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Transcript for Episode 03: Benzos and the Bully (Part II)

After Randy’s disasterous first day at work Evan convinces him to stay on working regardless of Jasper’s abuse. Randy meets Frank White the Bob Marley tribute band leader.

Warning/NSFW: The content of this podcast is intended for a mature audience only. At times this content contains highly offensive language, sexual situations, violence, illicit drug use, criminal activity, and all around bad actors. If you have sensitive ears, this may not be a good fit for you.

Privacy: Names have been altered to protect the privacy of brands, individuals, musical acts, and establishments.

PODCAST SETTING LOCATION: Based in East Vancouver / SUBJECT: Musician with Agoraphobia


Randy is having a bad day and June, the coffee shop barista, is trying to comfort him. Randy goes to the back room of the coffee shop to dicate the conclusion of the story, “Benzos and The Bully at Jasper’s Elite Music”. He starts telling the remainder of the story.

Randy left the store after Jasper’s tirade, and instead of taking public transit, he walked home as his mind raced in all directions. He imagined his apology to Jasper, but mostly he wanted to get away from “this wet and miserable place.”

Randy was yelled and at and scolded by Jasper the day before and was feeling hopeless about his job. He was saved by Evan, who called him in the morning to tell him that someone named Frank was coming to pick him up so Randy can help him move furniture.

When Frank arrives, Randy realizes Frank is THE Frank White, the singer of a very popular Bob Marley tribute band called the “East Van Wailers”. Frank sees Randy’s bong on the coffee table and uses it with some of his own cannabis and they smoke together.

In the truck Frank says he’s annoyed that a “pencil dick” named Jasper had hit on his wife the week before. Despite this, he accepted help from him because his wife’s wishes. They then drove off with Peter Tosh music playing in the background, feeling excited and ready for the day.

After helping Frank move Frank drops Randy off at Jasper’s Elite Music. Randy then bonds with Evan and they decide to order in pizza for themselves and Angie. When the pizza arrives they go upstairs to the keyboard department where Angie, the classically trained pianist, works.

Randy then explains how in the past, Jasper, the store manager, had been relentlessly flirting with Angie and making her feel uncomfortable. Randy says that at one point in the past Angie stated that she’d had enough and wanted to quit. Evan had jumped in to encourage her to stay and tell Jasper to back off. Jasper had entered the conversation and asked if Angie was putting out, leaving them all in shock. Just before Evan had a chance to tell off Jasper, Angie jumped in first to tell off Jasper, putting him in his place, and cementing her reputation of being a very strong person.

After Randy narrates the story about Angie’s struggles the story goes back to present time. Angie asks if the boys got her pizza without pineapple.


Randy enters the coffee shop located in East Vancouver…

June: Good morning, Darling. Are you okay?

Randy: So glad to see your face June?

June: It’s going to be okay, Darling. Does your niece know you’re having a bad day?

Randy: No, she doesn’t.

June: Go to the back room and I’ll bring you some water. You don’t have to do your dictation today.

Randy: I need to finish the story, though, June.

June: Okay, Darling. You go on back.

Randy walks to the back of the coffee shop, opens the back room door, and starts introducing his story…

Hi. My name is Randy Darling. I’ll be quick today. This is part two in the conclusion of The Benzos and The Bully at Jasper’s Elite Music.

Randy begins the story…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 



Well, that was a bad start. A day that would live on in the annals of the doomed and the downtrodden. It was crystal clear to me now that Jasper was a true blue, bona fide spoiled brat, deserving nothing less than a slow and agonizing disembowlment. But I did what I was told, and I left the store immediately after his tirade.

As I walked, my mind started racing in every direction. When it veered west, I visualized my apology in Jasper’s tiny office groveling like a peon at the foot of his master. But mostly my mind veered east, far, far away, 10,000 miles from this wet and miserable place.

Fortunately, though, the cold rain and exercise started to shoe away some of the toxic worms holding cord in my head. By the time I got back to the apartment, I was soaked to the bone and exhausted in every way. But as tired as I was, I still had trouble getting to sleep that night. Jasper’s furious words were still owning me.

Was I just another starstruck motherfucker with my head up my ass? It seemed the universe was trying to tell me something.

Eventually, after procuring a double shot of tequila and copious amounts of Indica, I fell into a restless sleep.



When I woke up in the morning, the phone was ringing. It was Evan. I was already 20 minutes late for work.

Evan: “You still want that job? Randy wouldn’t blame you for bailing, but after yesterday, you’re on the hairy edge with Jasper.”

Randy: I told Evan I was planning to quit.

Evan: “No way, man. Don’t give Jasper the easy way out. He was just having another one of his tantrums. Anyway, you’re supposed to help Frank move today. So if you’re still in the game, I’ll get Frank to pick you up at your place. I’ll cover for you with Jasper, he’ll never know you were late. What’s your address, anyway?”


