Finally, there was a break in the madness. A week at home in Cardiff by the Sea (North County San Diego) with no commitments, games, or pressure. I basically had just a few things on my agenda: I wanted to spend time with the fam, explore our local dive bar scene, and work my high school basketball camp for some extra cheese. Plus, I was driving a hearse all week as my transportation. Pretty much all the ingredients necessary for a crazy week.
Working bball camp is always cool for a couple reasons. For one, I get paid and it saves me from having to write the “Will work for fude. Anytheeng will help” sign I’ve come so close to writing before. That friday when the paychecks come is one of the most miraculous days of the year. James Rahon (found a way to get you in, buddy) and I got a little bonus money for running the “Team Offense” station. Half the time we just let the kids literally run around in circles and play tag, all James’ fault, obviously. I figure coach Olive could pay me a little more, because the program funding appears to be just fine:
Best high school locker room ever
Another cool thing about camp is, of course, the kids. My kids won the championship this year, like they do every year. The youngest ones tried to tackle me again, like they do every year. The whole camp chanted “Dunk it! Dunk it! Dunk it!”, they do every year. There was one difference this year, however. The kids really wanted to know who I played for. I wore a Grizzlies shirt the first day, so they all asked if I played for them. My team even voted to have our team name be “Memphis.” The second day I wore a Bucks shirt and they called me traitors. One girl went home and googled me to find out everything she could about me. Kinda cool, except she stumbled upon toomuchrodbenson.com and did a lot of reading. Hopefully she got bored before she saw the good stuff.
The last cool thing about camp is the parents. They are usually awesome and love me. My favorite parent is Andy Ashby. He is a legendary pitcher in my mind and it’s tight when he comes and watched me do anything. Andy Ashby could watch me clean toilets and I’d feel good about myself. This year there was another parent who I immediately moved to #2 on my parental depth chart. Basically, the only reason this parent is #2 is because she is an absolute MILF. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve seen a better MILF ever in my life. I wanted to somehow take a picture so the world could see how hot this MILF was. She would come everyday to pick up her sons wearing these tank tops and wife beaters everyday — teasing me on purpose, no doubt. Day two I got a pretty solid look from her. Day 3 I got a smile. Day 4 I got one of those “my head is facing left, but my eyes are staring right, right at Rod Benson” looks. I could not get a good look at her left hand to save my life. I couldn’t tell if she was married or not. I got close one time, but she had her dog leash wrapped around her left hand — teasing me on purpose, no doubt. One night while falling asleep, I had a bright Idea to ask one of her kids if his daddy ever picks him up, but when I woke up I thought that was ridiculous. I guess she will always be that mom. The mysterious mom just teasing away.
Dive Bar Circuit:
In Cardiff, there is a bar called Yogi’s and in Del Mar there is one called Jimmy O’s. Both owned by the same guys, they’ve always been the local spots where people go to enjoy themselves after a hard days work, or after surfing for hours, or when returning home from college. They also tend to have plenty of women in goofy, yet expensive, hats who are coming straight from the racetrack.
So anyways, tuesday is karaoke night at Jimmy O’s, so we went there. It doesn’t really feel like a karaoke atmosphere there though, because the place is packed, and nobody sings along with any of the amateur vocalists on the upper deck. It’s basically like a one room dance hall with all the kids I went to high school with — my 5 year reunion I guess. A lot of people don’t know that I was one of 5 black students to spend all 4 years at Torrey Pines high school, and that is out of 3200…but I digress.
I had a serious problem with karaoke night. I had an epiphany of sorts. I decided that certain songs just should never be done at karaoke. I mean, obviously nobody should attempt Whitney Houston’s Bodyguard song without expecting a Simon Cowell like reaction from me. Heck, I might walk right up and say “You are not going to Hollywood.” That’s a different story altogether. I decided that there are certain songs you cant sing at karaoke because it’s cheating. These cheaty McCheaters out there are taking the easy way out when they do certain songs. Why is it cheating? Because everyone at the bar knows every word to the song. You don’t need a coddamn mic to get 200 drunken people at a dive bar to sing these songs together in unison. I actually got kind of angry when these songs were selected. The guys on stage didn’t even sing half the words, they just held the mic in the air like Brett Michaels might do if he was performing. I am calling for an outright elimination of these songs from karaoke. The worst that could happen is we get better competition and newer musical selection at these places. Maybe cheater songs are what make dive bar karaoke what it is, but I still must try. They are all great songs, but if you chose them during karaoke, you obviously have no self esteem. I composed a top 5 list of songs that should not ever be sung at a karaoke bar, in order:
5: Party Like It’s 1999
It’s 2007. The party is over, cheater.
4: Sweet Child ‘O Mine
So the intro to this song is pretty sweet, but seriously, how many days a week can you hear this song? Where are you karaoke ethics.
3: Jack and Diane
Oh, she said karaoke goes onnn, even after the thrill of singin it’s gone. Keep cheating with this one.
2: Pour Some Sugar on Me
This song might be #1 on a lot people’s lists. If not for the easy-as-hell lyrics, then for the way women will yell them at the top of their lungs. This is a song that gets all the screams from the girls whenever it comes out and your cheating ass wants to karaoke it? Not cool in my book.
