Ben Kharakh of Middletown is a graduate of the Communications High School of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. His website, One Trick Pony, offers a collection of humor pieces written by Ben and assorted imaginary collaborators. Ben's list of "Sexual Euphemisms That Won't Catch On" was recently published in the book Created in Darkness By Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's Humor Category. I recently corresponded with Ben via an interpreter using electronic mail; here's what we talked about.
Is it true you look like a mustached Jonathon Taylor Thomas? And if so are you single for our lady readers?
Keith [Whitener - PR flack] is the one with the 'stache. I look more like Rock Hudson than the middle child from Home Improvement. There will be plenty of time for women when I'm dead. Right now, I have to concentrate on saving the world from mediocre comedy.
Thoughts on mustaches?
I prefer the look of fake 'staches and am known to wander around public places with faux whiskers.
Do you have a permanent residence?
I read an article where you referred to yourself in the third person. Why would you do that?
To spice things up.
Let's play Madlibs:
I was so traumatized by the time I was 30 years old that my only solace was my poop badminton skills and stupid ability to poo. Thus the Mohwak, books, Tevas and toilet.
Are you funny because you really hurt inside?
I build a wall to keep people on the other side, but they keep waiting. And picking.
What is your caffeinated beverage of choice and have you ever stolen from someone you love to get a fix?
Caffeine keeps me up, so I avoid it. I once had a Pepsi at three P.M and couldn't fall asleep until one in the morning.
Describe The Catcher in the Rye in five words:
J.D. Salinger's only good book.
Are you one wild and crazy guy?
I give Dan Ackroyd and Steve Martin a run for their money.
Rt. 35 or Rt. 36 – which is one is da bomb?
Choosing between the two is like choosing between one's own children. I don't want to contribute to global over-population, so I don't have to worry about that.
Most people ride horses or in cars – what's your ride?
I drive a class III Armored Vehicle - a 1990 Cutlass Sierra. Watch out on the road because I will not hesitate to crush you.
Name two people if given the chance you would whisper sweet nothings in their ear and what would you say?
Whispering makes me uneasy and I wouldn't want to infringe on someone's comfort zone, so I wouldn't partake in such an activity.