Ben Stern Once Had His Pocket Picked on a Bus and Got Pummeled on a Train

Howard's father also opens up about the time he got into a knife fight

March 24, 2010
Photo: iStock

In reference to a few stories Howard had tried to recall earlier, Ben Stern called in to tell the crew about the time he fought with a pickpocket while taking a bus across town.

“It was a 3-man scam,” Ben said. “There’s one guy in the back of the bus … and two other guys were outside the bus hitting the window and so forth.”

When the bus came to a halt, a passenger shoved him forward—and Ben felt something more than a push. Ben knew what was up. “I grabbed this guy around and I started to frisk him,” he recalled. “He looked like a regular guy with a suit and so forth and so on. And then I looked down on the floor. There’s the wallet.”

Ben snapped his wallet from the floor and left immediately. “I walked out backwards so the guy didn’t attack me,” he said.

Ben then addressed the listeners: “Never keep your wallet in your back pocket.”

Howard’s dad went on to say the first fight he’d ever been in was a knife fight. “We were street kids. I lived in the street. So I got in a fight with this guy and he took out a pen knife. And to defend myself I kicked him in the arm where he was–where he was holding the knife,” he recalled.

Ben said he went on to beat a guy at Temple: “We got into some kind of discussion or something and he decided that, you know, he was going to take me on and I punched him once or twice and that was the end of it.”

Ben also told the crew about getting tipsy at an office party and taking the train home next to some guy who asked him if he was Jewish or Irish. Ben said he began to prepare for fisticuffs: “I started to put my gloves on my hand. The next thing I knew I was on the floor of the Long Island Railroad and this guy is pummeling me.”

When Ben arrived home bloodied, bruised, and button-less, Ray Stern was too into her Mahjong game to hear the story. “Please, I’m busy now!” he recalled her saying.

Ben promised to call with more fight stories soon: “If I get anything more exciting.”