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An Interview with Benson A. Thomas
Welcome back to The Tonight Show I'm your host Chung Lao.

Benson A. Thomas.  Hailing from the garden state aka New Jersey.  Soon to be a married man.....Click Here.  Musically inclined.  Member of the Cabin Wars Syndicate. 


Posted on January 28, 2008

Chung Lao:  Ben, what’s good man?

Ben:  Nothing much man.  2008 … another year 

Chung Lao:  Where did you grow up?

Ben:  I’m a Jersey boy … I was born in Irvington, lived in Union till I was about 8, and then moved to East Hanover.  If you get me heated – a little bit of the Soprano’s will come out… 

Chung Lao:  Pick one word that describes you.

Ben:  Humble… (haha just kidding… I just think it’s funny when people say they are humble cause by doing so .. well, you get it…).  Umm, I don’t know… I’m weird… 

Chung Lao:  When did you first start to sing?

Ben:  I remember when I was a kid I used to think I could sing with an opera voice.  I’m sure I was the only one that thought it was funny.  I suppose I was first formally encouraged to sing when I was 13, and my church was attempting to have a choir get started. 

Chung Lao:  Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Ben:  Growing up, I listened to all types of music. Now a days you’ll find worship music and some good ole gospel.  Some of my favorites are Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin … and even some Don Moen for those long drives.  Other than that, for some reason I have this obsession with watching made-for-TV movies about old school MoTown bands along with rocking out to some Stevie Wonder. 

Chung Lao:  What do you think of

Ben:  I think it’s a great forum for people to express themselves.  I especially like reading the Inspirationals.   

Chung Lao:  New Jersey is a mystery to a lot of people.  It’s been called the armpit of America.  Break down the Pros/Cons for us.

Ben:  Pros:  (1) Ideally located between PA and NY, making a commute to Manhattan or Philadelphia manageable. (2) Good School Systems (3) Everything is always “20 minutes away.”  If you ask someone in NJ how far, that will be the answer.  Multiple highways, routes, and passing interstates make most distant points pretty manageable especially in North/Central NJ.   

Cons: (1) Very densely populated, even in some suburbs (particularly North/Central).  (2) That infamous “smell” when coming over any NYC crossing due to the industrial properties coupled with the filth coming from New York (j/k calm down) (3) Tolls 

Chung Lao:  Tell us about those skills in the kitchen.

Ben:  I can make a really tasty bowl of cereal… 

Chung Lao:  I haven’t asked this since interviewing the dear brother Paul back in 2002, but tell us a fond memory from your days in youth camp!

Ben:  CABIN WARS… I remember being woken up by loud noises coming from the cabin roof, running outside and seeing a rival cabin declaring war in the middle of the night. … Some of you guys might remember the stupid midnight ketchup bandits.  (sorry for messing up your clothes…)   

Chung Lao:  What is your take on George W?  How will he be remembered?

Ben:  In 2000, Bush ran a campaign on (1) a humble foreign policy promising to keep away from nation building – (2) keep my taxes low, and (3) enforce the conservative social agenda.  He’s tried his best on the latter two – particularly on the social agenda with the nomination of 2 conservative Supreme Court Justices – kudos to him on that. 

His foreign policy views obviously changed after 9/11.  It is a fact that our national security was threatened in the post 9/11 world.  His approach to the Iraq war and everything attached to it is something to be debated, and I am not quite sure how I feel on the many issues.  Bush’s strategy is a long term one.  Only time and whether his successors decide to continue efforts to bring democracy to the Middle East will define his rememberence in the long term future.  If successful, the history books may look back and realize our world is safer despite how things may look right now.  Again, I still don’t know how I feel on this issue…   

Chung Lao:  Also, what is your prediction for the 2008 election?

Ben:  Who knows these days … next month someone else will be leading in some other state.  I think it’s too soon to tell.  I’m tired of the political games being played in this election campaign… I’ll tell you who does peek my interest though- Ron Paul.   His ideas of “restoring the Republic” and aligning himself to the Constitution will stir you.  Look him up on You Tube when you get the chance.  At the end of the day though, I don’t think he has a shot of winning, but maybe his ideas and talk is stirring a revolution.   

Chung Lao:  List your favorites: 

A.  Car(s):

Reality: My 2004 BMW 325ci (aka Angelina)

Dream #1: Maserati GranTurismo

Dream #2: Classic 1950’s Mercedes 300 SL 

B.  Food(s): (1) Appam & Chicken Curry !! (2) Edchi (fried beef) w/ Chor (rice), and a whole lot of morra (spiced yogurt) (3) Breakfast – Eggs Benedict 

                C.  Hobbies: Music (listening, playing); Making fun of my sisters…          

D.  Countries to visit/re-visit:  I’ve really only recently been to London (2007) and India (2002).  Life and responsibilities took over a little in between… So I have a lot of the world I want to explore.  I’m hoping to do more of it.  I’m open to everything and anywhere – from helping with Missions in South America and participating in Jamaican crusade meetings … to taking an African Safari … to relaxing on a beach in Turks & Caicos.  

