to say.
She turns to me, still sitting up, and says, “what side are you on?”
I am confused.  I’m not sure what she’s asking.  “I don’t know what you mean,” I say.
“What side are you on?”
The repetition of the question does little for my comprehension.  I’m still baffled and still groggy. “Shannon, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
At this point, Shannon seems incredibly frustrated.  “What side are you on?”
Amid the darkness, I search for an answer to what she could possibly mean, and wonder if I’m simply not awake enough to understand the question.
She breaks my reverie with a more baffling question, “Who are you?”
I think that perhaps this is meant to be an insult because of my ignorance.  “Shannon, I’m your husband.”
The next question confuses my lethargic mind beyond hope.  “Which husband?”
Not waiting for an answer or offering an explanation, Shannon lays her head back down on the pillow and, despite the lack of illumination, I can see her staring at me.  Finally, she closes her eyes.
A long silence follows, eerie in its contrast, and leaves me with my swirling thoughts.  “I love you,” I say into the darkness.  There is no answer.
I lie in bed, my mind swirling with questions for several hours after, before sleep finally overtakes me again.

Hypothesis #1: Shannon was talking in her sleep again.
This has been known to happen.  One time she clapped and cheered in her sleep.

Hypothesis #2: Shannon was possessed by aliens or ghosts.
If this is the case, I need to look into paranormal investigation techniques and possible protections.

Imposters of the Day

Sunday March 8, 2009

I enter a contest at Poetry.com under the nom de plume, Ben Bowen, as a prank to enter this poem contest.

It goes as follows:

Re: contest

If I sumbit my poem will for me give 10,000 dollars?
I am wonder where I do submit my poem
so I can take advantage of CASH PRIZE of your contest?
I think, maybe my poem will not be good
but one can never know or tell who is fine poet or not. 🙂
Do you know if poems that has rhyme is more often winning?
THanks on advance for answers so many my inquiries.
Ben Bowen
GREAT DEAL OPrah’s acai berry diet Limited Time Offer
Go to http://www.n00tslesx4.00 for details!

We are sorry to leave you wondering, who is Ben Bowen?  What could be the significance?  And where can I get a hold of OPrah’s acai berry diet? I promise the first two questions shall be revealed. The third might be revealed.  Maybe.  Stay tuned for Thursday’s extra week treat, “The Man Known as Ben Bowen”!

Written by Jeff

March 10, 2009 at 6:28 am