Thursday, December 21, 2006

For the ladies, gettin' lucky in Kentucky

From the Evansville Courier & Press and the Meade County Messenger

By Jacob Bennett

You might not realize it, but Kentucky is a hotbed of hotness.

With George Clooney's recent second win as People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive," the Commonwealth has four wins, more than any other state or country, making everyone else as blue as our grass.

Thoroughbreds Tom Cruise (from Louisville) and Johnny Depp (from Owensboro and some obscure island) also have the mantastic award on their man-tles.

Not to mention the 8.1 I once got on

And no Kentuckians had to do anything lame to catch People's attention, such as star in "Dirty Dancing." Just sayin', Swayze.

Although when Clooney got it the first time in 1997, he did star in "Batman and Robin," most often summed up with a head shake and the phrase "nipples on the Batsuit."

Don't feel left out, Illinois: your boy Harrison Ford was Sexiest Man Alive in 1998. No Hoosiers have earned the honor, so Indiana is kinda like the hot guy's best friend. In "Top Gun," Indiana would be Goose.
Even worse, in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Indiana Jones would be played by Kentucky.

To be fair, Sexiest Man Alive is a tough brass ring to grab. I mean, Justin Timberlake couldn't get it in the year he brought sexy back.
(Speaking of sexy backs, Brad Pitt was People's sexiest living dude in 2000.)

At least People gives out the award every year, instead of waiting until the current king is dead. Otherwise Mel Gibson, the first guy to twinkle People's eye, would still have it. You'd think there'd be a better punchline with Mel Gibson involved, but I got nothing.

But you know, if they did have an issue for Sexiest Guy Not Neccesarily Alive, I'd have to go with Michael Landon.

That's not saying that life in Kentucky is all (a run for the) roses. Except for smokin' hotness, Kentucky often finds itself in the bottom half of a lot of state rankings: School test scores, for example, or percentage of adults with bachelor's degrees, or prevention of rickets.

But now I think I know why: The bar is set so darn high, there's no point in trying. Even if your goal is just to get by on your looks, people can dismiss you with a quick, "Well, he's no two-time Sexiest Man Alive winner like Clooney."

And it's even worse if you want be judged by your actions and ideas. Who do you think is going to be remembered as Greatest Kentuckian Not Necessarily Alive--you, or Abraham Lincoln?
I mean, even if you do a fair amount of emancipating in your life, you're still not gonna be the Great one.

And even if you become president, you're still not gonna get your face on Mount Rushmore.
But there's one place Clooney got his face that Lincoln never did: People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue.

Although I'd probably put him second to Landon.

Columnist Jacob Bennett is so hot, he'll take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and never e-mail her again from

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Diary of the Diseased

From the Meade County Messenger, Nov. 3, 2004

By Jacob Bennett

Dear Diary,
Man, I love my days off. I didn't get out of bed all day, except to let the dog out. The whole day was a blur of football and video games and girlie magazines.
My throat was a little sore when my dog woke me up. I told Mom about it when I called her. She put my sore throat in perspective: "You need to see a doctor. It could be West Nile."
I'd been looking for a reason to call in tomorrow anyway. Looks like I have one.

The germs swimming in my veins gave my white blood cells The People's Elbow. My head hurts, my throat throbs like a hammer-hit thumb, and my sinuses are draining like a bathtub.
I tried to send my dog for help like Lassie, but she just sat on the floor, licking her foot. I hadn't planned on moving, but I stumbled to my car for a trip to the store--I was out of Kleenexes and Tussin. In my condition, that's like Lee Majors being out of bionic parts.

I wanted to save some sick days for when I felt like playing hooky, so I clocked in this morning. Lumbergh told me I should see a doctor if I still wasn't feeling well. I thought the guy was genuinely concerned, but he took a pin to my balloon. "I don't need you making the rest of us sick," he said.
The alcohol in the Tussin was getting to me. I changed the words to a Weird Al song about a hamster to make it a song about my dog.
"Sophie, Sophie, Sophie the mini schnauzer. She doesn't bite, and she doesn't squeal, she just runs around on her schnauzer wheel. Sophie, Sophie, Sophie the mini schnauzer! Hey, Sophie!"

If my white blood cells were a military, they'd definitely be France. I spent most of the morning sprawled on the couch, drooling into the cushions.
I finally paid the doctor an office call. It was a sinus infection, not West Nile. But she told me not to work the rest of the week, at the risk of death.


I don't know how vultures got into my apartment, but they've been circling my mattress all day.
I sang more songs about my dog. "There goes my dog Sophie, there's another diamond ring. And all those late-night promises, I guess they don't mean a thing."

The dog ate my porn. I was too sick to stop her.
I saw a white light, all my dead relatives were there, and John Ritter.
"Come to us, my son," Ritter said.
I shrugged my shoulders. "What the heck, "I thought, and headed to the light.
But then my phone rang.
It was Lumbergh, telling me I had to come in right away for a hot story. The doctor's words echoed in my head.
"But I have West Nile," I said. "If I work, I'll die."
"We'll give you some comp time."
With a quick wave from John Ritter, the light went out.
Columnist Jacob Bennett never knew how much he loves you, never knew how much he cares. When you put your arms around him, he gets a fever thats so hard to bear. You give him fever--fever when you kiss him, fever when you e-mail him at Fever in the morning, fever all through the night.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Murder, he wrote: Roommate wants perfect grades

From the College Heights Herald, Jan. 18, 2001

I think my roommate is trying to kill me.

