Being Green in Philly: The Triumph of the Erin Expressers

by JGT with a little help from Chip Chantry

Larry* is a 24-year old telemarketer from Media, and he is waiting in line at the Irish Pub with a plastic green bowler hat and a green Bud Light shirt on. It is 10 a.m.

“Bro, I’ve been drinking Bud Light Lime since, like 8 a.m.”

“Bud Light Lime?” hollers a faceless voice in the crowd. “I love that shit!”

“It’s so good, bro,” says Larry. “It’s got all of the flavor of a Bud Light, with a little bit of lime thrown in. It’s like a Corona but without having to cut up limes and shit.”

Larry suddenly changes his tone, and hollers at the crowd. “WE ARE…”

“Penn State!” holler back 10 people in line.

“I fucking love it, man. So many real soldiers here today, bro.”

I ask him what St. Patrick’s Day means to him, if he is honoring St. Patrick’s mission to help the poor.

“Nah, not really brah. I’m mostly just looking to…” He raises his voice. “GET FUCKED UP!” The crowd around him gives a hearty cheer. The stories these Erin Expressers have to tell are so vibrant, so unique, I felt like I had to tell them.

A little bit further back in line, Jackson remembers his first Erin Express. “It was, like, so epic, bro. I mean, we got so shitfaced I ended up puking behind McFadden’s Wake for like an hour. That’s when I fell in love with that bar. They’ve got all that good shit on draft like Miller Lite and Bud Light, not a bunch of craft beers for pussies.”

A guy with a green shirt that reads “Fuck Me! I’m Irish” named Darren comes over and puts his arm around Jackson. Darren is barely able to form coherent sentences. “Bro, this guy…” He belches. “Is like my fucking brother! I love this guy!”

“Don’t be such a fag, bruh.”

“You’re right bro.” Darren takes a sharp turn to the left, then collapses on the pavement. He breaks into laughter, then vomits on himself.

“That’s gonna be me later. Two more Jaeger shots, and I can totally start having the kind of fun that Darren is having right now.”

“I just crapped my pants!” yells Darren excitedly, laying in the parking lot in his own filth.

Their perspectives strike me as so rich, so real. In a city that is filled with people who are scared to say what they really think, these Erin Expressers are such a  breath of fresh air.

Carey came in from Manayunk with her “homegirls” for the Erin Express. “I love Manayunk,” she yells at a remarkably high decibel level.  “Love…IT! But this is just a chance for us to class this shitty city up a little bit.”

“This city is so shitty. Too many, um, urban types,” says her friend Sally. “Remember a few years ago when they had all those flash mobs? Can you imagine, a whole street full of those people? So scary. I stayed out of the city after…” She was interrupted by a taxi horn, as she and six of her friends were standing in the middle of Walnut Street.

“Fuck you!”Sally screamed at the taxi driver, then swung her purse at the window of the taxi, miraculously not shattering it, before turning to me with a drunken sneer. “Fucking towelhead! Where was I? Oh yeah, so those flash mobs. Those people are animals. But I’m not racist.” Sally then vomited on her feet.

It is these perspectives that our city has ignored for so long, while trying so desperately to appease the poor and disenfrachised. These fine young white partygoers feel like they’ve been ignored, forgotten by the mass media.

I went over to Kildare’s, where I ran into Josh from Cherry Hill smoking a cigarette. “Philly’s cool to visit, but I’d never wanna live here. It’s so violent- people getting into fights constantly. I got into three of them today already, and it’s only 11 a.m.” He then whistled through his teeth, took off his green tank top, and threw it at a moving car.

