Iowa Man Learns Not All Store Names Are Meant To Be Taken Literally

Retail Photographer /
Retail Photographer /

While store names like 7-11, Reid’s Food Barn, and Builder’s Square are some names that are meant to express exactly what they are for, some names aren’t meant to be taken literally. For 54-year-old Kenneth Kelly of Iowa City, his understanding of the Kum & Go convenience store was quite off.

Back in mid-March, just after midnight, Kelly allegedly made sexual comments and gestures towards multiple customers while also pleasuring himself in the open. While he finished and left before officers could arrive, the cops did take his description and surveillance images to local businesses and residences. Witnesses were also able to pick him out from that photo lineup. Due to Iowa laws, it took until mid-November to get this information confirmed enough to charge Kelly.

Warrant in hand, officers set off for Kelly’s residence and found him there. Identified as the alleged assailant, he confirmed that he does indeed own clothing resembling those depicted in the video. However, when arrested, he claimed that he was not doing as he was charged — he was simply taking care of an itch. Charged with indecent exposure, Kelly now faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

Charges like these are thankfully not common, despite the Kum & Go being in business since 1959 and having nearly 400 locations over 13 states. If anything, charges like this are proof that mastery of the English language is a paramount skill for people to have in the US. If someone in their mid-50s can fail to understand the meaning of a store with a most unfortunate name at face value, then we have failed that man. Society and the educational system have both failed him.