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John Carroll & Nick Klinger

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January 30, 2014

Justin Jeffre of 98 Degrees is worried that the internet doesn't remember him.

This piece originally ran at Carroll ünd Klinger.

Dear Alyson,

Greetings from Cincinnati! You must be thrilled to receive a letter from a member of the hit pop group 98 Degrees, composers of chart-burning songs like "The Hardest Thing" and "I Do (Cherish You)."

I’m writing because I happened to be on the Internet the other day, when I casually came across a search for members of the Facebook group “98 Degrees 4eva & eva” who also hold the rank of Veteran Editor II or higher on Wikipedia. Believe it or not, Alyson, you’re the only such fan of 98 Degrees! What a coincidence that I’m writing to you, of all people, today.

You see, lately I’ve been struggling with the fact that 98 Degrees has a Wikipedia page but I, Justin Jeffre, do not. Isn’t that a shame? I sometimes spend entire nights Wikipedia-ing topics less important than me that still have a page. For example, do you know that there’s a Wikipedia page for “Felching” but not for “Justin Jeffre.” Isn’t that disgusting? What kind of world do we live in? You’d think the writers of Wikipedia would ask themselves: what will people remember in 20 years time? One of the world’s best background pop music harmonizers, or a disgusting sexual act? The answer is clear.

AJ McLean has his own page. JC Chasez too. What do I have to do? Change my name to JJ McJeffz? I know, I know: that’s an amusing thought. Despite my anger and disappointment, I sometimes can’t help but fall back into my winning charm and wicked sense of humor. It’s what made me the wild card of the group. But it’s hard for people to learn about my distinct traits without having a Wikipedia page to reference. No one will ever know about Stinky Pants, my hybrid pug/chihuahua, or my new line of orange-flavored water “JJ’s Clear OJ.”

As you can see, Alyson, the facts exist but a place in which to collect them does not. I’d love it if I could write to each and every fan, just like I’m writing to you, but that’s simply impossible. 98 Degrees continues to grow more popular daily. But given the dearth of Justin Jeffre information available on the web, many of those new fans may simply deduce from the Internet that the 98 Degrees group was solely made up of the Lachey family. And while I love Nick and Drew like second cousins*, I’ll confess that they would have been nothing without the natural balance of Justin Jeffre’s voice. And yet, I’m about to be forgotten: Nick and Drew are talking up a reunion, and my phone hasn’t rang once.

I know that it’s “The Hardest Thing” to ask of you, Alyson, but I was hoping that you might be able to create and maintain a Wikipedia page for me. In fact, I’d be happy to privately send you new facts about my life to make sure that the Justin Jeffre entry is an evergreen source of material. I can even send photos, too, but some will be for your eyes only (wink emoticon). “I Do (Cherish You)” as a fan, and hope you’ll be able to help me out when I need it most.  

As a token of my appreciation, I hope you’ll accept the enclosed headshot of Joey Fatone, which I’ve personally signed. Thanks for being a fan. You are “My Everything,” Alyson. Don’t you ever forget it.

“Bye Bye Bye,”**

Justin Jeffre
Sales Team Leader
We’ll Put A Smile On Your Face: Every Customer … Every Vehicle … Every Day.
serving Cincinnati, Hamilton & West Chester Ohio
5676 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, OH 45014
(800) 811-9737

* My new Wikipedia page should note that Nick and Drew Lachey are my cousins four times removed.

** This is an N*Sync song, but I hung out with those guys when they recorded the backing harmonies, so I was technically a part of the group at that time.

This piece originally ran at Carroll ünd Klinger.