Volume 35, Number 12, December 2000


I picked it up as it finished its second full ring. But before I could utter a word, his haunting voice began to speak.

"Hey Hill, what's shaking?"

That he doesn't call often is a good thing; that he calls at all is a bad thing. He's unpredictable ... he's irrational ... he's even a bit scary ... he's Jungle Jim Bruney. And to those of us who know him from the "old days" on the west side, nothing else really needs to be said.

"Not much, Jungle Jim. What can I do for you?"

"Well Hill, I'm glad you asked. You see, I was talking to my cousin Jeff from Ohio ... the one in the auto glass business ... and he was telling me that he reads your column every month in USGlass."

"What cousin Jeff?"

"Hill, you remember my cousin Jeff. He's the one who married my other cousin Beth.

"Oh sure, now I remember. Did they ever have any kids?"

"Yeah, they had kids. But I don't want to talk about it."

"OK then, Jungle Jim. What do you want to talk about?"

"Well Hill, I need a favor. You see, cousin Jeff from Ohio--who is in the auto glass business--feels like he and the rest of the small independent auto glass guys are being treated like second class citizens. They feel like nobody is paying attention to them and their plight. You know how they keep getting squeezed by the insurance guys, the suppliers, the networks and everybody else that comes along. So I told my cousin Jeff that me and you were real tight and that I'd get you to put together one of your little holiday jingles to let people know that times aren't what they used to be for some of these guys."

"And what if I say 'no' to this request of yours?"

"Well Hill, who starts your car for you in the morning?"

"I do ... why?"

"Cause if you don't do a little jingle in honor of my cousin Jeff, you ain't gonna want to start your own car ever again. You get my 'drift' Hill?

As previously mentioned, he's unpredictable ... he's irrational ... he's even a bit scary ... the jingle



(sung or chanted to the popular carol of the similar name:)

Kings of auto glass, that's what we be;

Working so cheap, it might as
well be free;

Through snow and rain, in health

and pain;

What's to become of me?



Glass so pretty, glass so nice;

Glass so wondrous, will entice;

Wallets bleeding, loved ones

Lead us to a better price.

(People from Ohio sing
louder now.

Tried to raise prices, networks
said no;

They just keep asking, how low
can you go?

Profits are dipping, morale is

As older each day I grow.


(Repeat chorus now.)

Squeezed like a grapefruit, times are so sad;

Payments are slow and prices are bad;

It's such a fright, with no end in sight;

I long for the good times we had.


(Repeat chorus again.)

So there you have it Jungle Jim. And please wish cousins Jeff and Beth a very happy New Year ... and stay away from my car. n