For your reading pleasure....
Here's an excerpt from the piece I'm performing tonight (sorry, but you'll have to come to the reading to get the full effect including props, costumes, and the rest of the story):
from THE SECRET LIFE OF BEARS
By Satya Cacananda (c) 2007
...But hanging out with Player X got me interested in football, and soon Jackie and I were watching every Bears game on my 13-inch TV. At halftime we’d go outside and throw around my Duke Junior football.
Player X was eventually put on waivers. I told Jackie about his stupid investments, which included part-ownership in a racehorse. We decided we should go into business teaching life skills to young football players. We’d make sure they got something valuable out of college. So they wouldn’t end up like us – watching football and dating the wrong people instead of doing their homework.
Somehow we scored tickets to the Bears' big Monday night football game. The day before, we picked up some spraypaint from Woolworths and spread a large sheet out on the grass. On it we painted in large letters, “BRING BACK PLAYER X. CBS TV.”
On game day it was raining and our seats sucked, but we unfurled that banner at every opportunity. We were so busy, we almost missed Walter Payton break Jim Brown’s career rushing record and win the game.
Our friends told us later that they saw our banner on TV.
I took my nephews to watch the Bears practice the following summer, in 1985. Afterwards, we begged them to sign their Duke Junior footballs. We got every single Bear’s signature –except for Punky QB Jim McMahon. He took off on his scooter before we could even open our mouths. My nephews were stunned.
That fall, Jackie and I went with my brother to a taping of the Mike Ditka Show. We arrived early, and the producer asked Jackie to sit in Walter Payton’s seat while they set up his lights. We were sure it was her big chance at stardom. Later we realized she had the same skin tone as Payton.
Afterwards, we went to eat at Ed Debevic’s. The waitress was rude until we told her that she was waiting on Jackie Dent – sister of Bears defensive end Richard Dent. We said Richard was putting her through school at LFC so she’d be nearby. Next thing you knew, we had free desserts.
After that we used the Jackie Dent routine every time we went out. We met a lot of guys that way. And got a lot of free drinks, too.
The Bears were everywhere that year.
Offensive lineman Mark Bortz was a fixture at the town’s only bar, where he could always be found in the corner next to the chemistry professor, nursing a beer.
One day at the Swiss Colony, Jackie saw Coach Ditka helping himself at a cooler that clearly said “No Self Service.”
Another time she spotted wide receiver William “The Refrigerator” Perry shopping at Walgreen’s. He knew she wasn’t Jackie Dent but talked to her anyway. She was the only one who knew that he was the Fridge. Soon, though, people were fighting to get to the pay phone, where they called home and said, “Guess what! The Fridge is at Walgreen’s. Yeah, really! I’m looking at him right now.”
...On Wednesday nights the upperclassmen at my college headed to Scornavacco’s, a bar that didn’t check ID. When the Superbowl Shuffle came on, the dance floor would be flooded. But half the students at my college came from the East Coast. When the DJ played the Patriots’ song, they’d get on the floor and dance while we booed their stiff, mechanical movements.
I don’t remember much about the Superbowl except that Jackie started drinking at 10AM. It was so cold she put a six-pack of beer outside her window and 20 minutes later it was frozen.
Oh yeah -- and the Bears won!
(c) 2007 By Satya Cacananda. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form without prior permission in writing from the author.
Photo of JT (aka Jackie Dent) on the set of The Mike Ditka Show by Dreyfus (c) 1985. No copying that, either.
*If nothing else this year's halftime show will be an improvement over 1985. That year we were subjected to Up with People doing "Beat of the Future." Now, we get PRINCE! Maybe he'll even trot out Appolonia. They could call it "Beat of the Past."