The Unvarnished Truth About How I (not TB) Got Famous One Time

Quote of the Day:

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” –Napoleon Bonaparte

From the age of 6 up through 16, this guy …..

….was a pretty dang good baseball player. After that, well, lets just say I needed my education. But that’s not the point.

Like any former athlete, be they a Hall of Famer or simply a neighborhood menace, TB loves to relive the glory days. Hell, I even like to relive my asshole runnin’ buddies’ glory days; we have to like each others’ old tales of courage and heroism because no one else really wants to hear them. And what’s a story without the tellin’?

And so it happened that one night a long, long time ago that TB, BR, Smily, Rob and maybe somebody else were out ridin’ around with the windows down one summer night. We were talking about how good Perk’s Juco baseball team was that several of my ARB’s, including BR and Rob, were playing for. At some point in the conversation somebody decided to make ol’ TB feel good and said something of my childhood exploits on the diamond, comparing me favorably to some other really good ballplayers who were still on the ascending side of “the hill”. I was pretty much sittin’ back by the cooler with a grin on my mug thinkin ’bout how much I loved these guys, especially when pretty much all of them chimed in sincerely with something good. Of course, there was a small undercurrent of discomfiture because as anyone knows ARB’s don’t make a habit out of saying nice things about one another. We’d come all the way down Beach Boulevard, turned around at the Point and were heading back up Market when I decided to join in, cut things off and agree that, you know, they were right. I’d been damn good back in the day.

At the precise moment I spoke a car passed us on Market and as luck would have it their windows were down too. Must’ve been a nice night. We all heard, clear as day, one of them call out “You’re DAMNNNNNNNNNNNN RIGHT!” Of course, the dude wasn’t talking to us, probably didn’t even notice us. TB, to lighten the mood and to get everyone to laugh off the emotional awkwardness of such a heartfelt ARB conversation, said, “Did you hear that? I AM Famous. That guy just said “there goes BENNNNNNNNNNNN WHITE!” Well, that lightened the mood alright. Everybody “thought” (I’ll never be sure if they really did/do or not) that I really believed this stranger said “Ben White” instead of “Damn Right”. After a good quarter hour of TB love, my ARB’s made up for it by laughing and mocking me unfairly and mercilessly for the next hour over my poor hearing and inflated ego. So be it, it was worth it to hear all those nice things. And that was the end of it.

Except that was not the end of it. When I next came home from college for a night out with the boys I was introduced to one of their buddies from some other town on the Coast. His eyes lit up when we met. “You’re BEN DAMN WHITE!” I was confused. Everybody else was laughing their ass off. As we moved around that night from bar to bar I got the same reaction. Then I started hearing people across the room who’d not even known I was there saying it. At the pool table somebody asked their opponent if they wanted to bet a beer on the next game. “You’re Ben Damn White,” came the reply. A dude asked a girl if she wanted to go out to the car to look for something he left and she said “you’rebendamnwhite.” On and on it went. My friends, lifelong pals, bosom buddies, ARB’s, had turned our moment of genuine male bonding into a catchphrase that had taken hold over a radius of two hundred miles outward from Perkinston, Mississippi. For years I heard “you’rebendamnwhite” all across the coast and north to Hattiesburg, from people who had no idea why they were saying it, still do occasionally, all because I tried to be a stand up guy and get everyone to move on by injecting a little reverse self deprecating humor. In fact, that’s what inspired me to tell the tale, I got a “Bendamnwhite” on Facebook today. And you’ve been wondering, I bet, why I call them my asshole runnin buddies. I hate those dudes.

But they could all play some dang good ball, I ain’t gonna lie.

Bonus QOTD

When you are young you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you get old you get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.” Casey Stengel

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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19 Responses to The Unvarnished Truth About How I (not TB) Got Famous One Time

  1. br says:

    When i was at Ole Miss a few weeks watching the game i actually thought about the BDW thing.
    I was thinking it would have been pretty cool
    if the whole crowd would have said Bean White
    instead of Damn Right during the Hotty Toddy

  2. calicobebeop says:

    Awesome. Gotta luv the running joke. Makes a person feel all warm and fuzzy. Or, possibly just annoyed. 🙂

  3. ZEEK says:

    BR- please do not desecrate such a holy hymn with even the mention of adding a well known Bulldog supporter/alum’s name into Hotty Toddy. I have to go throw up now.

  4. Fish says:

    Great story…As you know I grew up 7-8 years behind ya’ll and it just so happens Rob and I are cousins. I totally understand the running jokes because they don’t let’em die (nor should they).

  5. Fish says:

    I once accidentally shot a .38 at the pawn shop (inside the store) Rob and I were working at when I was home from college. Funny thing is there was a guy named Frank who was counting money in the back of the store when he heard the shot and he came around the corner and yelled, “you messed my count up”.
    Yep, everytime we saw that guy from then on EVERYONE would remind him by saying, “you messed my count up”.

    Maybe it’s only funny if you were there but damn it still makes me laugh.

  6. Fish says:

    Remember this one? Chriiis, heeelp meee uuup!

  7. While I am older than you (and thus much wiser with a greater perspective), we’ve led somewhat parallel lives. In fact, this post kicked in about 1000 memories — some about my athletic prowess years and years ago and others about all the fun times I’ve had with ARBs. I’ve been meaning to write about old times, the glory years, and life changes, but I’m too lazy. My only blogging now is commenting on your blog. Yeah, I know, “lucky you.” You’re welcome.

  8. BR says:

    fish, i do remember and i appreciate the help.

    To all: did you know that Smileyj played High School Baseball! ( TB will have to tell that story
    one day.)

  9. Smilyj says:

    I know the feeling. By the way, I used to play high school baseball.

  10. Jessie Lou says:

    Now that is a good story – even at this ungodly hour.

  11. Puddin Head says:

    I remmember one time Not at band camp ,but at the old hang out Krazy Cajuns me,Smily,and Ben Damn White was walking in the front door and Ben Damn White threw Smily face first on the ground,and then stood above Smily taunting him yelling”I ain’t even mad” “I ain’t even mad”

  12. Puddin Head says:

    Yea Fish I remember that line from BR, but you failed to mention he asked you not to tell anyone

  13. I put the diamond cutter on him. Can’t remember why. Smily was pickin gravel out of his face for an hour.

  14. Jessie Lou says:

    And ya’ll still loooovvvvvve each other. Very sweet and confusing all at the same time.

  15. smilyj says:

    That was a totally unprovoked and cowardly attack from behind! It was like a hit and run or something. And he was overly proud of himself the rest of the night. I guess when you get the drop on Smilyj, (very rare indeed) you have to gloat a little. I’ve plotted my revenge ever since.

  16. Fish says:

    Puddin Head,
    I think there should be a time limit to where you no longer have to keep CERTAIN things quiet. Or, if it can bring a smile to someone’s face. Let’s see, that was 12-13 years ago and I can still see the fall plain as day.

  17. Puddin Head says:

    Weasel I was reffering when he asked you not to tell anyone the night that it happened. ” Chriiss heelp mee up pleassse annd donttt tell anyone. “Seriouslly”

  18. larry says:

    What?! What?! What?! Puddin Head running through the marsh grass at the Hut circa 1987.

  19. Harmony says:

    Gotta love those love/hate relationships. They’re always made of gold, BDW!

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