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The One-Ben Awards August 30, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben loves awards. I love getting awards, like the Thinking Blogger Award our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders just received for our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac. I hope to win many more awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Nobel Prize or two, and the lottery. (Silence gives me endless grief for this, but our friend Ben remains an optimist. I say, why not? Somebody has to win, so why shouldn’t it be our friend Ben?) And I also love to give awards.

This is where the One-Ben Awards come into play. What are One-Ben Awards, you ask? They are simply acknowledgments by our friend Ben that something, or someone, is one of the best in its or their class. When I write my “Ben Picks Ten” posts, the top ten in any category, be they geniuses, Southern comfort foods, reggae artists, pirates, or inventions we need, automatically qualify for One-Ben Awards. But the awards can also be randomly handed out at our friend Ben’s discretion.

Admittedly, no monetary prize, press release, or blog award device for the winners is involved. But, since only our friend Ben can give out One-Ben Awards, at least recipients don’t have to agonize about passing them along, running three times around the room while tying their shoes and shouting “Huzzah!” backwards, or participating in a “meme,” whatever the hell that is. (And don’t think our friend Ben is about to hand out awards to people who use words like “meme” that nobody understands unless they happen to own a Scrabble dictionary.) Besides, it’s fun.

Here are some examples of categories and One-Ben Award recipients:

Places I’ve never been (but want to go). So many places, so little travel money. Currently at the top of our friend Ben’s “someday” list, the following places are conditional One-Ben Award winners. (If I ever do manage to actually go, and a place falls short of expectations, it will be ruthlessly culled from the list and stripped of its award.) Normandy: Our friend Ben’s ancestors lived in Normandy until they went Channel-hopping with Duke William and ended up in England. I’ve always felt an affinity for the old home place. Key West: Everyone from Hemingway to Jimmy Buffett and our friend Norman has loved Key West. Our friend Ben would like to go there and see why. Morocco: Our friend Ben would go for the food alone. Nova Scotia: It just sounds so beautiful. A summer getaway with the ocean but without heat and humidity. Aaaahhh!

Customer-conscious companies. Our friend Ben hates those horrible white tags that clothing and houseware companies feel compelled to affix to every piece of clothing, towel, washrag, bathmat, and etc.etc. to drive us all insane. It’s impossible to walk into the bathroom without being confronted with a white tag sticking out of the bath mat (no matter how many times you tuck it back in) or towel, making all of us look like the Minnie Pearls of home decor. Tags digging into your neck, side, or backside from shirts, underwear, and the like (Silence points out that bras are special offenders here) are ongoing miseries. And if you try to cut them off, unless you want to slice open the actual garment or towel along with them, you inevitably leave an inexplicably razor-sharp stub that slices your skin at every move. Yowch!!! Companies like Faded Glory and Victoria’s Secret that print their info inside their garments rather than tagging them get a One-Ben Award for (finally) putting the customer’s comfort first.

Fun festivals. Our friend Ben and Silence love to go to small, colorful theme festivals, especially when they’re relatively local. If the weather’s good, we can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend afternoon. Our favorites get One-Ben Awards for giving us so much pleasure. The Bowers Chile Pepper Festival: Coming up next weekend in tiny Bowers, PA, this festival is big in terms of flavor and fun. You can enjoy one-stop shopping for every kind of hot fresh and dried pepper and hot pepper mix on earth, salsas, hot sauces, hot pickles and relish, and pepper-themed foods of all sorts, as well as pepper-themed crafts, ristras and wreaths, and high-quality clothing, jewelry, crafts and exotica that transcend the pepper theme. Small but mighty! A can’t-miss. Celtic Festivals: Silence and our friend Ben love our local Celtic festivals, especially the Scottish-Irish Festival in Green Lane, PA, coming next weekend (Sept. 5-7) and the Celtic Classic in Bethlehem, PA, at the end of September (Sept. 26-28). Maybe it’s our Scottish and Irish blood, but we love the Highland games (especially the caber toss), pipe band competitions, glorious Celtic music, crafts, and Border collie trials. (Silence says that men in kilts are also a big draw. Go away, Silence.) The Kutztown Folk Festival: A celebration of the old Pennsylvania Dutch (aka Deitsch, German) life, food, and crafts in early June every year. Silence and I are heading up to the Poconos later today for the Pocono Garlic Festival. This will be our first time at the festival, being held at Shawnee just outside of East Stroudsburg, PA, today and Sunday, so we’ll see if it deserves a One-Ben Award. We’ll keep you posted!

See, it’s fun, isn’t it? If you’re of one mind with our friend Ben, I suggest that you set up your own awards. Or wait ’til you get one of mine! Like the MacArthur nominators, our friend Ben is out there, watching and evaluating. You just never know when your name will appear in lights (or, it would appear in lights if our friend Ben weren’t too much of a Luddite to work out the illumination). Meanwhile, if you have people, places, things, or categories that merit our friend Ben’s attention for One-Ben Awards, please let me know. I’ll be happy to check ’em out!



1. Krys - August 30, 2008

Ah, Friend Ben, do consider giving the clothing co’s which print their info on their product TWO One-Ben Awards. Surely their leadership in preventing cruelty to clothing-wearing humans deserves an extra-special acknowledgment!


Yes! “Preventing cruelty to clothing-wearing humans”! Love it! Now, if there were just some way to prevent cruelty to shoe-wearing humans…

2. Cinj - August 30, 2008

White tags? Isn’t that why God had someone invent scissors? (Okay, I can’t spell today. Hmm, maybe I should go buy a scrabble dictionary I bet that could be worth a few points!)

I must say that I enjoy awards too. I’ve been trying to think of an award to give out that hasn’t been done yet, but I haven’t really had much of a chance. I DO like your description of trying to post the awards too. Some of them are an awful lot of work.

I must also admit that a lottery win sure would be nice. It’s nice to buy a dream for a day or two and all it cost me was $1!

I totally agree, Cinj! I always say that the lottery is the cheapest form of hope. I don’t know anything else that can give you so much anticipatory pleasure for just $1! Now, you just need to create your own award…

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