Chapter 10: no one messes with a bearded baby
In his amazement at seeing his favorite artist in person like this, Danny walked straight into a large claw arcade. He realized about the time that the claw started pulling his hair that he had made a terrible mistake. On reflection, he realized he shouldn’t have taken what I said about walking “into a large claw arcade” so literally. He could hardly be blamed for this, since he had no idea what I said about it, but the fact remains. He made quite a racket trying to get out, and a crowd started to gather. M.G. and his posse turned to see what was happening just as the machine tipped over, sending Danny sprawling across the floor in the broken glass. M.G. looked at him with disgust for several seconds, and was about to walk away when he heard the sound. What sound? THE sound. Danny’s fall had knocked him into a daze, and without knowing where he was or what he was doing, he began to rap. M.G. had never heard its equal. Many of the posse thought that M.G. himself had started singing, and they joined in with their rhythmic calls of “YEEEEEAH. M.G.!!!”, but he quickly silenced them. “I’m not one to be modest about my skills, y’all, but I won’t ‘tend like I can rap like that.” They stood in shock. “Kid, you got the makings of something great. HEY!! I don’t wanna see no south-side wannabes messing with my little man, here. The kid’s got skill. The kid’s got a beard. The kid is south-side.” The posse was shocked. Danny, as he came to his senses enough to realize what his idol had said, was also shocked. I was shocked. Why was I shocked? Because I realized that I had taken for granted that you would know the most obvious fact in the world about Amish children: they are all born with full beards. One look at that exquisite facial salad was enough for M.G. to see that this kid had some street-cred. “Boys… men… south-side modified gangstas… I want you to give it up for Bearded Baby.”
M.G. invited Danny, or as he was now known, “Bearded Baby”, to join his posse. They walked, they talked, and they rapped. They walked about the town, they talked about the town, and they rapped about everything in between. Danny told his hero his whole story, including how he had found out about him. “Man, you straight up rap after just a few months of knowin what south-side is in the first place? YEAH!! I give you some props fer that, Beard-Baby.” Danny couldn’t believe what was happening to him. He was talking to his favorite rapper of all time, and his own hero was giving HIM props.
The posse continued to walk around the town, and eventually made it to the rap legend’s favorite hangout. “Bearded Baby, I want you to make yourself at home in my favorite hangout.” Said M.G., as he gestured towards the front door of his favorite truck stop. “This jin-u-wine south-side eatery is the best you’ll ever see.” Danny looked with wonder at the slightly rustic, yet slightly elegant gas station. The front windows were totally covered in glossy posters of racecar drivers and their favorite light beers. The gas pumps had computers on them, yet the attendant wore pleasantly comfortable looking overalls. The door had a sign reading, “You TRY n come in here with your wanna-be south side swag and no shirt, and we say, ‘naw.’” Upon walking inside, Danny was blown away by the cool, air-conditioned air. He was mesmerized by the bright, shiny fluorescent lights. He was enraptured by the selection of Bob’s Authentic Amish Bear Jerky. He was dumbfounded by how the bathrooms smelled even less repulsive than his favorite aunt’s outhouse. “Jonathan’s hairband!” exclaimed Danny. “this place is amazing!” “This,” said M.G., “this here is a little piece of south side.”
“D’oh, schwack.” Said Danny, “It’s almost 5:30. I need to get back to Mr. Nathaniel’s house for dinner.” He thanked the rap legend and his posse for the warm welcome, and jogged back towards Nathaniel’s apartment. “Hey, Danny!” said Nathaniel as he opened the door for him. “It’s nearly time for dinner, you’d better get washed up.” “Ok. Sorry I was gone so long.” Danny said. “I got the digits of your apartment number backwards and almost got kidnapped by some guy with a pet ear sitting on his shoulder when I accidentally knocked on his door.” Nathaniel laughed, “Oh, that’s just Mr. Jimmie. He’s harmless enough. He probably just wanted to show you his exotic hankie collection. By the way, I don’t think you’ve met my wife, Chartreuse.” As he said this, his wife, Chartreuse, came into the door. “You must be Danny!” she said as she brushed the mass of ridiculously curly hair out of her eyes enough to see him. “Since Nathaniel called earlier, I’ve been looking forward to cooking a fresh pot roast for everyone! I’m just about to put it in, so hurry and get ready for dinner.” “You’re just now putting it in? I thought Mr. Nathaniel said it was almost ready?” Danny pondered aloud. “Oh, don’t worry.” Chartreuse assured him, “It won’t take more than 15 minutes.”