E.  Sibling: I could get in trouble for answering that!  I like them both… we all get along really well.  Let me take this time to brag about them -- I have an older sister, Teesha and a younger sister Blessy.  Teesha works at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as a research coordinator and specializes in neonatal care (sick babys).  Blessy is a special education teacher and teaches ADD & Autistic kids in NJ.  They’re off to save the world… 

                F.  Sport(s): Soccer; Basket Ball … and a recent new found appreciation  for                  golf & tennis.

                G.  Restaurant(s): NYC – #1 Crispo #2 Holy Basil 

H.  Bible Passage(s): [1] “… Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 b);  [2] “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?” (Ecclesiastes 7:13)

Chung Lao:  What is the most important thing in life?

Ben:  Check my first favorite Bible Passage from above.

Chung Lao:  Name someone you admire and why.

Ben:  My Father.  He is my best friend.  He is hard working, loves his family (and not afraid to show or say it), and treats my mother like a queen and his kids like his trophies.  I hope I can be half the man he is… 

Chung Lao:  What is in your pocket right now?

Ben:  Building pass, 6 buissenss cards, $25.50 cash, and a pen. 

Chung Lao:  What is President Benson Thomas’s solution to the situation in Iraq?

Ben:  What situation? 

Chung Lao:  Using nothing but Microsoft Paint, please draw us a picture.

Ben:  This is the only thing that came to me to draw… I don’t know who he is…  

Chung Lao:  Are you a Nets/Mets/Jets or Knicks/Yankees/Giants guy?

Ben:  I got really bad about following sports and keeping up with particular teams after highschool, so since I’m from NJ I guess I’m a Nets/Mets/Jets guy. 

Chung Lao:  What’s the first thing you notice about a person?

Ben:  Their hairline (mine is disappearing… ) 

Chung Lao:  What is something you cannot stand in a person?

Ben:  If they have a good hairline … haha … ok a serious answer would be people who are inconsiderate.  This is a broad statement and can relate to being inconsiderate of other peoples feelings, inconsiderate drivers, or even being inconsiderate at the requests of those who have authority over us. 

Chung Lao:  When can we expect Newark’s return to the BSC?

Ben:  I was never able to participate in the BSC due to my back.  We have been out of commission for the past couple years.  We’ve got some youngin’s growing up now however, and they are itching to help Newark get back on that court.  We’ve got a hoop set up at church so these guys do ball when the weather is nice.  You may see a resurrection this year…. 

Chung Lao:  Alright, so you’re slated to tie the knot this year.  What final words would you like to say to Benson A. Thomas, the single man?

Ben:  You’ve had a good run my single friend…. Here’s to the memories.  (now run!!!) j/k :)  

Chung Lao:  Alright, so you’re slated to tie the knot this year.  What encouraging words would you like to say to Benson A. Thomas, the soon to be married man?

Ben:  How the heck did YOU manage to get a great girl like that man!?! Nice job… now don’t mess it up!!! 

Chung Lao:  What is your take on arranged marriage?

Ben:  I’ve seen it work for many couples, and unfortunately turn into very terrible situations for others.  Marriage is a huge step, and needs to be taken seriously with fasting and prayer.  It should never be forced upon someone.  Marriage out of convenience or b/c someone has reached a certain age is the wrong approach.   

Chung Lao:  What is your take on interracial marriage?

Ben:  We should never place boundries on who God might have for us to marry.  Whether it be someone of a different race, fat or skinny, rich or poor – we shouldn’t limit the possibilities of what God may want for us.  That being said, it is sometimes true that the easier two initially have in common, the easier it MAY make things.  That could be anything from a particular church and/or religion, language, upbringing, all the way down to a type of food.  These things, however, are not what makes a marriage prosperous and last.  They only help and/or assist.  In the end, as the Beatles would say – “All You Need Is Love!” 

Chung Lao:  Are we living in the End Times?

Ben:  It is undeniable – without a doubt… 

Chung Lao:  Describe the ideal church, even if its not realistic.

Ben:  The ideal church is where the Love of God is shared, the salvation of Christ is preached, with a commitment to prepare the Church to be the Bride of Christ, ready for the rapture. 

Chung Lao:  Alright, you leave work extremely late one night, around 1:30 AM.  Downtown Manhattan.  As you walk the streets, there is some activity, as the city never sleeps, but not that much.  You make your way toward your parking garage, 7th floor.  Only 4 cars are parked there.   

As you near your car, you fumble for your keys and insert the right one into the car.  Before you can reach the handle, you feel the cold steel of a handgun barrel against the back of your neck.  “Turn around, nice and slow” the individual says in a somehow familiar voice. 

As you slowly turn around, you’re rapidly beating heart almost explodes as the face of this goon you’re looking at……is your own.  Somehow you’ve been cloned, and he’s here to replace you.  Obviously he can’t complete his deed in the parking garage, he’ll have to take you to a remote location.  What do you do?

Ben:  Since he can’t complete the deed in the parking garage, I just won’t move.  The only way he could force me, or is it I could force me… (get it?) to go into the car is if he brings attention to himself. (or myself).  Knowing me, I wouldn’t have the guts to shoot me anyway…. Did that sound right…? 

Chung Lao:  Lastly, leave us with a parting thought.

Ben:  Congrats to everyone who survived this interview… now WAKE UP!!!…

Chung Lao:  Thanks Ben.  Next up on The Tonight Show is Jenet Poopalan.  You don't want to miss that one.  Much Love.

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