I agreed and told him my address, thanked him and hung up. Hmmm…I thought, “By the kindness of strangers”. Maybe Evan took pity on me after my spectacular humiliation the day before. But I had questions, and the biggest question of all was who the fuck is Frank?

About 20 minutes later, the intercom buzzer sounded. The male voice on the other end had a Jamaican accent.

Frank White: “I’m here to pick up Randy Darling.”


I told him I was still getting ready and buzzed him into the building. When he got to the door, my question was answered for me. Frank was Frank White, a very popular musician in the lower mainland. He was the singer and band leader of the East Van Wailers, a seasoned Bob Marley tribute band. I could hardly recognize him without the massive dreadlocks and the Marley inspired clothes he wore on stage.

Frank stood about 5’9″, wore a red plaid lumberjack jacket and gloves for his moving day. He was clean shaven and the crow’s feet in his eyes were evidence of a man much older than his stage persona. I offered him some coffee when I finished getting ready but he declined saying he had coffee waiting in the truck.

Frank White: “Is that your bong on the coffee table, kid?”

Randy: “Yeah, that’s my one of a kind, handcrafted water bong,” I told him proudly.

He grinned, sat down across from it and pulled out a small, sticky chunk of BC bud.

Frank White: “Well, if you don’t mind, Randy, let’s start the day off right. Shall we?”

[sound of water bong being lit and sucked]


It was at that moment I knew Frank and I would get along fine.

As soon as I got seated in the passenger side of the truck cab I had a feeling of exhilaration come over me. It had been a couple of years since I rode in a vehicle that wasn’t public. Frank cranked up some Peter Tosh and our adventure was underway. We had only driven blocks when Frank started talking.

Frank White: “You know, your boss hit on my wife last weekend at a gig I was playing. It’s annoying, all these pencil dicks moving on my girl. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got great taste but, hey, man, show a little quality.”

Randy: “Jasper hit on your wife. That not cool. So why are you accepting this help from him?”

Frank White: “It’s my wife. You see, she’s a powerful woman. Whenever she sees these fools coming around, instead of running, she mobilizes them. She’s got an army of hopefuls out there at all times ready to trim her grass. But they ain’t going to get no trim.

Randy: Wow, man. That’s coldly strategic.

Frank White:

“You betcha brother. How do you think our band became so successful? She’s the manager.

[Frank chuckling] Yeah.

Don’t you just love the production on this Tosh album? Equal Rights will always be his best work if you ask me.”


This was a real moment for me. Not only was I feeling free, I was cruising around with THE Frank white and smoking his ripe bud. It was a stone groove.

The rest of the day was just as good. We moved all the furniture, stopping for Tosh and the bud breaks when required. When we were all done, Frank dropped me off at the store. I walked in and Evan was at the front counter.

Evan: “You want to order pizza with me and Angie?” he said without lifting his head up.


He told me Jasper was gone for the day, which set me at ease. There were no customers in the store either, so we took the time to sort out the inventory and get to know each other. We had a lot in common. We were both barely over 20 years old, and we both had dreams of musical freedom. We traded anecdotes, lyrics, chord patterns, and when the pizza arrived, we took it up to join Angie.

Without question, the safest place for Evan and I was in the keyboard department. It was Angie’s Domain. She was a quiet young woman in her early 20s and seemed to possess an inner strength foreign to most souls in her midst. She was a classically trained pianist who was currently studying at the Vancouver Academy of Music, or Vam for short, and she came by it honestly. Her mother was a professional violinist who toured around the world with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Once in a while, Angie would sit at the Steinway baby grand piano and play. When she did, the drum room and the guitar room would almost go silent while the staff and the customers slowly started moving in her direction like a herd of starved zombies. You could tell everyone admired and respected her for her beautiful playing, and Jasper was a fan of her beauty too, but not the artistic kind.

Angie wasn’t just gifted with great musical talent, she was gifted with great physical beauty as well. Whenever Jasper was near her, the level of cringe in the room was overwhelming.

Jasper seemed to be completely unconscious of the fact that we could all see how he leered in Angie’s direction every chance he got. He was constantly flirting with her and creating situations where she was forced to be near him. You could tell he made her feel uncomfortable. One day, Evan, Angie and myself were moving product into the back of the store when Angie said…

Angie: “I think I’ve had enough, guys. I think I’m ready to quit. I can’t take any more of Jasper’s ogling and stupid jokes.”

Randy: Evan jumped in.

Evan: “Ah fuck him. This summer job is perfect for you, Angie. Everyone loves you here. Tell Jasper to go jerk off in the drum room and keep his eyes above the fold.”