I walked into Slainte, where a girl, her face a smeared mixture of green face paint and tears, was screaming into a telephone. “DADDY! YOU NEED TO COME BAIL OUT NATHAN AND GABE RIGHT AWAY! NO, NOW! THEY ARRESTED THEM, EVEN THOUGH SOME ASSHOLE ATTACKED THEM OUT OF THE BLUE! NO, I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO START IT! BESIDES THROW GUACAMOLE AT THE GUY!”  She ordered a double shot of well whiskey and a Harp to calm her nerves, before continuing on her tirade to her father.  It had been quite a day. “COME GET ME! I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE AT FUCKING CHURCH!” She then vomited all over the bar, knocked her beer over, fell out of her chair, and screamed at her dad “I FUCKING HATE YOU!” as she laid in shards of broken glass, vomit, and beer on the floor. She then yelled at the bartender to “CLEAN THIS SHIT UP NOW! BEFORE MY DAD SUES YOU!” before passing out.

So many young people don’t talk to their parents, and yet here this young woman was, in the midst of the best day of her year, speaking with her dad. I could tell she had been raised right. It gave me hope for the future. And it served as a powerful reminder that our local media, instead of vilifying these young people, needs to hear their stories. They’ve got a lot to say, bro. Like, a lot.

*We only used first names, so these brave souls could speak more openly.

Exclusive Excerpt from Philly Comedian Mike Rainey’s New Book

Mike Rainey is one of the funniest and most respected comedians on the Philadelphia scene. He has spearheaded a group called Comedians for a Cause, raising money for everything from large charities to friends who are down on their luck or suffering a health crisis. Last year, when Mike had a friend dying of cancer, he worked tirelessly to put on a huge fundraiser so that his friend could spend one last vacation with his family at Disneyland. Mike is, quite simply, a solid dude.

He is also a very funny comedian, and he has written his first book, Terrible Advice, which is pretty self-explanatory. The book is a mere $10, can be ordered on Amazon, and 10% of all proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. So pick up a copy, support a local comedian/terrific guy, and help raise money for a great cause. And while you wait for it to come in, you can read some of Mike’s terrible advice to an illegal immigrant trying to sneak into the country.

If I were an illegal immigrant, I couldn’t think of one good reason why I shouldn’t sneak into the U.S. What’s not to love about this country? Well, except for T.G.I Friday’s. I fucking hate them but I really don’t feel like going into that right now, so just drop it bro, ok? But seriously, if I’m making a dollar a day making goddamn soccer balls in my stupid home country or if rival drug cartels are ruining my kickball games by shooting the shit out of each other, then I’m looking to hightail it to America. Nothing would make me happier than to become moderately obese and complain about trivial bullshit all day long. Ah, the spoils of being American. But doing things the right way and jumping through all the hoops just to get into this country is just a real pain in the ass. I’m tryna get my sneak in on, ya feel me?

Your best bet is to get the ball rolling by telling everyone you know that you are planning to illegally enter the U.S. This maximizes your chances of having someone throw a kick ass going away party for you. Heck, I’d even try to invite a few of the local border patrol agents to the party. Those guys have access to some wonderful confiscated drugs. Maybe they’ll even bring some of their drug sniffing and bomb sniffing dogs. If I were you, I’d handle some C4 before heading into the party. Then I’d rub the residue all over the back and shoulders of an attractive lady at the party without her knowing. Then, when the bomb sniffing dog comes in and starts going bananas over her, your lucky lady will inevitably start freaking out and loudly wonder, “Why is he barking at me?!” You can then calmly and confidently explain, “Because he knows you’re the bomb.” At that point, legally speaking, she has to have sex with you. You haven’t even started sneaking into the country and you’re already ahead of the game!

Now, you have to do some actual planning. You’re going away party was a blast, but it’s time to move on. Come up with exactly how you want to sneak over the border. If I were you, I’d just watch a bunch of A-Team episodes. You’ll learn a ton about sneaking up on people and you’ll start pitying fools. Win/win, bro. Next, you’ll need a disguise. Basically, anything that makes you look like you are an important member of the community who has no desire to ever leave. I’d go with a suit with dress shorts, like the one Angus Young from AC/DC wears. From there, I’d just get a good night’s sleep and set my alarm for just before sun up. You’re hours away from becoming an official illegal alien!