I thought nothing of it last week when I tasted arsenic on my ice cream, and I ignored it the night I woke up and saw him standing by my bed holding a pillow over my face.

I paid no mind when I saw him reading the instructional book “How to Kill Your Roommate and Get Away With It.” But the other day he said, “Jacob, I think I’m going to kill you.”
I put two and two together.

It’s nothing personal, he told me. You see, he hasn’t been doing all that great in school recently. And he’s heard the urban legend that if your roommate commits suicide during the school year, you get straight A’s for the semester.

So he came up with a plan: Since he’s on academic probation, he signed up for a bunch of classes. Now he wants to kill me and make it look like a suicide, and his semester GPA will be 4.0.

He even has a fake note planned out:
“Dear World, I’m tired of living. It’s been real. Hoo-ha-ho!”

Pretty authentic.

He’s a smart guy, but he’s what the French call “les lazy.” He only took one class last semester.
He failed it.

So that loophole is the answer to his prayers.

“I can sit around for the rest of the semester – and actually get credit this time,” he said.
Naturally, my feelings are kinda hurt by my roommate’s desire to snuff out my life.
We’ve been tight since we were growing up in Brandenburg. Man, we were close.
We were like Siamese twins, except not from Siam.

Even worse, I don’t think I’ve been that bad of a roommate. I don’t stay up real late, I lend him quarters for his laundry, and I don’t entertain girls in the room, since they hate me.

Not only are my feelings hurt now that I know my roommate wants to kill me, I’m also terrified. To ease my worried mind I called President Gary Ransdell to find out if Western has an official policy on roommate deaths.

Ransdell’s secretary told me that the president was “too busy” to talk to me because he was “going out of town,” but she said he’d never heard of the policy and then she laughed at me.
I told my roommate this, and it only strengthened his resolve.

“Do you really think they’d tell you if that was their official policy?” he asked. “Of course not. Then everybody’d kill their roommates. Now here, drink some of this antifreeze – I mean, green Kool-Aid.”


Here comes columnist Jacob Bennett, he comes groovin’ up slowly, he got joo joo eyeballs, he one holy roller. He got hair down to his knees, got to be a joker he just do what he please. Come together, right now, over him at

Pinchable Guys Work Off Nachos in the Morning

From the College Heights Herald, Feb. 8, 2001

I’d never seen so many naked guys that early in the morning.

I’m talking, of course, about the Preston Center locker room. My friend Mike and I had just finished a 6 a.m. workout in an effort not to be fat.

Other guys were also finishing their workouts, and they were in various stages of undress.

Mike and I became workout partners a few weeks ago, when we both decided we weren’t in peak physical condition.

Chalk it up to whatever you want: bad genetics, big bones or the fact that I just sat around all summer eating nachos and drinking beer. The fact is, I was a little bit more pinchable than I wanted to be.

Experts say if you work out early in the morning, you burn fat for the rest of the day. I wanted to try it, and I knew I was more likely to stick with it if I had a barbell buddy.

Mike’s also storing a few more calories than he would like, so he agreed.

The gym is a two-minute power walk from my dorm, so naturally Mike picked me up and we drove there in his faded Ford Tempo.

And he parked in the “Employees Only” spot right outside the door. “It’s 6 in the morning,” he said. “Who’s gonna park here?”


Exercising was hard at first, since we were as out of shape as delicious melted ice cream cones. But, as coaches like to say to motivate out-of-shape players, we gave 110 percent.

That first day we jogged until we collapsed (three laps), we played a strenuous full-court 1-on-1 basketball game (OK, it was H-O-R-S-E; fine, P-I-G), and we even did a couple minutes on the exercise bikes.

In a blatant act of heterosexuality, Mike suggested we ride the bikes upstairs so we could watch girls walk in.

Note to Mike’s fiancĂ©e, Cami: Just kidding.

Not to everyone else: We rode the bikes upstairs.

We’re still going a couple of times a week. We vary the routine to sculpt every inch of our now svelte bodies. This morning we did some bench presses to work our pectoral muscles. When we started, our chests looked a lot like Meat Loaf’s in “Fight Club,” if you know what I’m saying.
But no more.

I’ve lost like eight pounds since Christmas. And I wasn’t really even trying to lose weight, I just wanted to be not as floppy.

To test our new selves, this morning Mike and I ran up every single step in Smith Stadium. It’s a killer. I think I got more out of that workout than anything else I’ve ever done. No wonder Rocky beat Drago in part IV.

Then Mike and I changed our clothes in the locker room. Never before have so many guys seen me naked that early in the morning.

Columnist Jacob Bennett wants to get physical, physical. Let him hear your body talk, your body talk at