Angie: “Easy for you to say. You’re not the one with a target on your chest.”

Randy: It was true, Angie had been cursed with more than an ample endowment. She did her best to conceal herself with assortment of baggy sweaters. But Jasper knew. He knew what treasures rode high and firm beneath. Just then, Jasper came around the corner.

Jasper: “Hey, can I get in on this? Is Angie finally putting out?”

Randy: You could tell Evan was locked and loaded, ready to fire in Jasper’s direction. But Angie stepped forward.

Angie: “If you value this store your Mommy and Daddy bought you, you will never talk like that around me again.”

Randy: Evan and I struggled to contain our smirks of delight at this magnificent offensive charge to Jasper’s flank. It had clearly made impact as the blood drained from his face. Ever since that day, Angie was in a class all by herself.

Angie: Thanks, guys. Did you get mine without pineapple?


Evan nodded a yes. And we all dove in like a pack of young, hungry wolves.

The rest of the day was quiet in the store, and I got a ride home with Evan.

That turned out to be the best day of all my days at Jasper’s Elite Music.

The worst day was yet to come.


This day turned out to be pivotal in the lives of all concerned. It all started with my attempt to rise higher in my position as a guitar salesman. I had noticed the other employees wore nicer clothes than mine. I thought maybe if I stepped up my game in the wardrobe department, it would be helpful.

But there was a hitch in my plan. I was flat broke and I couldn’t afford new clothes. So I decided to do what any young urchin would do under the circumstances. I showed up to work that morning in my graduation suit. Horrid blue dress pants, white shirt, scuffed and dirty dress shoes and a cheap wrinkled vest. I flew through the main door and ran upstairs before Evan had time to notice my change in attire.

About 20 minutes later, Jasper’s voice came over the store intercom.

Jasper: “Staff meeting in the sheet music room in five minutes.”


That’s strange, I thought. We’ve never had a staff meeting before, and I’ve only heard the intercom once since I started. I put down the guitar I was tuning at the time and walked over to the sheet music department. Jasper was already there, leaning against one of the sheet music bins and talking to the assistant manager. As we started gathering around, some of the employees were whispering to each other with concern.

Was the store being shut down? Were there layoffs coming? What’s going on?

Then Jasper started it.

Jasper: “My staff is a crack staff. I expect only the best for my staff. Wearing a cheap wrinkled suit isn’t going to make you a hot shot anytime soon. Okay? Meeting adjourned.”

[employees laughing)


I walked back to the guitar room, drenched in my complete and total humiliation.

But then something magical happened. I managed to make my first sale. I sold a guitar to a young boy and his mother. It felt good. Maybe I was going to succeed after all.

Around 1:00 PM in the afternoon, the guitar department was empty. A perfect time to get something to eat. I went downstairs to see Evan and see what he was up to for lunch, only to find Jasper behind the front counter instead.

Jasper: “Hey, you. Get behind the front counter until Evan gets back. He’s grabbing some strings from inventory and when he gets back, he’s going to show you how to man the front counter. His idea, not mine.”

Randy: Jasper started back upstairs to his office and I did what I was told. I just got in position behind the counter when an extremely well dressed Asian man walked through the front door. “Do you sell electric guitars here?” he asked with a bright smile.

He wore a Rolex watch, diamond rings, and I assumed it was his brand new Mercedes Benz parked just outside the door.

“Absolutely,” I replied. “Come with me upstairs to the guitar department, please.”

As he followed close behind me, I got a faint whiff of his cologne. If success had a scent, that had to be it. I was obviously I was in the presence of a class act. I asked him if there was any particular model of guitar he was interested in, and I could tell by his answer that he was an absolute beginner. I suggested he start with a lower priced guitar while he was learning, and if he really liked playing, he could advance to a higher price Fender or Gibson.

He agreed, so I started showing him guitars in the lower price ranges. As I was helping him understand the pros and cons of the different choices before him, Jasper strutted in the room towards us.

Jasper: “I’ve got this, Randy.”


I went back and joined Evan behind the front counter. About ten minutes later, Jasper and the customer came down the stairs carrying a brand new Gibson Les Paul. The man’s eyes were dancing as he pulled out his wallet to pay for the Les Paul. He was obviously excited about his choice, and Jasper convinced him to spend more on a custom hardshell case. Evan rang it all through, placed the guitar in the case and thanked him for his business.

The man smiled a thank you, walked out the door, and loaded his precious new stash into the trunk of his Mercedes.

Jasper: “Come to my office Randy and close the door,” Jasper said with a stern look in his eyes.

