Return of the F-Man


After a lull in the online tabulating of the f-words in Deadwood due to a camping trip (see Flash!, May 9), expletive counter Jeff Kay is back in the saddle again. We were fascinated to learn that in the May 8 episode, 62 f-bombs were dropped—a relatively light smattering. But what really intrigues us is who this Jeff Kay fellow is.

It turns out that the blogger behind the West Virginia Surf Report lives near Scranton, Pa., and is a 42-year-old warehouse manager. He’s a man on a quest to disprove the widely held belief that no one could possibly count all the effing in Deadwood. How does he keep up with the stream of profanity on the show? Like any good manager, he created some paperwork: With his grade-school–age kids safely tucked into bed, Kay fires up the digital video recorder, takes out a form he devised and makes a check mark every time a curse word flies. Thanks to the DVR, he can rewind “if I sneeze or something and believe I may have missed one.” A grateful public has beaten a path to his Web site, thanks to a recent link on the Drudge Report and a mention on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. At first, the attention made Kay nervous. “I got a lot of e-mail from people who thought I was making some kind of statement, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” he says. He maintains the site as a hobby, adding with a laugh: “It kind of got out of hand.” Still, resuming the f-count and getting back to work must have been a bit of a relief after his camping trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. It rained the whole time—the sort of thing that can send an f-word count off the charts.