Ben Grimm, We
hardly knew Ye
Originally published on September 28, 2002
By Avi Green
There’s a special guest today in the
Lion’s Den, a gold-hearted (and skin colored) giant by the name of
Benjamin Jacob Grimm, also known to many as The Thing from the Fantastic
And among the things that we’ll be discussing here and now are Ben
Grimm’s recently revealed Jewish background. So, let’s begin the
Lexicon Lion: Hi there, Ben! Glad you could make it all the way
over here from New York and the Baxter Building for this
Ben Grimm: Hey man, glad t’be o’ service to ya, Lantzman.
LL: So tell me, what was your early life like?
BG: Well, I’ll have to admit, it’s a bit embarrassin’, a few of the
things I did when I was a kid. My older brother died in a gang fight
when I was 13, and I fell in with some o’ the wrong crowd
afterwards, joining up with the Yancy Street Gang, and eventually
becoming their leader for awhile. And they told me I’d have t’go ‘n
steal from the local pawnbroker Hiram Sheckerberg’s shop in order
LL: They kicked you out later though, didn’t they, when you moved
in with you aunt?
BG: Yeah, they were mad that I was actually goin’ an’ movin’ to
somewhere that’d be farther away from Yancy Street, an’ so they
voted me out. Not that I mind it so much t’day, because that really
wasn’t what I should’ve been doin’ in my youth. I later started
goin’ t’ Temple, a Jewish school in Queens, an’ I guess y’could say
that that really helped give me back faith in th’ Lord.
LL: Has Sheckerberg ever forgiven you for getting on his nerves
BG: Oh yeah, he’s forgiven me, an’ now, you could say that we’re
good friends now. Ah helped him to stop this punk called Powderkeg
who was blackmailin’ him for extra cash between mercenary jobs,
with, b’live it or not, a little help from the current members of
th’ Yancy Street Gang! They don’ like it when other thugs move in on
LL: Great to know. How about if we were to talk about your
becoming the Thing now? So, how did happen exactly?
BG: Well, it’s quite a story, allright. Ah’ve been good friends with
Reed Richards, our leader, since he was in college an’ ah was the
star quarterback. Reed’s a good man, but he can sometahms be a bit
o’ a bonehead, ah hope he doesn’ mind my saying.
After servin’ in th’ air force for a few years, ah learned t’be a
space pilot. Reed then asked me t’help ‘im try out this new rocket
he was testin’, an’ he needed t’do it as soon as possible, because
the guv’ment was goin’ t’cut off th’ fundin’ they were givin’ ‘im.
So me, Reed, Suzie Q and her brother Johnny took off in that
thingamabob of his an’ took to the stars of the galaxy fer testin’
LL: Wow, sounds like even they were trained astronauts!
BG: Yeah, you c’n say something like that. Certainly now after all
the adventures we’ve been havin’ in outer space! We’ve really got
th’ experience now, that’s fer sure, man!
Well anyway, we were hit by a cosmic ray storm while’s bein’ out
there in space, an’ Reed got the power to stretch ‘imself fer miles
(hence, my callin’ im’ “stretcho”), Suzie got the power t’turn
invisible, then t’create force shields with that pretty little mind
o’ hers, Johnny got the power t’look like a Human Torch, which he is
now, an’ as for me, ah got turned inta this big guy made outta
orange, exoskeletal stone sittin’ b’fore ya.
LL: It wasn’t anything great having to live as a man made out of
BG: ‘Course not, but, I learned t’get used to it. An’ it sure didn’t
keep my gal pal at the time, Alicia Masters, from lovin’ me once she
knew about it.
We subsequently formed ourselves th' Fantastic Four an' are
now sworn t'defend th' world from all evil. One such evil is a
certain Victor Von Doom, once a college student at th' NY university
where Reed learned at. He came 'ere from a country in Europe called
Latveria, an' he got 'is face busted up mighty bad from an accident
in th' laboratory in chemistry. He always blamed it on Reed an'
swore he'd get even with him fer causin' that. He also thought that
the whole wide world was preventin' 'im from achieving 'is goals in
life, so 'e started t'travel 'roun the world
LL: You do have the ability now, of course, to change back to
your human form, right? Now that’s something that you’re happy
about, I’m sure. I’m glad. Rogue of the X-Men, on the other hand…
BG: I did, but alas, I lost it a short while ago. Seems it was
makin' my skin crawl in a way that wasn't healthy, in this case, fer
the world. Someday though, I'll get that power back, and without the
bad catch to it.
LL: Really? Sigh. That's sad. Just as you get the very something
you really want, you lose it just as quickly. But it was great to
have it while it still lasted, right?
BG: Oh yeah, it was great t’be able t’turn back inta my good lookin’
human self again when I still had that power, but alas, it's gone
fer now. Ah do agrees with ya though, Avi, it’s really sad that Rogue
can’t touch noone, not even me. I’d give ‘er a big warm hug if ah
could, but fer now, ah can’t. Ah sure hope she can find that Nes
Mehashamayim that she so badly needs soon.
LL: Well, it’s been quite a pleasure interviewing you, Ben.
Anything else you might want to say before we conclude?
BG: Yeah, it’s that everybody can be very special if they try hard,
an’ that they can be an inspiration t’this ‘ere world of ours if
they keep tryin’.
Now, it’s time t’get back t’work with the rest o’ my partners in
business at th’ Baxter Buildin’. Ah b’lieve that our ol’ enemy
Doctor Doom is tryin’ t’take control o’ th’ world again. Guess that
means that… IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME! See ya after the fight, pal! Oh,
an' Mazel Tov an' a Shana Tova t'everyone!
Avi Green, whose skin is most definitely not green in spite of
the name, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2002 Avi Green. All rights reserved.