Purgatory/South Buffalo, NY—Well past midnight last Tuesday, as they were working out a bump for Dog Ears Bookstore@688 Abbott Road, Jim Creahan and Mark Barrett, co-hosts of Buffalo’s premier podcast, Licensed To Talk received a visit from the ghost of Jimmy Griffin.
The former four term Mayor of Buffalo, Griffin passed away in 2008 due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease and presently is in the midst of transitioning from purgatory to his next destination. He stumbled upon a portal that led him to the podcast hosts trying to escape Arthur Eve, who never shuts up about former Democratic Party boss Joe Crangle.
The duo recorded the fleeting conversation, while Crehan furiously took notes in his official Ted Nolan Coaching Diary—a gift for his fourteenth birthday in 1997. Crehan can’t seem to throw the diary away and when asked why, he puts up his hand and cuts you off, “ Ted Nolan, best Sabres coach ever—including Imlach.”
As Crehan and Barrett make edits they hear a voice repeat the intro to their show . . .“You want some sexy? What the hell is that?”
The podcast hosts know the voice and look around as they set down their teacups of Jamesons and there in the corner is the misty ghost of James D. Griffin.
“Yeah, who the hell are you? And what is that- you want some sexy stuff?
“I’m Jimbo Crehan and this is Marky Barrett and that’s the intro to our podcast.”
“Jimbo? . . . Marky? . . . Jesus Christ, forty year old guys who go by their kid names. Podcast. . . what’s a podcast?”
“It’s a digital sound recording that people can listen to on their phone or device,” Marky explains.
“Right, I see all you guys plugged into your phones. It doesn’t have anything to do with those bastards at the Buffalo News?”
“The Buffalo New has podcasts, but we got our own hustle going.”
“Hustle?” That’s what black guys say.” The misty ghost makes a waving gesture with his hand, “Sorry . . . sorry, that’s why I’m still here. Impertinent remarks like that.”
“So can we ask you some questions for our podcast?”
“Sure. Just as long as you’re not with the News or any of its reporters like Donn Esmonde. Who the hell spells Don with two n’s anyway?”
“Thank God. Whaddya got?”
Interview excerpt: Licensed To Talk (L2T); Ghost of Jimmy Griffin (GJG).
L2T: Where are you?
GJG: I’m here with you guys.
L2T: No . . . where did you come from to get here now?
GJG: Purgatory . . . I’m going through some sensitivity training for past transgressions like calling the gays- fruits. And for all the jokes I made or laughed at about Pollocks and Jews. Stuff like that.
L2T: How’s that going?
GJG: Well, I feel sort of sorry for the Pollocks . . . Oh, I mean the Polish. I still have some work to do on the Jews.
L2T: What do you think of statue outside of Sahlen’s Field?
GJG: It’s Pilot Field. The statue is terrific aside from the fact I look like I’m doing a yoga move. What am I some downward facing dumbass? And why aren’t there more statues of me? There should be statues of me all over South Buffalo and the rest of the city, handing out six-packs . . . at the airport . . . at the Albright-Knox . . . along the subway. We should be called the City of People Who Know How To Ride Out A Snow Storm.
L2T: Speaking of the subway. Some say that killed downtown.
GJG: Baloney. The subway didn’t do anything that Amazon wasn’t going to do anyway. They should turn the Main Place Mall into apartments with retail and recreation like a liquor store and some basketball courts.
L2T: Developers are doing that everywhere.
GJG: Not the liquor store part. That’s the innovation—the liquor store. Guy takes his last snort of Kessler’s up in his apartment and an elevator ride late he has another bottle. For a small fee, you could probably have someone bring one up.
L2T: What do you think about the breweries popping up all over Western New York?
GJG: Everybody knows how much I liked beer and free enterprise. But watching from purgatory it seems having a glass of beer is complicated business these days. Too complicated. I mean, what’s with all these bullshit IPA’s or putting a lime in a Mexican beer. And, why would anyone want a beer from Mexico anyway? The one that looks pretty good is that Hizzoner beer from Flying Bison.
L2T: How many rounds of golf did Inspection Commissioner, Ray McGurn play while on the clock?
GJG: Listen, McGurn paid full price for his city golf pass and assured me he was thinking about city business while walking to his ball after his drive if it was in the fairway. He was like a five handicap, so he was essentially thinking about his job all the time.
L2T: Marky’s band Aye Karou is reuniting for Porchfest. What do you think about Porchfest?
GJG: Porchfest is terrific. Great summer celebration. Let me ask you guys a question: Does Marky ever get with a girl? I mean, what does Aye Kar . . . Aye Karou even mean? And what kind of girl would get with a grown man named Marky?
L2T: So where did old Parks Commissioner Delaneo bury the money from the eleven-tons of chlorine the parks department bought in the 80’s?
GJG: You sonnofabitches. I thought you were independent. You sound just like those bastards from the News. Well, I’ll tell you this, it didn’t go to siding anyone’s house or for asphalt to pave a friend’s parking lot or to pay a park’s worker to fix my car. Now, excuse me, I have to go listen to ole’ Hamlet on the Hudson, Cuomo talk about why he didn’t run for President in ‘88. And, you know how fun that is…
And, with that the misty Ghost of Jimmy Griffin drifted out a crack in the window frame yelling back, “You should really caulk this shit up Jimbo.”
Listen for this and more as the Ghost of Jimmy Griffin discusses a range of issues, including: Green Lightning, the GooGooDolls being the favorite band of soccer moms everywhere, whether Joanna Gaines’ and Kim Pegula are really sisters and other concerns about the Chinese. All on Licensed To Talk.