1: Journey – Dont Stop Believing
Clearly the #1 song on this list. People know every single word of this song. The bartenders stop serving drinks, the fights break themselves up, Osama and George Bush put their arms over each other and start belting the lyrics. I swear if you are in line outside waiting to get in, you have no choice but to start yelling out “Just a city boy, growin up in south Detrooooooiitt!” It’s the only song people have free permission to sing louder than “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” Using this song for karaoke is just unfair. I get that it takes balls to get up on stage in front of all of your drunken friends and sing like you’re in the shower, but it takes no balls to sing this song. Everyone will help you sing it so it doesn’t matter. In fact, I dare any of you who read this to try doing a karaoke night, anywhere in the U.S. Select this song. Then, right before you begin, tell everyone in the bar not to sing along. Tell them that you want to show your vocal range on this one and they can just listen to your beautiful voice make magic on the microphone. You might, nay, will get beat up, and a group of rugby players will tag team that bad boy with the help of the entire bar. Coddamn cheaters.
Back to the Dive Bars…
Yogi’s was where we went the next night because it was opening day at the horse races. I was there with my boys Tommy, Kelly, some girl Kelly knew, and Matt (different that Vegas Matt). I decided to be the driver tonight so I didn’t partake in the alcoholic festivities, but I still watched the action as my friends got into it. Tommy can drink ridiculous amounts, so I kept buying him triple and quadruple shots of tequila, because he kept saying that he wasnt feeling it. In the midst of all of this, I glance over, and Kareem Rush is over there just chillin. I wonder if he knows I’m the best player to ever come out of Cardiff? Anyways, this girl in that Kelly brought starts talking all crazy. “I can out drink all of you”, she says. I let her know that there is no way she can keep up with any of us…it’s impossible, Tommy and kelly booth outweigh me by at least 50lbs, and she weighed maybe 120.
Kelly and Tommy at Yogi’s.
Anyways, she starts matching the drinks that I buy for Tommy. I mean she is seriously taking these big time shots and acting like it’s nothing. Well, as I expected, she ends up just ridiculously drunk. Trouble is, SHE drove herself. Tommy and Kelly decide to taxi home early, so now it’s just me and her. As the sober one, I offer to drive her home. We go outside and her car is in valet. Of course, she can’t find her ticket. The guy says: “What kind of car is it?” She replies: “I have an Acura.” He then asks her to describe the keychain. I can see the keychain he’s holding behind his back. It has a teddy bear linked to it some how. She says back to him “I have an Acura, just give me my Acura.” I stop her and say “Look, what is on your keychain that will identify your keys and help this man do his job?” She replies “Can I just have my Acura?”
She keeps up the whole Acura thing for like 3 minutes. It’s incredibly annoying. The guy is frustrated and basically just goes through her glove compartment to find something her name on it so that we can get out of there. He tosses me the keys and I get to driving.
“Where do you live?” I ask her. I’m pretty sure her answer was “shednjdsst.” I ask her again. “Where do you live?” She get’s a little clearer, but it still sounds like “clegsisshme.” I pull the car over and ask a third time. “Where do you live?” I swear this was her answer: “Craigslist.”
I look over at her and say “Ok, seriously. Focus up here. Where do you live?” That’s when she got angry with me. She starts cussing and yelling. “I told you muther@@@$er! I live at Craigslist!” “You clearly have a real address that is not use on internet explorer,” I say back, “now where do you live?” She then calms down a bit. Finally I’m going to get a real answer. She says “L.A. Fitness. I live at L.A. Fitness.” (L.A. Fitness is like 24 hour fitness) I am incredibly frustrated now. I say “One last time, where do you live?” Her calm goes away. “I told you. I keep telling you mutherf&%$er! F*^k! I live at Craigslist!”
I pick up my phone and call Kelly. “Kelly,” I say into my phone, “this is over. This is your friend, I;m taking her to your house. You figure out what to do with her.” After I get off the phone with Kelly, I notice that she is passed out. My focus turns from her and turns toward getting to Kelly’s house. I was almost there when I saw a McDonalds. I was ridiculously hungry, so I got in the drive through. I ordered a 10 piece all-white-meat McNugget meal. The woman on the speaker says “Anything else?” I say “Nope” and pull ahead. I begin to think that maybe this girl wants some food. I turn and look over at her, and I realize that should have been paying attention. I hadn’t even looked at her since she passed out because I was on the phone with other people telling them what was going on. I can’t believe my eyes, but it’s true, the girl has for some reason gotten out of her clothes and is now naked in the passenger seat of her car and is just playing there passed out.
Here I am, about to go pay for and get my food from the drive through window and there is a naked, passed out woman in the other seat. I’ve got to get my food from the drive through and somehow not look like the black guy to drugged a white girl and stole her car. I roll the window down a total of 6 inches to pay for my food. At the same time, I turn my back to the woman behind the McDonalds window, probably raising suspicion, but also covering up what was going on in the seat next to me. The woman takes the money and goes back to get my food ready. That is when I violently begin to try to wake this girl up and tell her to put her coddamn clothes back on. She is un-reponsive. The woman returns with my 42 ounce soda, of which 4 ounces spill on my lap as I work it through the 6 inches of open window space. I get my food, back to the lady, and drive to Kelly’s house. When Kelly sees what has happened, he can’t believe it. I say to him “Mann this girl is crazy, she kept talkin about craigslist and whatnot, then get takes her clothes off for no reason.” He says “Yea, it aint the first time. Give me her keys.” I toss him the keys and go to bed. I have told this story to all of my close friends and none of them can believe it. But you know what? I can believe it, because crazy things like this seem to always happen around me. Plus, Kelly says he has hooked up with this girl, so I know she’s crazy. I should refrain from the driver role next time. I bet people who are designated drivers see alot of things they were never meant to see.