It’s hard not to say Kevin’s last name. I’m almost afraid to write such a piece out of fear that he may come after me for outing him as the single greatest warrior ever to bless this Earth with his presence. I kid, of course, but that has always been how the Great Kevin started. I met him during college, and my jaw dropped when I found out he was the better part of a decade older than me, or is it I? Either way, somehow Kevin became the person we put on a pedestal. Patrick, Tyler, Scott and myself seemed to love to treat Kevin like the modern day Chuck Norris. I believe it had something to do with his refusal to take the title. Anyone refusing such an honor absolutely must deserve it. Tyler and Scott came up with the Kevin Klap.
During Speech class, every time Kevin would stand Tyler would mutter “Ladies and Gentleman, Kevin!” and Scott would applaud golf style. When Patrick and myself heard we immediately joined in the festivities. Every time Kevin’s name was called in role, we clapped for him. The rest of the class was puzzled, and the beauty of choosing Kevin; the reason we chose him, was because he would never let it get to his head. He hated the Kevin Klap. Everyone else loved it, though. No one got it, but the Klap grew and grew. Over the course of the next few months I’d say we easily had a third of the class clapping for Kevin just at the mere call of his name in class. We changed teachers every month and they all were just as befuddled, until one class: Directing. Our first teacher did the role, and about half the class cheered and clapped when Kevin’s name was called. He didn’t know what the hell was happening, but he moved on. We alternated instructors during that class and the next day another teacher waltzed in. His name was also Kevin.
This Kevin did the role as per routine, but paused about halfway through. He said nothing for a solid five seconds which, in role, is a long time. He stood. He clapped. Nay, he Klapped. We knew what was up. We all pretty much had the roster memorized by this point. We jumped in. “Oh my God we have Kevin in this room tonight!?” Teacher Kevin exclaimed. He walked out from his computer and continued Klapping, and something was born inside us. It was the only time the entire class joined in the joke. People started to stand. I stood. We all stood. Everyone in the class was Klapping for the almighty Kevin! For no reason! It was tremendous. It was amazing. I loved it. We all did. Kevin, of course, made himself known by simply laughing, and Teacher Kevin tossed confetti onto him. What a gag. What a hilarious and unsuspected turn of events. It never got better than that class.
I like to say that Kevin was one of my best friends while at Full Sail, and of course we kept in touch afterward. Misty liked him. She made that quite clear. When I disclosed all her indiscretions Kevin confessed to me that she put quite a flag out there that he could have fucked her. She was practically inviting him. Kevin’s not that kind of guy. Apparently I’m the only kind of guy who would go for that woman. He told me this after my return, but I was indifferent. Misty being who she was, had already disclosed to me how much she wanted to fuck Kevin. I was never worried because I knew Kevin better than she did. Kevin and I had a few outings while we were simultaneously single, one of which included Jon. It was St. Patrick’s Day. I wanted to make it special. It was my first St. Patrick’s Day where I drank. It was The drinking day. I wasn’t Irish, of course, but then again who cares on St. Patrick’s Day? Jon, Kevin, and myself explored Downtown Orlando and we got drunk.
We got very drunk.
Kevin, however, blew us outta the water. He was absolutely gone by the time we arrived at I-Bar. Screaming his head off “Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!” over and over. It was a great time. Jon and I tried to keep track of him but we were both fairly inebriated ourselves, and at one point late in the night looked to each other.
“I don’t know.”
We began our search. Kevin was wearing a green horizontal striped polo, and that’s all the information I had on him. I asked people, drunkenly, if they had seen Kevin. When they said they didn’t know who that was I said, “What!?” then described his wardrobe. Eventually one couple said, “I think I saw some dude in a green polo throwing up by the DJ.” I thanked them kindly and went up the stairs to said disc jockey. When I arrived at the top of the stairs there he was, throwing up in the trash can.
Hurling, if you will.
Someone came up shortly after I had found him and said, “Hey you gotta get him outta here.” I nodded and helped Kevin vacate the premises. I told Jon I had found him and to meet us outside. While waiting Kevin leaned on an outside table, attempting to keep his balance. Some dickhead came right out and literally took it out from under Kevin. He almost fell over. I cursed at the individual but he ignored me. Who cares about a drunk asshole shouting, after all? I picked Kevin up and gave him to Jon.
Jon agreed to get Kevin back to his place. I have no idea what it was I did. I believe maybe I thought I was chasing a prospect of a woman, but those memories have since left me. Regardless, the next morning we all woke up at Jon’s place and went to Cheesecake factory. I had never been there before, and ordered steak and eggs for the first time in my life. While recounting the night Kevin brought up the fact that his throat was sore. “Probably from all that screaming.” I said.
“I didn’t scream.” Kevin looked at us. He was slate faced. He couldn’t have been more stern in his statement. Jon and I looked at each other, then back at Kevin, then back at each other.
We blew up. We couldn’t hold our laughter. “What?’ Kevin asked.
“You absolutely screamed.” I said.
“A lot.” Jon replied.
Kevin had no idea. It was priceless. We were in tears. What a great first experience at Cheesecake Factory. The steak and eggs weren’t bad either. Forever I will associate a trip to the Cheesecake Factory with Kevin the almighty. Too many trips and I may start to get a little heavy. All that cholesterol will go to my arteries. For the average person, such an event would likely cause a stroke. I, however, will win the genetic lottery with a rare kind of stroke. As I sit down in the booth and order my classic steak and eggs from my darling waitress Natalie, my eyes will float up to the top of my head and I’ll sink in my seat. A vessel in my brain just couldn’t take it anymore and explode. I won’t even know it happened. Natalie will be terrified when she comes back with my Coke.
I won’t hear the screams from the waitress and the paramedic will clock me as DOA, but somewhere out there Kevin will find out the news, and when the whereabouts are revealed, he may smile in spite of himself, knowing I died with him in mind.