I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal. I have a 600-member fan club. At least five Facebook groups have been created in my honor. People have dressed up as me for three consecutive Halloweens. I’m told I got riotous applause at last year’s talent show in spite of the fact that I wasn’t there. I am the one and only Red Jesus.
The R.J. phenomenon amazes even me with its scope. Red Jesuits have spread my notoriety to places as distant as Canada, Spain, Japan, and North Avenue Apartments. What’s the appeal? Half a dozen Barefoot Guys and that kid who looked like Frodo all faded into obscurity. How did I succeed where they failed? I honestly don’t know. I can’t even tell you why “Red Jesus’’ outlasted my other monikers from 2004: “Homeboy Red,’’ “Leif Ericson,’’ and my mother’s favorite, “The Crimson Clipper.’’
Actually, I can think of one reason Red Jesism commands such devotion: the miracles. I’ve heard some fantastic stories: that I always take 21-hour semesters, can turn water into beer, have a 4.0, can leap off Skiles bridge without getting hurt and (quoth a creepy guy who says he saw me at a Student Center urinal) “have a loaf of bread miraculously multiplied by ten.’’ While none of these tales are true (except the last one, about Big Red), this faith might not be misplaced. I did walk to Stone Mountain and back three times; can someone write an epic about that?
There are perks to being Red Jesus. I don’t have to introduce myself at parties and before I started grooming my beard, hobos never asked me for money. But the asset I really want —sex appeal, remains elusive. True, I briefly dated a girl who had me in her phone as “Red Jesus.’’ But in general, the celebrity-hood frightens girls away
Fortunately, Big Red may get another chance to shine: I’m leaving in May. For the first time in four years, Georgia Tech will have no Red Jesi and poor Anthony will have no nickname. Maybe one day R.J. will reappear on Wikipedia or if he’s lucky, on Family Guy. But until then, he and I both wish all you Techies the best of fortunes.