Next Caller

Next Caller

“Alright next caller, we got Terry from Brooklyn, Terry you’re on.”

“I’ll tell you why I don’t like you Jakey boy.”

“Why’s that?” Jake took a big gulp from his ½ lemonade ½ iced tea Snapple.

“You’re a real LIAR.”

Jake wiped his mouth, “how’s that?”

“Ohhhh! Cause you come on here, on your little show here, and you come on here, and you LIE.”

“What about?”

“Talking about this game, defending your boyfriend LeBron there, guy’s a bum.”

“So you saw the game?”

Before Jake finished saying ‘game’ “I didn’t have to see the game, guy’s a bum. I don’t watch that garbage, I watch a real man’s sport, hockey, a real man’s sport, guy’s a bum.”

“But you didn’t see the game?”

“I didn’t have to Jake, I saw Jordan, seen Bird, this guy’s a bum, can’t even play.”

“I hear ya, I hear ya. But the guy’s spectacular, you gotta watch him before making such uh, such uh, bold, you know, bold kinda statements.”

“I don’t Jake, you know what? I don’t. And you know why? Cause I see the headlines, watch the highlights, guy’s a bum, don’t play hurt, don’t do nothin’! These hockey guy’s, they get their leg chopped off widda skate and they’re back out there the next play.”

“Well I don’t know about that.”

“Next play Jake, guy’s gettin knocked around on one leg.”

“I think you’re being a little harsh. I mean I never seen it, never saw a guy skating on one leg.”

“Ok not literally Jake, obeeusly I didn’t mean it literal like, but these guys play banged up, not like your boyfriend over there, that bum!”

“I don’t know, I don’t see how you can call him a bum. Guy’s spectacular, a terrific, terrific ball player.”

“That might be so, but he got no heart, I seen Jordan, guy ain’t Jordan, Jake.”

“Hey I hear ya, I hear ya.”

“Guy’s a bum, anyways thanks for taking my call there Jake, big fan, love the show.”

“Alright buddy thanks,” and the call ended. “He should really watch the games, LeBron is a, a spectacular, really terrific kinda talent, but you know, can’t be for everyone. We’re gonna take more calls after the break, you’re listening to Jake’s Take, call in at 1-800-987-9879, back after this.”


“Alright you’re on the line… Tim from Setauket, you’re on.”

The phone was cutting in and out, “Jake!”

“Hey bud, you there Tim?”

There was dead air for a few seconds, “Heyyyyy Jakester, what’s goin on, big fan.”

“What’s up buddy, how are ya.”

“Good man, good, big fan, love the show.”

“Thank you bud, thanks, what’s up?”

“Longgg time listener, firrrst time caller.”

“Yep, alright thanks there Tim, so what’s up?”

“Me and my old man listen all the time, great stuff, just the other day…”

Jake cut him off, “thanks bud, you got a question there Tim?”

“Oh right, yea, so Jake I was watching the finals, game 1, you know, yesterday.”


“Yea, you know between Cleveland and The Golden State, and you know, not a big hoops guy, but you know, figured I’d watch, supposed to be a good match up, so figured I’d watch…”

Jake cut him off again, “yea great match up, got a question or something there Tim?”

“Oh, yea sorry. I’m a little nervous, big fan of the show.”

“It’s alright, go ahead.”

“But anyways, like I said, don’t watch alotta hoop and I had a question for you, my dad had the same question. He doesn’t watch much either, more football, hockey kinda guys. So anyways my question is, if I’m The Golden State, if I’m the Warriors, I’m tryin to stop LeBron, you know? Doesn’t seem like they got much else, if I’m them, I’m tryin to stop LeBron, right?

Again there was dead are for a few seconds before Jake responded, “stop LeBron? That’s the question?”

“Well no, you know, just like, try to get the ball, force the ball somewhere else, make someone else beat you. I mean, let’s face it, they don’t have much else, from what I gathered, they don’t have much. If I’m The Golden State I’m focusing on LeBron, you know?”

“Ok… I hear ya, I hear ya Tim, thing is, thing is… LeBron’s a spectacular, really terrific, just uh, uh, a unique kinda talent.” They began talking over each other

Tim chimed in halfway through Jakes rebuttal, “yea I get that, but maybe try to stop him, make someone else, maybe.”

“He’s uh, a uh spectacular facilitator, as well as uh, a dominant, a dominant kinda scorer. So it’s easier said than done, when it comes to uh, to uh LeBron there, but I hear ya, thanks for calling in.”

“Yea just try to stop him, you know, thanks for taking my call Jake, big fan.”

“Thanks buddy, back after this.”