Randy: I had a deep feeling of dread flood over me. Here we go again, I thought. He started…


“When a slope in a 3-piece suit drives up in a brand new Mercedes you show him the most expensive guitar on the rack and you tell him he can’t afford it. I’m starting to think you’re pretty much useless at this point. This is strike two. One more and you’re out. Make yourself useful for a change. Go downstairs and mop the floors. Apparently grunt work is all you’re good for.”


Jasper had shown all his colors and all his cards now, and he could tell by the look in my eye exactly what I thought of him.

I left his office and walked downstairs. I took off my vest, rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I started filling a bucket with soap and water and the small utility sink in the back storage area.

Then all of a sudden, I felt dizzy and distorted. Panic was ripping through my body and it felt like I was being sucked down into a black hole.

I leaned against the sink and popped a couple benzos while noticing in the mirror I had broken out a cold sweat. Then I heard Evan’s voice from behind me…

Evan: “Are you okay, Randy? Jasper’s just a dork, man. Don’t let it bum you out. Come out back and we’ll smoke a pin.”


I dropped what I was doing and I followed Evan out to the back alley. After a couple of tokes, Evan suggested we sneak off and grab a sandwich from the delicatessen down the road.

I was shook up from the morning’s events, but the fresh air felt great and the bud and Benzos were quickly taking effect. About an hour and a half later, we started walking back to the store. We had completely lost track of time.

We knew Jasper would be looking for us and livid with our disappearance, but neither of us let on that we cared. When we arrived at the store, there was a service truck parked in Jasper’s VIP only parking spot. Jasper came running out of the store at us, his long blonde hair flowing in all directions, his face beet red with anger.

Jasper: “Where the fuck have you been, you idiot? You flooded my store!”


In my anxious state and drugged up condition, I had left the water running before leaving with Evan for the weed and the walk. For almost 2 hours, water was flooding the band instrument room and even worse, flooding the computer store directly below Jasper’s Elite Music. The computer store was closed for a small renovation and the workers were gone at the time, so no one was there to notice the water pouring down their walls and through their ceiling.

Jasper: “You’re fired. Get off my property, you fucking waste of skin. You’re a loser and a moron. Don’t ever let me see your face again, you pathetic motherfucker.”


And he didn’t.

He never saw my face again.

I called Evan a few days later and asked him to grab my stuff for me. He told me they heard Jasper yelling and throwing stuff around his office after I left, and he didn’t come into work the next day. Apparently, the flood was the cause of a nasty feud between Jasper, the owners of the computer store and the insurance company.

A few months later, early on a foggy Sunday morning, a nearby security camera recorded a rusted white Ford Courier pull into the back alley loading bay of Jasper’s Elite Music.

A dark hooded figure rolled several car tires off the small truck bed and into the building, followed by a five gallon jerry can. Five minutes later, the figure jumped into the truck and drove away. The entire building was engulfed in flames before witnesses could call the fire department. When they finally arrived, it was too late. Nothing could be salvaged. The authorities distributed still images from the security camera footage to all the major media outlets and the television stations, but the truck had no plates, and the perpetrator was never identified.

It turns out that Jasper had a lot of enemies. Some employees were questioned, and, of course, that included your humble narrator, as I was suspected of being disgruntled and in dismay. And it’s true, I despised Jasper.

There have been times I’ve looked back on all this, flattering myself by entertaining the idea that I was some sort of karma delivery boy, sent by the cold hand of fate to provide Jasper with the bitch slapping he so well deserved.

But, my dear listener, we both know that’s bullshit.

I did learn a few valuable lessons from the ordeal, though, and I would like to pass along a few tips for the kids who might be listening in.

One, always quit a job immediately when you discover the boss hates your guts. It’s not worth the hassle, and it never ends well.

Two, if you’re lucky enough to have wealthy parents who can buy you a retail musical equipment store, don’t be an asshole.

And three, most importantly, your high school graduation clothes are only meant to be worn once. When the ceremony is over, give it all to Goodwill or….you know……

Just burn it.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

You can hear Randy open the back room door of the coffee shop, then Randy’s footsteps as he walks to the front of the coffee shop approaching June at the front counter…

June: How did it go, darling?

Randy: I finished it, June.

June: I’ll send the file to my hubby for editing. Do you need a ride home?

Randy: I can walk home. I feel much better now.

June: Okay, Darling. I’ll call your niece to let her know. Take it easy and hope to see it tomorrow.

Randy: Okay, bye. Thanks so much June.

The bell rings on the entrance door as Randy leaves. You can hear the street noises of East Vancouver. Cars, buses, people talking, and Randy’s footsteps as he walks away…

Sound fades away to silence.

Ending notice from young women with a strong Australian accent: You’ve been listening to the Randy Darling podcast. To get the backstory on young and old Randy, June, the coffee shop, locations and answers to frequently asked questions, visit


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