SPARK PLUG OF THE MONTH
Dayton Daily News & Radio’s ‘Joe’s
Benny Bennett and his one-lung Doodle-Bugalways a familiar sight
as he puttered his way up and down village streets on his campaign
in behalf of the venerable green bean.
This story is in eternal memory of one plucky little Spark Plug
of the Month. The indomitable though diminutive Benny Bennett who,
despite the deformity of his humped shoulders and curvature of the
spine, nevertheless faced up to the demanding rigors of making a
living and keeping the wolf from his door by the power of his
one-lung, one-horse doodlebug from which he dispensed the provender
of his garden up and down the village streets.
It was bean-picking time and Benny Bennett was right in the
thick of things, bean-wise, providing the town tables with those
long, stringless green pods of rich, brown beans that always taste
so good from Mom’s big bean pot.
And just as soon as he could pluck a couple of big basketfuls of
his lucious well-filled bean pods he’d h’ist ’em up
into the bed of his doodle-bug and take off.
But wait a minute. Before Benny Bennett could peddle his beans,
he’d always have to drop by the filling station up the street
and load up with a tank full of ‘petrol’ for to do his
peddling. For Benny Bennett’s ‘bug’ was always a heavy
drinker had a mighty appetite and if he was going to patrol the
streets of Union City-town with his one-cylinder
‘bean-dispenser’, and get smooth spark-plug performance,
well he always had to satisfy its mighty lust for internal
‘Fill ‘er up,’ he’d always yell thundering in on
all of one mighty cylinder and fetching his snorting, sputtering
steed to a grinding halt hard by the filling station pumps.
‘One pint, two pints, ‘the gas-pump indicator kept
climbing ‘It’s just passed three pints and is running for
four’ as the force of the petrol stream, brought under control,
dwindles to a mere trickle, thence tapers off to that final drop or
For Benny Bennet’s mighty ‘bug’ only held half a
gallon at best and it was mighty easy to run over ‘specially if
Benny’s ‘bug’ might still have had a cupful or two
already in the bottom when he chanced to slide in for a complete
Having applied the rope starter and, with a few yanks, coaxed
his mighty ‘bug’ into starting once again, Spark-Plug, Bean
Dispenser, Benny Bennett would clamber aboard his driver’s seat
and crack wide the throttle sending him on his ‘bean
peddling’ expedition up and down every street and through every
alley with the mission of ‘filling every bean-pot in town’
ringing in his heart.
First it was down Union St., left up Division, thence right at
Columbia and his theme song was, ‘Beans, beans, beans,’ all
the way ‘long.
And the more he sold, the more he seemed to have for, like the
cruze of oil which the Lord kept filling up for the penniless widow
back in the Bible days of old, so Benny Bennett’s bean-dipper
never quite seemed to scrape bottom, though he peddled and scraped
beans all the day long.
All around folks could hear the purring of Benny Bennett’s
mighty little bean chariot either coming or going until every
bean-pot in town was simmering with fresh green beans for the next
week or so.
During which time Benny was always mighty busy, harvesting the
next crop of beans which he methodically loaded up into the rear of
his ‘doodle’ for a repeat performance of his town-wide,
street by street campaign in behalf of the green bean.
And when the last and final bean had been plucked from
Benny’s back-yard bean patch what then did fate hold for the
indomitable Benny Bennett and his ‘doodle-bug’? Did they
merely hibernate till next year’s bean crop sent them, once
again, in locomotion up and down the village streets?
No not by the sweat on his one-lung doodle-bug spark-plug, did
Benny and his ‘bug’ find time a-wasting on their hands.
For when Benny Bennett’s bean-patch gave up the ghost at
bean season’s end, he’d just belt up his one-lung
doodle-bug to his woodshed saw and lathe spending the long winter
months at making pint-sized chairs and furniture, for the
neighborhood kids to ‘play house’ with.
Yep Benny Bennett was always on the go with something to do till
bean time rolled ’round once again, sending him and his
‘doodle’ green-beaning all over the town.
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