    ​It was 7:30 on Friday, an hour before tip-off of game 2 of the NBA Finals. Jake was in his Manhattan penthouse apartment sipping on some Snapple and whiskey on ice. It was going to be a big weekend in sports with the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup finals, and a much anticipated UFC bout. Big weekends meant big Moday’s for Jake. Jake sat on his couch and stared horrified at the pregame show on his 90 inch screen. Jake had long ago stopped going to the games live, and more recently stopped watching them with other people all together. He instead would drink himself to sleep before halftime and have his assistant tell him the conclusions of the events in the morning. Jake began to take a long gulp of his concoction when he coughed and spilled his drink all over himself. Jake stared down at his stained shirt and pants in bewilderment and anger, he shot up from his seat and wildly threw the empty glass against the pregame show, nothing shattered. He furiously paced around his apartment like a caged animal. He starred back at the screen where they were now showing fans outside of the arena; holding up signs and furiously shaking there index fingers at the camera. He could make out one fan mouthing the words “GAME TIME BABY, LETS GO!!” That was the last straw, he had to get out. He stormed out of his apartment without closing the door and took the stairs 14 floors down to the lobby.

   ​Jake had been walking furiously up, down, and across the streets of Manhattan for an hour and a half. He wasn’t sure what he was looking for, but there had to be something for him. This was after all, allegedly, an amazing city with endless things to do and people to meet. He finally stumbled upon a bar that had the faint sound of music leaking out of the front doors, he gathered himself and entered through the doors which lead down to another pair of doors in what seemed to be the basement. He opened the doors and had to pay an entrance fee of fifteen dollars, he would’ve paid a million to enter the dim, dingy, compact area from where those smooth sounds were protruding from. He went to the bar and ordered a Snapple and whiskey, but they had no Snapple, so he took a hit of a joint that a well-dressed black man offered him instead. He entered another dimension and let the trumpet, sax, bass, and drums wash over and coddle him like a newborn baby. After what he assumed was about fifteen minutes he walked back upstairs and exited through the doors. It turned out to be closer to 9 hours than 15 minutes, the sun was coming up and there were already people out jogging and walking their dogs.

    ​Jake was about to grab a cab back to his apartment when he noticed a sign for a yoga studio a few building’s down. He had heard of yoga before but he wasn’t sure what it did. Was it like ballet? Was it like those Richard Simmons exercises? Was it one of those Buddha things? Maybe they play more of that uh, that Jazz stuff at the yoga, he thought to himself. He walked over to the studio and approached the woman sitting at the front desk.

“So this us uh, this is the yoga?” Jake asked.

“Yaasss,” responded the woman.

“Ok then, terrific, terrific… so I’ll sign up for one yoga then. So that’s what? Dancing or…?”

She responded, “not quite, Yo-Gah is a series of stretches and poses, as well as an exercise in breathing and becoming one with the mother earth. It can also be considered a form of meditation.” She brought a prayer to her head and nodded towards Jake.

“Meditation? Terrific, spectacular, sounds uh, sounds… stretching too? Sounds just uh, just terrific. I’m Jake Tyler” he extended his hand

“I’m Willow Tree,” she extended her hand back. “Wonderful, the next class begins in a half hour.”


“It’ll be $37, have you been to a Yo-Gah class before?”

As Jake took out his wallet to pay, “uh no, no I have not. I hope that won’t be uh, a uh, an issue.”

“No not at all, all levels are welcome.” She brought another prayer to her heart. “You will have to rent a mat however, just another $15.” Jake forked over the money immediately; he would’ve paid a million to rent that yoga mat.

   Jake was extremely tight so he couldn’t go very deep into stretches, and he kept forgetting to breathe. The different names of all the poses baffled him and he was almost always in the wrong position, but he had a grin from ear to ear the entire time. On the rare occasions that he did something right Willow would say “great job Jake,” and he would respond “terrific!” At the end of the class they all sat cross legged and chanted “HHHOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM,” and Jake’s “HOM” was the loudest. As he passed Willow on the way out he brought a prayer to his heart and she did the same and said,

“Namaste, wonderful work Jake.”

He responded “HAH! Namaname, wonderful, terrific, really great. Thank you Willow.”

   Stress was melting off of Jake as he strolled further down 6th avenue until it turned into Church Street. He’d never felt looser in his entire life, he imagined everyone just saw a noodle with glasses strolling down the street when they looked at him. The thought of that made him burst out laughing, and then made him extremely hungry as he thought more about noodles. He gave a quit look around and noticed he was right across the street from a bakery, it wasn’t quite noodles but it was the next best thing as far as he was concerned. Everything was the next best thing, life was grand again. Jake walked into the bakery and gave a big “hellooo” to the women working there, and they gave a big “hellooo” back and offered him a free sample of a strawberry tart. Jake delightfully tried a piece and fell deeper into euphoria.