Alright, so you overslept. It’s bright as fuck out now, but I’d still give it a shot anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? Put your little suit on and fill your backpack with some food for your journey. I’d probably go with a few Lunchables and a six pack of pounders. Just bundle them into your bandana that you’ll tie to the end of a stick. Head out the door and tell your neighbors to fuck off if you have to. What do you care? You’ll never see them again. Hop on your moped and head to the border checkpoint. Baseball, apple pie, and hot dogs are in your near future, Mr. American.

Once you arrive to within a hundred yards of the checkpoint, ditch your moped. If you’re in a silly mood, pin the throttle down and send the bike through the checkpoint un-manned. It’ll give everybody a thrill and it shows off that great sense of humor you have. While everybody hems and haws about what a zany stunt that was, casually stroll towards the checkpoint and hopefully no one will notice you. I might whistle a little bit just to show how at ease I was and how I totally wasn’t trying to sneak into the country illegally. If somebody stops you and asks for proper documentation, just tell them you left it in America at your beautiful house that you were able to purchase thanks to capitalism. That should be enough to get you through. If they really want to break your balls, you’re kind of screwed.

At this point, simply ask if you can have your moped back so you can go back home. You’ll just have to try again after you finish your eighteen hour shift at the soccer ball factory.

Sorry things didn’t work out for you. Oh well. You’ll get ’em next time. Probably not, but whatever. I’m really not worried about it. If it’s any consolation, you make a pretty mean soccer ball with those carpal tunnel-ravaged hands of yours. I sincerely mean that.

The Great Bagel Meltdown of ’12

The following is all fiction and not based on any people, places or events. Even the dog is just a figment of my imagination.

One Spring morning, a couple walks their dog past The Montreal Bagel Hut, a new bagel place that has opened in their neighborhood.

HUSBAND: Hey look honey, Montreal style bagels.

WIFE: What does that mean?

HUSBAND: I don’t know. I guess they make them like they make them in Montreal.

WIFE: No shit, honey. But how do they make them in Montreal?

HUSBAND: No idea. Maybe we should find out.

Wife looks at menu in the window.

WIFE: Wow, these bagels are kind of expensive.

HUSBAND: Of course they are, dear. They’re made Montreal style. Hey look, a wood oven! They make them in there! No wonder they’re so expensive.

Husband takes out a ten spot and hands it to wife. He takes an outdoor table with the dog.

HUSBAND: Can you get me a coffee too?

Wife goes inside to grab a coffee and order a couple of bagels. Husband takes a seat outside, getting excited about trying a new style of bagel. Wife returns to the table with the coffees in hand.

HUSBAND: I’ve never been to Montreal, but my ex went to college there.

WIFE: I know. You’ve told me that 100 times. Do you remember where I went to college?

HUSBAND: Missouri?

WIFE: No, San Diego State.

HUSBAND: Well, I knew it was one of those schools that got upset in the first round of the tournament. Did you know that Montreal’s underground city is based on blueprints made by Da Vinci?

WIFE: Yes, you told me that already. Like 100 times. Whenever Montreal comes up, you have two things to offer. One that your ex went to school there and two that it’s underground city was based on DaVinci drawings. You should probably learn some new Montreal facts.

HUSBAND: Their football team is called the Alouettes. I do know that. Vince Ferragamo used to be their quarterback.

WIFE: Nobody cares.

Server comes out with two baskets with bagels in them and places them on the table. Both bagels are topped with cream cheese.

WIFE: I got one sesame and one everything.

HUSBAND: Good call. Oh boy, here we go. Our first Montreal style bagel.

Husband takes a bite. His brow furrows. A frown crosses his face.

HUSBAND: Why is this bagel raw?

WIFE: Raw? What are you talking about?

HUSBAND: This is a raw bagel. They didn’t toast it. Did you say you wanted it untoasted?

WIFE: No, they didn’t ask if I wanted it toasted. I assumed they were going to toast it.

