2003   MAY 27   #147

Unknown - Ben I Miss You/Ben

We love the DAV Veterans Thrift Store in downtown Oceanside, California. The place is huge and you don"t know what you"ll find! After picking through the record bin we decided to try our luck at the tape stack right next to the record bins. In the tape stack you have the standard fare of Biblical tapes, Streisand cassettes, reel-to-reels of all shapes and sizes, a beat up copy of "Fern Gully', workout videos, and…what"s this? A recordable cassette tape with handwriting on the label! We snatch these up and listen to them when we get home. You"ll find someone"s mix tapes, someone reading a book, cassette dubs of other tapes, kids having fun, and blank cassettes. Every once in a while you will find tapes of people singing or reciting awful poetry, these are the treasures that lie within the tape stacks.

What attracted us to this selection was the handwriting on the label and cassette insert: "MISSING DOG NAMED BEN PLEASE CONTACT…' and it gives a phone number to call. When we popped the cassette into the machine we didn"t expect what we heard. The man on the tape sounds like an outer space version of Jim Nabors. We listened to this tape two times, once we were bending over with laughter the other we listened with concern. This man makes a passionate plea for any information about Ben the family dog and to bring him safely home, then if his plea wasn"t enough he cry/sings over the worst Michael Jackson song about a rat "Ben'! We couldn"t help but wonder if little ole Ben ran away on his own to get away from this man"s singing. We were really concerned for Ben and if he ever came back home. So being the adventurous people that we are we decided to call up the number on that was on the label. The number on the label rung up a construction company, we asked about the missing dog named Ben. The man on the other end said that we received the wrong number.

There are many questions surrounding this mysterious recording. Did it come from outer space? Are there more copies of this tape circulating? What is this man"s name? Why is the phone number that of a construction company? Is Ben or this man still alive? And who donated this cassette tape to the DAV Thrift Store? Anyone who has information is encouraged to come forward and share.

- Zeb and Jen (znavarro@cox.net)  "Oldies and Oddities' (http://www.geocities.com/oldiesandoddities)

TT-3:49 / 4.4MB / 160kbps 44.1khz