“HA! Whaddya call that? Tart? I never had a tart before, HA! That’s about the most spectacular, just uh, terrific little treat I ever had the pleasure of eating!” Jake’s glee was becoming infectious.

“Well thank you so much,” the woman responded, “we just got those strawberries in yesterday and wanted to make something fresh to try out today, so glad that you like them.”

“Like them? I’m uh, I’m obsessed! What’s the limit? How many of these incredible, just uh, fantastic tarts can I buy at once?! Strawberries did you say? Just uh… terrific! HA!”

The women were grinning and giggling along with Jake, “thank you so much, gosh, you sure aren’t lacking any enthusiasm. I tell you what, we have a baking class here every Saturday at closing, why don’t you come back and we can show you how to make these tarts.”

Jake looked around in astonishment, “excuse me? Did I uh, did I hear you correctly? Did you say make these uh, these uh, terrific little tarts?” She nodded back at Jake, he looked around again, “where do I uh, where do I uh, sign up for this terrific little tart class? Kiddin me? Sign me up!”

They all laughed and the woman said “no sign up, just come back at 6 and we can get to it. I’m Maryanne and that’s Kelly,” she extended her hand.

“6, uh fantastic! Jake, Jake Tyler, what uh, uh, a pleasure!” they shook hands. “Only one issue, I can’t wait until 6 to have some more of those uh, those tarts there. I’ll take half a dozen to go Maryanne, a real pleasure to meet you.” Jake took the tarts and left a hundred dollar bill on the counter and turned towards the door, as he walked out he shouted “6 O’clock!”

   Jake returned to the bakery at closing after taking an afternoon snooze in a nearby park. He felt well rested and ready for action. He made breakfast in bed for his mother a few times as a child, but that was the extent of his culinary experience. He felt his inexperience only gave him more areas in which he could improve, he knew nothing and life was grand again.

“Oh, so you cook the, the uh, the crust there, cook that all the way then add the fruit compote? If I had to guess so that the uh, the crust we have there can kinda, kinda stand up to all that fantastic, just spectacular uh… fruit compote we whipped up, is that the idea?”

Maryanne replied with a big smile, “yep, that’s it, the crust’ll stay nice and firm and crunchy that way. Mmhmm, very good.”

“Aha-HA, very good, that’s right, just uh, uh, terrific!” Jake smiled and looked around the room, “strawberry tart!”


​“Thanks buddy, back after this with more calls.” Jake’s Take cut to commercial and Jake was staring out into nothingness. In the blink of an eye he was back from commercials and another call was coming in, one of many more.

“Next caller, Mike from Staten Island, hey there bud, you’re on.”

“What’s goin on Jake, what’ up Jake, how’s everything, big fan.”

“Thanks bud, whaddya got.”

“Jake, so I’m watchin this UFC fight this weekend, right? You ever watch this stuff Jake? So I’m watchin… and the tall guy, Jones I think his name is, black guy, tall. So Jake, I’m watchin and this guy’s throwin elbows and kicks and all this stuff, and the other guy’s just takin it, not doin nothin. Jake, you ever see this stuff Jake? So, I’m sittin there… and I’m watchin, and the Jones guy is doin all this, and the guy’s takin it and I’m sayin ‘ tackle em!’ ya know? All that karate stuff? If that was me? If Jones was throwin all these elbows and karate kicks at me? I tell you what, first thing I’m doin, I’m gonna be grabbin his leg, BOOM! Leg sweep! I mean, my family’s from Brooklyn, so ya know…”

“I’m gonna have to cut you off for a second there Mike. I have to uh, gotta talk about this. You know this past weekend, I had uh, a real fun, just exciting kinda time. You know, I went down to one of those yogi yoga places, I don’t know if yogi is part of that, but when down to one of those, got real kinda stretched out, really just uh, uh, a relaxing kinda experience, you know. Willow Tree that is, helped me get stretched out. And then I found out about this baking class, so I went down there, she showed us, Maryanne that is, showed us how to make these little uh, little dynamite, just real delicious, almost vanilla tasting kinda tarts. I never did it before, but really good, uh crunchy kinda tart, with the fruit filling. It was uh, HAH, really a good tart, and before all that…”

“Tart? Jake what the hell are you tawkin about?”

“What am I talking about??” Jake gave a confused look to his producer, as if he couldn’t believe what the caller just asked him, “I’m talking about the finer things…unfuckinbelieva, what are YOU talking about?!”



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