HUSBAND: Of course you did. They have a GIANT F***ING WOOD OVEN IN THERE. Perfect for toasting things!

WIFE: Keep your voice down.

HUSBAND: No, I will not keep my voice down! Who eats raw bagels? Crazy people and birds. That’s it!

WIFE: I think crazy people call them “raw”.

HUSBAND: When I go to a pizza place with a wood oven, do I need to tell them that I want the pizza heated up in their oven? No, because they assume I’m not crazy. These bagel people assume I’m either crazy or a giant pigeon.

Couple at next table turns around to look at husband, whose voice is a little too loud. To compensate, he leans forward and whispers his next line.

HUSBAND: How much did these Montreal style bagels cost us?

WIFE: $3 each.

Whisper voice gets louder.

HUSBAND: $3 each? $3 each? For a piece of cold bread, served Montreal style? Oh I’m gonna Yelp the shit out of these jerks.

WIFE: Honey, I should have said toasted. It’s not their fault.

Husband is by now incredulous. His eyes open wide. His voice rises. Not quite a yell, but certainly noticed by nearby tables and passers by.

HUSBAND: Not their fault? NOT THEIR FAULT? Not their fault that they own a giant god damn oven with a fire inside of it and they assume we want a cold bagel? How is that not their fault?

WIFE: The giant stove is to cook them the first time. Then they take them out and if say you want them toasted, I bet they put them in a toaster, not back in the oven.

HUSBAND: Oh, well look who’s an expert on Montreal style bagels all of a sudden.

WIFE: Can we just go home?

HUSBAND: Yes, but not before I feed the rest of this bagel to some pigeons right in front of their window, so they can see me do it.

WIFE: You’re insane.  We’re out of here.

Wife stands up to leave. Husband stands up in a huff. As they walk away, he stares angrily at busy employees inside shop, who don’t return his stare.

HUSBAND: Let’s go to Dunkin Donuts. I know they put their doughnuts in the oven. I’ve seen it on the commercials.

Messin’ With Texas

Two teams from Philly are headed down to Austin this weekend to participate in Geek Bow VI. This will be our 3rd appearance. In 2010 we finished 4th and in 2011 we finished 3rd (both of those were held in Denver). Well, this year, it’s being held in Texas, and we decided to go for all the marbles. Carl (Specific Jawns) and I humbly accepted a demotion to the B-team so that Phil (Jams) and Kenney (Steak) could join the A-team, and give Philly it’s best chance for a title. We will be playing with the wives and girlfriends team, which is kind of like being traded from the LA Lakers to the Washington Generals, and Carl and I are both thrilled to be playing alongside our wives.

As some of you who have followed this little shindig for the past few years are aware, while those nerds do this thing to answer questions, I do it to talk smack. Last year I unleashed a vicious diss rap of Denver. This year I decided to make an educational video. I understand that a lot of people in Philly don’t know a lot about Texas, so I thought I’d teach you a little bit about the state and its customs and people.


If you want to follow us this weekend to see how we do, you can follow me on twitter and facebook. I’ll be updating all weekend (much to the chagrin of my wife.)

Let’s Talk About Sex in My Basement

Welcome to My Basement! from Johnny Goodtimes on Vimeo.

Today we debut a new show on the website called Welcome to My Basement!, in which I will be bringing lovely young women (and perhaps the occasional man) of Philadelphia down to my basement and then discussing various topics. Creepy yet captivating, the first episode is pretty damn good if I do say so myself. In the video, I am interviewing Timaree Leigh who has a great blog called (which is actually fairly safe for work.) The interview was so great that I split it into two parts, and this is part one. We discuss lesbians, animal sex, and whether or not humans are naturally monogamous. Part two will be up in a few days. If you like, please post on facebook or click “Like” below. Enjoy!

RELATED: Here’s part 2 of that interview.

