The Origin Of Dick Barnett’s "Fall back, baby!"
In June of 1951, Dick Barnett was on a leisurely stroll amongst the glorious greens and flowing lees of Gary, Indiana. The sky was blanketed with a rich azure blue that cradled the hopes and dreams of that beautiful town. Dick had just recently come from the post office where he received a letter from his sweetie, Ms. Judith Hathwistle of Davenport, Iowa. He carefully opened the letter that smelled faintly of lavender and coneflower.
He was embarrassed to read the letter for the handwriting in it was an unassailable calligraphy that made his own seem like the scribblings done by a blind, left-handed wombat with advanced palsy. He smiled at the thought of such a creature and whether or not Marlin Perkins had ever observed one. Barnett came to the conclusion that there was no such creature and that Marlin Perkins was merely a devilish hoodwinker who only knew that Alpo tasted like muskrat turds.
As he began to read the last paragraph, he felt a shooting pain in his groin area.
"What the dickens!?" Tears were filling his eyes. "My rascal basket! Someone shot me in my rascal basket! Oooh, that smarts something fierce!"
As he crumbled to the ground, he saw the perpetrating projectile: it was a lovely naturally polished stone that was taken from a local creek-bed known for its Chubsuckers and excellent skipping stones. As he reached for the missile, he heard footsteps approaching. He looked up and saw Donnie Wiskell, an expert slingshot marksman and son of Jameson Wiskell, the owner of Fullmont Haberdashery, which specialized in offering custom made fedoras for those with macrocephaly.
"Gee, Mister," Donnie said, "I’m sure sorry about that. I saw one of those kissing bugs making a bee-line for you. I didn’t want you to get bit and get chagas. You’re lucky I was around"
"It doesn’t feel like it," Barnett replied in a pitch two octaves higher than normal.
"Well, yeah, not right now," Donnie retorted, "but if you had been bit, your liver woulda popped out of your pee-hole."
Dick said nothing all the while grumbling in pain.
"Huh," Donnie continued, "that’s gratitude for ya. All I did was keep you from peeing out your internal organs and all you can do is whine about your precious buckshot bag. Well, buddy, I hope you become, in the words of Teddy Roosevelt, a ‘little emasculated mass of inanity’ and spend the rest of your life sounding like a tinny Mario Lanza."
"A simple warning would have sufficed, you know."
Donnie threw up his hands in frustration. "Ah, I’ve had enough of this bunk! I’m getting out of this town. I hear there’s a real swell group of guys that drink coffee and read poetry where they say ‘damn’ and ‘baby’ and ‘daddy-o’ all the time. That’s the bee’s knees if you ask me, fella. I’ve made up my mind. I’m gonna be a beatnik! And if the next time I see you, there’s one of them bugs crawling around you again, I’m not gonna try and kill it. I’m just gonna shout, ‘Damn, daddy-o, you don’t want to be peeing out your pancreas or nothing! You need to step back some. Like, you know, fall back, baby!"
This has been part one in a series entitled "100% True Tales From Knickerbocker History."