Benji Orlansky

Ted, I’m Not Listening to Your Phone Sex Calls, by Nate Horton, NSA Officer

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Whoa, playing the four iron a little long today, huh, Ted? Might wanna the lay off the Wheaties a little bit, right?

Very funny, Ted; I don’t actually know which cereal you buy. That’s none of my concern–I was just making a joke.

So, you still planning on coming over the barbeque on Saturday? Helen’s planning on making her ambrosia salad–judging by how much you ate last time, she should probably make two tupperware containers’ worth of the stuff. Because you ate so much of it.

Anyway, Katie and Rodgrigo are going to be there, so it would be really nice to have someone there to talk to, ya know? Those two are always yapping on and on about the deals they get on international travel, and I really couldn’t give less of a hoot about all that stuff. I mean, really, who has time to travel these days?

That’s a real nice golf shirt you have on. A damn fine golf shirt–what is it, Izod? I have an Izod one that I swear is the exact same one, only in red.

It’s your shot, Ted.

Ted, what are you looking at me like that for? Do I have some grass on my face?

Is this about my job again?

Ted, I’m not listening to your phone sex calls. Trust me.

I know that it’s legally within my right as an officer of the National Security Agency to listen in on the phone and internet activity of all American citizens. As you can imagine, most of these conversations are pretty boring, whether it’s people waiting on hold with the cable company or two high school girls making plans to meet up at the mall. You’d think that I’d want to take a break and listen to something particularly juicy, like my neighbor and friend Ted Arnold’s calls to a 1-900 sex hotline. You’d think that, but I’m not doing that, Ted. I would never.

What’s that? You heard that conversations where we have at least 51% confidence that a foreigner is involved is automatically flagged for review? Well that’s not entirely true, technically, but yeah, if we had reason to believe that an American citizen was on the phone with, say, a Russian teenage girl, several times a week over the past 8 months, then yeah, we might look into that. Especially if that conversation involved some of our “trigger” words, such as, I don’t know, “gag” or “kidnap” or “my wife is uncomfortable with anal stimulation,” then it would be pretty negligent of us to just turn the other way, don’t you think?

Ted, that was just an example.

I don’t want to be a dick, but you’re not allowed to touch the sand before you engage in your swing.

I’ll go ahead and call in lunch so it’s ready at the turn. I hope nobody listens in and finds out that I want Ruffles with my turkey club!

Alright, I’ll stop.

Things to Remember on this Memorial Day Weekend by Benji Orlansky

This Memorial Day, while you’re home from work and manning the grill and drinking an American Made Coors Original, make sure that you don’t lose sight of what this day is all about: remembering things.

Listen. We get it. We’re supposed to remember the troops on Memorial Day. With all due respect to those who have fallen while defending this great nation and her freedoms, I’d like to take just a moment to tell you that there’s a whole lot more to remember this weekend than just those men and women who are better men and women than we are.

  1. Wear sunscreen. Just because you don’t live with your mom anymore doesn’t mean that the sun isn’t still a major threat to your health. No need to go crazy with the SPF 75, but just put something on. And not “tanning oil;” that stuff’s just baby oil in a bottle with bananas on it. If you’re worried about getting enough Vitamin D, drink a glass of milk, ya dummy.
  2. The last four digits of your social security number. Remembering the whole thing is nice, but you can always look that up, and if you’re giving out your whole social security number more than once or twice or year, you’re basically begging to have your identity stolen. The last four is all you really need off hand. Trust me–I’m a Semite.
  3. The Alamo. You don’t need to know what it is (a fort or something), where it is (Texas), or who won it (not Texas). All you need to know is that it’s a thing (The Alamo) and that Ozzy Osborne peed on it once.
  4. Whether or not you have children, and if you do, the names of those children. There’s nothing worse than getting daydrunk at a barbeque for six hours and then realizing that there are smaller people back home who rely on you for protection, sustenance, and love. Before you pack up the cooler and head out for the day, check around the house to see if you have any rooms that are decorated with standard “boy” or “girl” themes. If so, there’s a good chance that you have at least one child. Use context clues, such as a birth certificate or a soccer jersey, to identify that child by name and tell them where you’ll be all day and where they can reach you in case they can’t find enough money to order a pizza.
  5. Whether or not Benjamin Franklin was a president. He wasn’t. Neither was Aaron Burr.
  6. The name of a senator from your state. Inevitably, at any party, a political discussion will break out, and some asshole will feel backed into a corner and say, “Well, I bet you can’t even name your own senator!” Don’t fall for that old trick. Do your research and consult this list of current U.S. senators.
  7. That time that you were rolling your teacher’s lawn and your teacher came out and CAUGHT you! So scary at the time, right?
  8. Who the Beatles are. They’re some band.
  9. Where you left your sunglasses. Uh, did you check your shirt pocket, Knucklehead?
  10. Whether or not you were supposed to bring something for the barbeque. The answer is always yes. And don’t fuck around with that store-bought potato salad in a tub stuff either–everyone always acts like they’re excited about it but nobody touches it because it’s disgusting. You know what nobody ever brings? A centerpiece. I don’t care how casual the event is; a tasteful centerpiece will make everyone feel like some thought went into the planning.

