SI Vault
Right Name, Wrong Number
Rick Reilly
April 27, 1998
Dennis Rodman is sleeping with a truck driver.
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April 27, 1998

Right Name, Wrong Number

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Dennis Rodman is sleeping with a truck driver.

It's true. Call him up and ask him yourself. He's in the white pages. Dennis Rodman, Wentzville, Mo. He's a short Italian-American housepainter, married to a lady trucker and stuck with a very troublesome name. The other day it took him a half hour to go through the drive-up lane at the bank because the tellers wouldn't give him back his driver's license. They were making photocopies.

At night he's usually home alone, answering calls. "Is your hair purple?" kids will ask. Depends on how messy I've been, he'll say. "Do you have women's clothes in your closet?" Plenty.

You can give Michael Jordan a buzz, too. I did. He'd just given a guy a shot in the mouth and was getting thanked for it. He's the dentist Michael Jordan—one of 13 Michael Jordans listed in Chicago—and you wouldn't believe what he puts up with. The other night he made reservations at a hot new restaurant downtown. When he and his wife got there, the hostess had scratched out his name. "Sorry," she said, "we thought you were kidding." They had a long wait for a table.

One time he went to pick up a bike that Toys R Us had set aside with his name on it. When he showed up, there was a small crowd gathered around the bike, waiting with pens and basketballs. They were a little shocked to see a six-foot white dentist arrive, but they had him sign anyway. Best wishes, Michael Jordan. Who's going to ask?

"Yeah, well," Dr. Michael Jordan says. "I could have been Dr. Charles Manson, I guess."

It gets weird like that. The other day the director of a Little League called Rusty Staub of New Paltz, N.Y., and asked him if he'd mind putting on his old uniform and talking to the kids. "Sorry, I'm not that Rusty Staub," said Rusty Staub, who is owner of a computer store. There was a long pause, and the guy on the other end said, "Could you come anyway? We're desperate."

This Rusty Staub once went to a business lunch with a banker named Calvin Klein and another guy. When they approached the ma�tre d', Rusty Staub said, "We have a reservation. It's either under Rusty Staub or Calvin Klein." The ma�tre d' scratched his haircut, looked at the third guy and said, "Who are you, Joe DiMaggio?"

Don't be silly. Joe DiMaggio lives in Syosset, N.Y., works for TWA and sometimes wishes he'd been born Ralph Smith. He won't even give his full name much anymore "because they look so disappointed when I show up," says Joe DiMaggio. A guy could get a complex.

Joe, you've got to go with it. Ask Larry Mize, a manager in the AT&T office in Atlanta. Twice a month for a year he had to fly to Kansas City, Mo., on business. He'd check in late at night at the same hotel. The first two times the desk clerk got excited and asked, "You're Larry Mize the golfer, right?" Larry Mize the AT&T manager said no. Finally, on the third visit, the same clerk said, "You're Larry Mize, the golfer, right?" Larry Mize was too tired to fight it anymore. "Sure," he said.

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