Not who is Jerf?, what is "Jerf"? A natural question to ask, especially as those who know me know that I am normally not given to such "silly" word games. So, where did Jerf come from?
While young (I was in elementary school, though I can't place the year), I was playing Block Buster on the Commodore 64, which is a type of Arkanoid/Breakout clone (but was particularly good), and I got a high score. In this game, you were supposed to enter your whole name (not just your initials), but instead of using the keyboard, you used the Joystick to move around on a list of letters, like so:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
This is silly user interface when you've got a keyboard right in front of the user, but hey, games don't need to worry about user interface, right? And of course, this game didn't save the highscores from session to session, so entering anything was a joke anyhow, but...
This time, when I futilely entered my name onto the high score list, unbeknownst to me it would echo down, quite probably, the rest of my life. As I moved the cursor back and forth from the start position, to J, to E, back to R, then going back to E (to finish off M and Y), I accidentally hit the "fire" button on the joystick a fraction of a second too soon. As you can see, just after E is F, and so, I got JERF.
Of course, I deleted it right away, but it sort of stuck with me in a way that no other typo ever has. After a while, I decided it was kinda cool and started using it as all my high score entries. In high school, while I had been using it on and off for a while, my best friend Dan picked up on it and started using it, not so much as a nickname but a joke.
Dan later in high school dated Heather Pratt, who, in a typically Heather-ish way, picked up on that name and started using it exclusively. Heather, who is apparently unable to refer to anybody with a name other then two syllables (although this has gotten better in recent years), put an "ie" on the end to give Jerfie. Technically, this is a pet name for me (which in fact her friends pick up on, even though she literally introduces me as "Jerfie", they call me "Jerf" or even *gasp* "Jeremy"), and the 'true name' (inasmuch as that phrase makes sense) is still Jerf.
So, as things stand now, Heather, who about six years later became my bride, calls me "Jerfie" (or, indeed, whatever else she wants), and if you want to get my attention, calling me "Jerf" is a very good way to do so; there are a lot of Jeremy's around, there are quite a few less "Jerf"'s.