As it turns out, “Jeff Kay” made it easy on ’em. And here’s a rundown of the main super-creative crap that was heaped upon me, for most of my public school career. Bravo, assholes. Bravo!
When I was a kid, Kmart was a big deal. It was incredibly popular, and basically what Walmart is today. On weekends the parking lots would be so crowded they probably should’ve provided a shuttle service.
But in the kid world Kmart was a joke. “Where’d your mom get that shirt, Kmart?” was a put-down. And when somebody would show up wearing some non-approved brand of sneakers, they were immediately dubbed “Kmart dobies.” It’s what they called uncool shoes at our school: dobies. I have a feeling it might’ve been a regional word, but am not sure.
Also, there were a lot of jokes about Kmart’s “blue light specials.” Remember those? They had rolling carts, with a long pole attached, and a blue flashing light at the top? Occasionally an over-caffeinated person would shout over the PA system: “Attention Kmart shoppers! For the next ten minutes only, in the mortification aisle, we’re having a blue light special on anti-fungal power-douche tampons for the male penis! Don’t miss out on the savings!”
So, regardless of the hold Kmart obviously had on adults… it was nothing but a joke to us kids. And, needless to say, I was called Jeff Kmart roughly a million times between the ages of 9 and 17. Ahhh… such pleasant memories.
In my hometown there used to be a shitty fast food restaurant, called Kenny’s. I think it was part of a small chain, and they could never really figure out what they were doing. They sold burgers and stuff, like McDonald’s. But also fried chicken, and possibly roast beef sandwiches. I don’t really have a clear memory of it, except that it sucked ass.
One thing I do remember, though: their signature burger — their Big Mac — was called the K Burger. So, I got a lot of that, too. “Hey look, here comes K Burger.”
Yes, I went to school with some world-class wits. Basically, it was like the Algonquin Round Table, in the streets of Dunbar, West Virginia every day.
Burger Chef & Jeff
Burger Chef is a defunct fast food chain that wasn’t nearly as horrible as Kenny’s. I actually kinda liked it. I remember they had a “works bar,” where you could add whatever you wanted to your burger. That was some nifty stuff in 1974.
But their mascots, or whatever, were cartoon characters called Burger Chef and Jeff. Burger Chef looked a little like the Quaker Oats dude, and was always accompanied by a young boy (in a matching chef uniform, with scarf), named Jeff. I’m not sure about their relationship. Forbidden love? It’s probably best not to speculate.
Here’s an old TV commercial, that’ll give you a general idea about the whole Burger Chef and Jeff thing.
And since my name is Jeff… Good stuff.
K (as in strikeout)
While keeping score in baseball, a strikeout is recorded as a K. I don’t know why. I could Google it, I guess, but don’t have that much energy. Or interest. If I remember correctly, it takes three strokes o’ the pencil to write a K, and three strikes yer out… Something to do with that.
In any case, baseball announcers use “K” interchangeably with “strikeout.” They say things like, “Last two times up, Morgan K’d,” and that sort of thing.
So… I got to hear about it when I was a kid. And it didn’t help matters that I wasn’t a very good batter. In Little League I struck out a lot, so the jokes wrote themselves.
“Ha, here comes Kay, again. He’s gonna K! Don’t worry about it! Kay always K’s!!”
“How about I take this bat, and stick it up your ass?”
“Did you hear that? K Burger wants to put things in my ass!”
The first time I ever heard it was from a mean girl in grade school, named Karen M. It was in 3rd grade, or thereabouts, and wasn’t even sure what it meant. Jeff Gay? Is that supposed to be an insult of some kind? I don’t get it.
That little psycho also attacked a girl named Cathy one day, and hit her in the stomach with the wooden box she rested her feet on — because they wouldn’t reach all the way to the floor when she sat at her desk. Prepubescent homophobic slurs… foot box assaults… oh, that little bitch could do it all.
Yes, I’ve endured all of the above, and more. What about you? Did kids make fun of your name? If so, please tell us about it in the comments. And if you’re lucky enough to be named Joe Smith, or whatever, and escaped all this… just tell us about the kids you knew who got it the worst.
And I’ll see you guys next time.
Have a great day!
Want to help support the cause? Buy Jeff a beer! Nothing says ‘I care’ like beer.