The Best 10 Words You Will Read All Day

From People magazine, January 1997. The best part is highlighted, though the whole paragraph is pretty tremendous.

Clerk Robert Waller was working the late shift at the Wal-Mart in Fredericton, N. B., when Elmo-mania hit him. Literally. It was after midnight on Dec. 14, and a crowd of about 300 had gathered to get their hands on the store’s latest shipment of Tickle Me Elmo, that vibrating, giggling, must-have toy of the holiday season. Waller, 27, was holding an Elmo when the crowd spotted him—and stampeded. “I was pulled under, trampled—the crotch was yanked out of my brand-new jeans,” says Waller, who suffered a pulled hamstring, injuries to his back, jaw and knee, a broken rib and a concussion. “I was kicked with a white Adidas before I became unconscious.”

Just think about that. It’s not bad enough you’re being run over by dozens of people. It’s not bad enough that they give you a concussion, a broken rib, and a pulled hamsting. It’s not bad enough that they “yanked” the crotch out of your jeans and left you lying there, unconscious and crotchless. But what really seemed to bother Robert was that these jeans were BRAND NEW. That’s just going over the line. I mean, if you’re going to give a guy concussion over a stuffed animal, that’s one thing, but don’t rip the crotch out of some jeans that he just bought. Now you’re just being inconsiderate.

3 Philly Funnymen You Should Be Following on Twitter, Part 3

On Monday we brought you part one, on Tuesday we brought you part two, and today we bring you part three of our funniest Philly folks to follow on twitter. First, I must give credit where credit is due. I got the idea from Larry Mendte, who I steal all my great ideas from. Some of his suggestions for funniest were spot on with mine (Chip Chantry, Blake Wexler, Mary Radzinski, Paul Triggiani) and some were a bit off the mark (No names, but some of the ones on his list were pretty bad). But Larry also included some people with like 40,000 followers, where my goal is m0re  to show off people that not a lot of people follow, but should be following. So here are our next 3.

Blake Wexler. He’s young, he’s dumb, and he’s full of fun. And I was just kidding about the dumb part. He’s pretty smart. He goes to some fancy pants college up north. I won’t bother to look up which one, but I think it’s one for smart people. And he’s funny. Here’s a small sample.

Going to see Harry Porter tonight, where I plan on making a HUGE deal about bringing my own 3D glasses.

My ex treated her body like a temple. And by that, I mean every Friday night she’d fill it with Jews.

At a bar. Just walked up to a married women, sensually removed her wedding ring, and swallowed it. #nowwhat

Doogie Horner. A brilliantly quirky local comedian and master of the flowchart, though he is best known by suburbanites for appearing on America’s Got Talent. As great as he was on AGT, he’s even funnier when non-idiot audiences let him actually tell his jokes. Go see him live. He is also damn funny on twitter.

A lot of people ask me how I write my jokes. Let me tell you: I write them at the piano in an empty house, tears streaming down my face.

If someone is about to beat you up, but stops and says, “You’re not worth it,” what they mean is, “only valuable people deserve beatings.”

How many brazen, up-and-coming pan flute novices have challenged Zamfir for his title?

Christian Alsis. One half of the laugh-out-loud Feeko Brothers, perhaps my favorite sketch duo in Philly. If you ever get a chance to see these guys, DO IT. Seriously, they never disappoint.

Amish people are just hippies without the shitty jam band music.

Buying a bran muffin is like paying $1.75 to poop at work.

The way that nomadic tribes move from place to place is unsettling.

I’ll be back tomorrow with 3 more funny folks.

3 Philly Funny Folks You Absolutely, Positively Should Be Following on Twitter, Part 2

Yesterday I gave you the twitter accounts of three of the funniest guys in Philly. Today I’ll give you three more. Well, two more guys, technically, and one girl. Here goes.

Luke Cunningham. I dunno where this guy is these days. New York, Philly, LA. He seems to be all over the place looking for comedy work. A guy working hard to make it happen. He’s from Philly, he performs here regularly, and he’s damn funny. A member of the hilarious Bird Text crew, best known for their Real Househusbands of Philadelphia skit. Here’s a few funny things he’s posted in the past few days.

