“Kelly Smelly ate too much jelly and got a fat belly!” The poet was Jimmy Keefer, one of my older brother Tom’s friends. Coming up with a clever poem hardly constitutes a bully; he should have stopped there, though. I remember him flicking a lit cigarette butt at me and burning a hole in my white tights. I was about 6 or 7, and he was 6 years older. Not sure what ensued, but I’m sure there were tears on my part.
Fast forward to November 1, 1980, when Jimmy died. I had originally heard that someone shot him. My first response was, “Well, he must have made up a poem and/or flicked a cigarette butt at the wrong person!” My brother did a little research and says there is a 99% chance it was suicide. I’ll refrain from speculating that he just felt too guilty…..
The thing about bullies is that they don’t get a lot of sympathy when things take a turn for the worse — and that definitely includes an early demise; at least not from me.
The irony is that I do indeed have a bit of a “fat belly,” but not from “too much jelly.” Too bad Jimmy Keefer will never know.