I know this little feller who refers to himself as “Raymin.”
Raymin wasn’t his real name. His real name was “Raymond.” However, when he told me his name (which ended up being a billion times,) he pronounced his name as “Raymin.” He’d say, “my name Raymin.”
You are probably wondering why this little feller told me that his name was Raymin a billion times. Well, I can explain.
I have always gotten a kick out of peoples’ reactions to absurdity. Even if I am the one who has to play the role of the “absurdity” that people are faced with. On many occasions throughout my life, I have purposely set up my surroundings in a manner that would provoke funny reactions from people. One of my many methods of accomplishing this was by purposely referring to someone as the wrong name multiple times and acting as if I didn’t have a clue that I was constantly referring to them as the wrong name. Usually I would act like I was confusing their name with one of their brothers. I wouldn’t be finished after referring to them by the wrong name once. Sometimes I would purposely refer to them as an incorrect name almost 100 times. No joke. Sometimes I would refer to them as the incorrect name just a few seconds after they clarified that their actual name was something different than what I had just called them. For example, I approached Kent and said, “hey Jerome, how ya doin, buddy?” Kent replied with, “you got it wrong again for the 10th day in a row. My name is Kent, my brother’s name is Jerome.” I would apologize by saying, “ah shoot, I’m sorry about that, Jerome. I won’t make that mistake again.” Kent would roll his eyes and I could see him thinking to himself, “wow that Swafford guy is stupid.” Although I wanted to burst out with laughter, I would maintain a very serious expression on my face while performing this routine. Most of the people who I would do this to would look at me as if I am the epitome of world’s dumbest person. I loved it. It tickled the hell out of my funny bone. It sounds weird, but my intentions were not making fun of these people. I was basically trying to provoke an amusing reaction from them. If someone caught on to the fact that I wasn’t being serious, I would stop. In their heads, they thought I was stupid as hell, so the joke was at least partially on me.
Raymin had one of the funniest reactions.
When I was a junior in high school, I would lift weights during my open campus hour. At my high school, the weight room and wrestling room were connected to each other. In order for someone to get to the wrestling room, they had to walk through the weight room first. When I would lift weights, a class full of kids who were roughly 4-5 years younger than me would walk through the weight room to do exercises in the wrestling room for P.E. class. In this class, there was a kid who stuck out to me. It was Raymin. I knew who he was because he had a brother in my grade. Let’s just pretend his brother’s name was “Adam.” His bro’s name wasn’t Adam, I just don’t want to publicly and completely give this poor guy’s identity away in case he had an issue with me writing about him in my blog. Raymin stuck out in the crowd to me because he often wore a Rude Dog t-shirt. Seeing Rude Dog when I was 17 years old made me smile inside because 10 years earlier, I was a 7 year old boy who sported Rude Dog shirts on an almost daily basis. I always felt like a total badass when I wore those shirts. Wearing Rude Dog shirts as a 7 year old subconsciously made me feel like I was 5 inches taller, 50 pounds heavier and able to beat up anyone between the ages of 0 and 13. By the time I was a junior in high school, it was an extremely rare occasion to spot someone wearing a Rude Dog shirt, but when these sightings occurred, it was inevitable to be the highlight of my day.
One day when Raymin and his classmates were walking through the weight room on their way to the wrestling room, I decided to confuse Raymin with his brother. I was like, “hey Adam! How ya doin, homeslice?” He looked at me and was like, “huh?” I repeated myself, “hey Adam! How ya doin, homeslice?” As he stared at me with a confused expression on his face, he responded, “my name not Adam, my name Raymin!” The confusion in his eyes as he was staring at me appeared as if he were watching a bunch of tiny grasshoppers do rope climbs on my eye lashes. I acted shocked and was like, “your name Raymin?” He responded, “yeah! My name Raymin!” I asked one more time just to clarify, “so…your name, Raymin?” He insisted, “yeah! My name Raymin!”
For the next half-hour, I lifted weights and Raymin’s class did whatever it was they did in the wrestling room. When Raymin’s class finished and walked back through the weight room, I decided to push things a step further. When I saw Raymin walk by sportin his bodacious Rude Dog shirt, I shouted, “hey Raymin! Come here real quick!” Raymin would walk over to me and be like, “yeah?” I asked again, “your name Raymin?” He replied calmly, “yeah, my name Raymin.” Then I was like, “your name Raymin?! Whoa! MY NAME Raymin! MY NAME…Raymin!!!” (Just to clarify, my name isn’t actually Raymin. I was just being a jackass.) The expression on his face showed even more confusion, as if the tiny grasshoppers that were doing rope climbs on my eye lashes were being simultaneously humped in the ass by even tinier grizzly bears. It made me wonder if he had ever met another Raymin in his life. He replied innocently, “your name Raymin?! My name Raymin……..OUR name Raymin!!!” It was as if I could literally see him calculating the possessive pronoun equation in his head; “your name + my name = our name.” The conversation concluded by me saying, “yeah that’s right Raymin! Our name Raymin… our name Raymin, Raymin.”
For the remainder of the semester, at least 2 times per week, this exact conversation would occur almost word for word. Each “your name Raymin?” conversation seemed like a carbon copy of the original. I always got such a kick out of it because he never seemed to remember that we had the conversations to begin with. Again, it seriously wasn’t my intention to make fun of the kid or make him look or feel stupid. If anything, I was just trying to get a reaction from him. A reaction to my own purposely performed stupidity.
The following year I saw Raymin walking through the hallway at school. I was excited to see him even though he wasn’t sporting the Rude Dog shirt anymore. This year, he was all about wearing FUBU clothes. When I saw him, I enthusiastically shouted at him, “hey Adam! How’d your summer go, homeslice?” He responded angrily with, “MY NAME RAYMIN, MOTHERFUCKER!” I was momentarily shocked by his hostility, but took it all in stride. I just said, “oh I’m sorry about that Raymin, my bad.” He was like, “that’s aight, dawg.” I remember thinking to myself, “wow, Raymin became an angry kid over the summer. What is it about that FUBU brand that gives kids such an attitude? Raymin – Rude Dog shirt + FUBU shirt = angry Raymin.”
I ran into Raymin a few years later. It was the day after I was beaten to a bloody pulp by 3 guys, one who was wearing brass knuckles and a pair of steel toed boots.
I was walking down the street by the park in my hometown and Raymin walked up to me and was like, “whoa, what the fuck happened to your face, Raymin?!” It was eye-opening to me, although my eyes wouldn’t open due to being swollen shut. Not only did Raymin recognize me with my face beat to shit, but he also remembered me from our conversations in the weight room a few years earlier and truly believed that my name was Raymin. And I thought he had forgotten me every time we had the “your name Raymin?” conversation. I was dead wrong.
I explained to him what happened to my face and he asked what I was going to do in retaliation against the people who had done it to me. I told him I didn’t know yet, but was thinking about it, which basically meant that I hadn’t planned on doing anything. He informed me that he would have my back if he ever ran into these people. I was like, “oh thanks Raymin.” He also said that if it had happened to him, he would find each one of them on a blisteringly hot, sunny day, tie them to a tree, whip them with horse whips, throw salt on their backs and let them fry in the sun for a few hours. I nodded my head while he told me this and simultaneously thought to myself, “note to self: Stay on Raymin’s good side. Don’t piss him off or your back will resemble a giant piece of fried chicken. His method of retaliation sounds pretty painful.”
That was 8 years ago and I haven’t seen or heard from Raymin since. I hope Rude Dog has led him in the right path in life.