14 billion years ago: God creates the name “Jeff” and chooses it for himself due to its absolute perfection.

177 million years ago: The first dinosaur named Jeff, “Jeffreysaurus,” is born.

177 million years ago: The first dinosaur named Jeff, “Jeffreysaurus,” is a total loser and dies without his bones sinking into some kind of swampland, destroying his chances of fossilizing and being remembered by generations to come.

177 million – 2 million years ago: The worst of the Jeff Dark Ages commences, as millions of years pass without anything like a Jeff.

2 million years ago: Giraffes emerge. Definitely a step down from “Jeffreysaurus,” but for the first time in millions of years, another animal with a name sounding vaguely like “Jeff” walks the earth.

1500 B.C.: Some idiot mishears “Jeffrey” as “Yahweh,” and an opportunity to spread the most glorious name to ever exist is snuffed out forever.

841 A.D.: Medieval English king “Goofy the Terrible” changes his name to “Geoffrey” in an attempt to gain the respect of his subjects. He is respected even less. Parents begin to name their children “Geoffrey” in order to ensure they remain humble.

841 – 1800: Another Jeff Dark Age, wherein the name Jeff is mistakenly spelled “Geoff” all across the world. God weeps.

1800: Thomas Jefferson becomes the first president of the United States whose name includes “Jeff,” popularizing the name Jeff and setting the stage for a Jeff Golden Age.

January 1952: A Pennsylvania couple is visited by an angel, who instructs them to immediately conceive a child and name him “Jeff.”

October 22, 1952: Jeff Goldblum is born.

June 1993: Jurassic Park, starring Jeff Goldblum, premieres in theaters, marking the peak of the Jeff Golden Age.

1993-2000: My mother, unbeknownst to all but herself, harbors a deep lust for Jeff Goldblum and names me “Jeff” out of a combination of longing and self-mockery.

December 2016: My mother dies in a tragic car accident. Her last words are “Jeff Goldblum.”

January 2017: Suddenly, all those times watching Jurassic Park late into the wee hours of the night paint a different picture. I’m no longer just named Jeff because some lady felt like it. I’m Jeff, named after the great Jeff Goldblum. I’m heir to a legacy whose scope is barely comprehensible. I carry God’s chosen name during the Golden Age of Jeffrey history. I’m Jeff.

July 2021: Just found out about Jeffrey Dahmer. Damn.

—B. Hollander-Bodie