Casey Anthony is the Michael Vick of babies. Only way I’d ever root for her again is if she was electrifying in the open field.

Busch Gardens Europe is so realistic. My girlfriend spent a semester there and came back a pretentious lesbian.

I’m hilarious as long as we spend less than an hour together and don’t see each other again for at least 3 years.

Mary Radzinski. This Philadelphia funnywoman is as clever on twitter as she is doing standup. She hosts a comedy open mic at Urban Saloon every Monday at 8 p.m.

My grandfather talking about a transgendered woman at his church, “she’s got a hell of a handshake”. #notsurehegetsit

Someone was ripe at the nail salon. And not with anticipation.

There are people who say, “if you can think it, you can do it”. I wish those people would think about piping down.

Mike Rainey. If you like warped, twisted senses of humor, this is the dude for you. He’s the kind of guy that you find yourself laughing at hysterically while simultaneously feeling a slight twinge of guilt for laughing. Here’s a sample:

A surprise party for Nelson Mandela in theory would have been a great idea. But blindfolding him and leading him to an unknown location..bad taste.

I hope Kenny G is the loudmouthed, drunken racist I imagine him to be.

You should be able to exchange a negative pregnancy test for a 4 pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

3 more funny folks coming tomorrow! If you want to follow me on twitter, click here. And also be sure to follow our Philly Sports History twitter account as well. Also, I’ll be doing standup on Friday, July 29th at the Shubin Theater. Details forthcoming.

3 Philly Funnymen You Absolutely, Positively Should Be Following on Twitter

It seems like the people whose tweets I enjoy the most also have the fewest people enjoying their tweets. It goes to show what a s**tshow twitter is. Whereas 8.3 million people are apparently fascinated by Kim Kardashian (latest tweet: “I learned so much about couture today!”), most of the funniest, most talented standups in Philly only have a couple hundred followers, if that. Well putting them on this site ain’t exactly gonna make them famous, but that’s not the point. The point is that if you are a fan of my quizzes and my sense of humor, then I think you’ll get a kick out of picking up what these guys are putting down. So each day this week I’ll post 3 new people who write my favorite accounts. And if you’ve got any recommendations for people I should be following, please post on facebook or in the comments. Oh, and if you wanna follow me on twitter, just click here. For day 1, I’ve got 3 of the funniest guys on twitter.

John Kensil. Completely off-key and hilarious. He once told me, “Never go for the first joke that comes to mind. Always go with the second one.” Thus his strange and zany twitter account, where his jokes never tend to end where you think they will. Here’s a sample:

I broke my nose watching womens soccer. The phone rang and my pants were around my ankles.

It’s so hot this morning I just saw a kid making tar angels in the street. Oh wait a minute. Breakdancing? No scratch that. It’s a seizure.

The Octomom had a flash mob in her uterus.

Jim Grammond. Edgy, hilarious, and clever. A former member of MAGMA from back in the day turned very funny comedian.

A lot of people forget that desegregation halved business for a lot of hardworking, honest water fountain makers.

These Tropical Starburst make me feel I’m relaxing in an island paradise that’s littered with Starburst wrappers and contains my work desk.

Going to Wildwood for the day because I want to dodge roving packs of trashy kids on wooden planks rather than sidewalks.

Chip Chantry. Just as hilarious online as he is in person. But don’t tell him I said that. I don’t want him to know that I think he’s funny.

Fireworks are like pornography: Professional ones are prettier, but amateur ones are way more fun.

Justin Timberlake & partners just purchased MySpace for $35 million. In a related story, Joey Fatone bought a futon off of craigslist.

Tone Loc pleads not guilty to domestic violence charge, stating “That’s what happens when bodies start slappin'”.

I’ll be back tomorrow with 3 more Philly funnymen.