My Name Is…
By: Ben Dauber
You know their names, but not their stories. This is my story.
Born September 12, 2001, to a nice family in Palo Alto California, Benjamin was a good, innocent kid. However, as we all know from witnessing our parents playing “naked twister” after bedtime, childhood innocence never lasts.
That summer before my sophomore year of high school, I had gone through the simple transition from Benjamin to the obviously cooler “Ben” and things were looking up for me. However, as I walked into Algebra II, I was oblivious to the interlacing strings of fate that would soon lead to my downfall. When my teacher called role, they made the simple mistake of saying “Ben Dover” instead of “Ben Dauber.” Accidents happen, I mean some people “accidentally” live in Nebraska, but as soon as they realize their terrible mistake and atone for their sins it’s all forgiven.
After a quick correction, the teacher and the rest of the class moved on with their life… except for one. That one fateful student turned his head ever so slowly, with the most snide look on his face and uttered the most devastating phrase of the 21st century: “Haha, your name sounds like ‘bend over.’”
I felt like I had just been rammed in the ass by a train. I was gobsmacked, dumbfounded, bewildered, and even flabbergasted. I could feel my entire reality shattering, but I put on a brave face and marched on hoping it was a one time thing. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
To quote Mark Twain, “There is no such thing as a new idea.” At first, I disagreed with this notion. But as more and more of you twats came at me week after week with the same “bend over” jokes, my opinion started to change.
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Binging 10-year-old Smosh videos, and Acceptance. These six stages of grief best represented my journey through this difficult process.
Denial: At first, I fought back. In all my years of living as Benjamin Dauber, I had never once heard anyone pronounce “Dauber” as “Dover.” It didn’t make any sense.
Anger: Next, I looked inwards. I asked myself, “Was this some sort of elaborate prank my parents played on me 20 years ago that was just now coming to fruition? Were they sitting at home laughing their asses off at the prospect of people calling me Ben Dover? If it wasn’t their fault then who’s was it?? God’s?!?!”
Bargaining: I tried to plead with my pursuers and told them that Dauber is actually pronounced like “Daw-Bur” but to no avail. Wasps from either the family Sphecidae or Crabronidae (I know you couldn’t pronounce those in your head, it’s fine I just grabbed them from Wikipedia) are referred to as “Mud Daubers.” Not as “Mud Dovers” It’s clearly spelled the exact the same and while I know the English language is a clusterfuck of pronunciations IT’S NOT THAT FUCKING HARD. I knew Vandy kids weren’t as smart as they thought they were but holy fuck. Get your shit together.
Depression: What was the point in even arguing, it would never make a difference anyways. I tried acting confused and telling people I’ve never heard my name pronounced that way before. I tried to laugh and ignore them and hope they would just leave. Nothing worked. The Abyss is bottomless, but if you stare into it for long enough, it will start to stare back.
Acceptance: Despite failing in all of my attempts to change the public’s pronunciation of my name, I found comfort in knowing that I did everything I could. Like a mutant freak being forced into the sewer system of New Jersey, I started to get used to my new life and even found some benefits. I have been told by several members of The Slant board that, “The only reason we accepted you is because your name sounded like Ben Dover and we thought that was funny.” I am currently in the process of combining my funny-sounding name with my prestigious white privilege to become even more popular and charming than ever before.
Who knows if this curse will ever end. Will I be forced to endure the torment of near complete strangers coming up to me over and over again and laughing at the mere mention of my name? Only time will tell. The only thing that I do know is that if I ever have a daughter, I’m naming her Eileen. Eileen Dauber. Eileen Dover. “I leaned over.” Haha, get it. Yeah…
This curse is everlasting but that doesn’t mean I have to suffer alone. If your name sounds like a sex joke or even if it’s just a stupid last name like Hitchcock or something, rise up. Individually, we are ridiculed, but together we can change this accursed world.
Ben Dover FUCK I mean Ben Dauber