A Middle-Aged Woman’s Diary Entry Written on the Flight Home From the 2013 Nashville Polyamory Convention, by Benji Orlansky

ImageSunday, May 12, 2013: A Farewell

Another Nashville Poly is officially “in the books” as they say. Wow–writing that really hurts, emotionally and physically due to extreme joint over-stimulation over these past few glorious days. This is Jake’s and my fourth NashPoly, and while other cities like Philadelphia, Branson, Santa Fe, and Fresno have fine, enjoyable Polyamory events, no other place includes that secret ingredient on the buffet right next to the massage oils, feather ticklers, commemorative keychains, and prophylactics: Southern hospitality. Everyone’s perfectly polite at the orgies and key parties in Fresno, but only in Nashville will the bald, tanned, Tommy Bahama-wearing Adonises pull out your chair for you the next morning at the Bottomless Mimosas and Topless Diners Brunch.

Jake and I always have such a hard time saying goodbye to our friends at these events. We just parted ways at gate B27 with the DeFlorios, a lovely couple who own a sporting goods store in Peoria and sell lockets full of semen on Etsy. We met them back in Daytona in 2005, right after their son Jeremy (who won’t let them show us pictures of him for some reason) graduated high school–truly wonderful folks. Yesterday, in between lovemaking sessions, Lawrence and Beverly showed us pictures of their trip to Australia, and between the snapshots of the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, and the DeFlorios having a naked rumpus with another Poly couple in front of a village of Aboriginals, I’m pretty sure Jake and I will be spending our silver anniversary “Down Under!” Continue reading

The Definitive Guide to “Next Week on Mad Men,” Episode 607 by Benji Orlansky

Welcome back to The Definitive Guide to Next Week on Mad Men, your weekly guide to the popular web series, “Next Week on Mad Men” on amctv.com. I’d like to make a brief apology for last week’s Guide, as I did not accurately predict a “wacky madcap merger caper” episode, which ranks right up there with, “Don goes on a sexual journey and experiences no repercussions” and “someone dies and a bunch of rich white people pretend to be sad” as far as Mad Men episode archetypes are concerned.

That being said, this week’s episode of “Next Week on Mad Men” is a real doozy, so let’s get into it and figure out, definitively, what will happen on next week’s Mad Men.

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5 Predictions for Tonight’s Episode of Mad Men Based on the Web Series “Next Week on Mad Men”

Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner is famous for withholding spoilers and information surrounding his critically acclaimed period piece. In interviews, actors have admitted that they often don’t even know what will happen to them from episode to episode, let alone from scene to scene. However, did you know that Weiner lays out a clear outline of the next week’s episode on the internet? It’s in video form and everything, so you don’t have to bother with reading. Watch it here; I’ll wait.

See? Kinda makes you wonder if those actors are too busy sniffing glue or something to pay attention to their own show, right? Either way, for all you actor types out there, I’ll list five not-so-bold predictions for tonight’s show as clearly laid out in the above clip.

  1. Moved by hearing Don finally admit that he loved his son Bobby, Megan will suggest that Bobby come stay with them in the apartment for a while. As soon as Don realizes that he has to actually care for another human, he will realize that he was mistaken and will start fathering a different boy on the 24th floor.
  2. Fed up with being treated like a secretary, Joan will finally realize what separates her from her other partners: they all wear their hair down. That’s right–no more ponytails, buns or top knots for Joanie now; it’s down and breezy just like Bert Cooper and the rest of them.
  3. Roger will realize that he has slept with literally every woman in Manhattan, so just to have some fun for once he will have sex with that lady whose eulogy for his mother was rudely interrupted by a vomiting Don Draper. It will be OK. Whatever.
  4. In an effort to further become Don Draper, Pete Campbell will try drinking whiskey straight, and Trudy will be all the way in the suburbs when he needs help cleaning the spit-up off the crotch of his pants.
  5. Peggy’s real estate agent will move in with her and try to sell Peggy her own apartment. “It’s a lovely, Bohemian little space, but you’d better move fast because the owner’s a real uppity type, if you know what I mean.” Abe nods.

         “I want her out of here.” Peggy will scream.

That’s it, you guys. No need to watch Mad Men anymore. You’re welcome! 

The Ultimate Summer Playlist by Benji Orlansky

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  1. “Steal My Sunshine (Extended Version)” by Len.
  2. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Those in Attendance at a Montgomery Biscuits Game.
  3. “Steal My Sunshine (Radio Edit) by Len.
  4. “Burgers are Ready!” by Dad.
  5. “A Ukulele” by A Hawaiian Guy or Something.
  6. “Field Recording of Mixed-Race Children Playing in a Sprinkler.” by Benji Orlansky Anonymous.
  7. Rock music.
  8. “All of the Songs from The Very Best of Marshall Tucker Band Played on Separate Stereos at the Same Time” by the docks at 9:30.
  9. “Steal My Sunshine (Len Remix)” by Len.
  10. “Wait, Whose Faucet is This Sprinkler Plugged Into? Is That Stealing?” by Idiots Who Hate Fun.