“Thank You, Lil Wayne,” by Alex Dermody

Apr 20th, 2023 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

“Real G’s move in silence like lasagna.” —Lil Wayne

Behind St. John’s Pediatric Hospital, a crowd of red-eyed men and women gathered around a large metal box, watching as Amanda Nunn fed the Waynerator+ the fuel it required to create electricity:

“You a beaver allergic to wood,” Amanda said, her voice hoarse. “Call that a dam shame.”

The generator buzzed. A metallic Lil Wayne voice said, “The fireman coming!” And five minutes of energy added onto the red digital clock at the center of the Waynerator+.

“Let’s have sex in the Swiss Alps,” Amanda said, left eye twitching. “Call that a Mountain Dew.”

“The fireman coming!” said the Waynerator+.

“You a cop carrying a pig,” Amanda wheezed. “Call that a pork shoulder.”

A pause from the Waynerator+. “Be more on-brand,” it said.

Before collapsing on the cement, clothes soaked in sweat, Amanda said, “You a cop carrying a pig—call that a family reunion.”

“The fireman coming!” said the Waynerator+.

Two men dragged Amanda to the back of the crowd as Grant Brown took her place. Grant was about to launch into an analogy about wax statues and axes when he was interrupted.

“This is crazy!” shouted Donald Rub. “We can all agree the Waynerator+ is a revolutionary electrical power source. But it’s been two days since Hank hit, and we’ve only generated a few hours of energy. We need another strategy to save our kids.”

Grant Brown placed a dirty hand on Donald’s shoulder. “Listen to me. The Red Cross. The National Guard. They’ve got bigger fish to fry than a small children’s hospital. We’re the only shot these kids’ve got.”

Donald Rub looked at the twenty other tired faces. He gazed around at the sparking powerlines and uprooted trees and overturned sailboats, finally accepting the situation in front of him. “Oh,” Donald said, voice distant. “I see.”

A silence fell over the crowd, silence except for ambulance and police sirens howling in the distance. Then, as if from nowhere, the sound of a thumping hum. A black dot in the sky grew more and more defined each passing minute, each passing second, until finally a helicopter hovered over the hospital. Clothes and hair whipped every which way as the chopper descended, and when it finally touched down, a man with a backwards hat and a skateboard hopped onto the concrete. “It’s a bird, it’s a plane!” Lil Wayne shouted over the propellers. “No, it’s Weezy F. Baby!”

“The fireman coming!” said the Waynerator+.

The rapper skated through the crowd of awed faces until he reached the Waynerator+. “I don’t trust elevators ’cause they bring me down-arino,” Lil Wayne said, his voice confident and raspy. “My room smell like money in the morning. Call that a cash-uccino. Young Mullah, baby, we ain’t a mob, we a casino. In Miami throwing touchdowns, call me Dan Marino.”

“The fireman coming! The fireman coming! The fireman coming!”

The group of parents, jaws on the pavement, watched as the rapper worked his magic:

“Waive my wand and move water, call me Harry Potter,” Lil Wayne said. “The wizard of New Orleans, I am Dwayne Carter.”

“The fireman coming!”

“Rollie ’round my ankle, I look like Bill Gates on house arrest.”

“The fireman coming!”

None of what Lil Wayne said was written down.

“Life’s an emotional rollercoaster, that’s why my Nina’s never in her holster.”

“The fireman coming!”

“She took my breath away. She my Grand Canyon. I brought her home and made a movie. James Cameron.”

“The fireman coming!”

Wayne worked for five hours straight, only pausing to drink water.

“Just bought a bulldozer to lay ya ass flat. Chuck-E-Cheese doing chest presses, call that a gym rat.”

“The fireman coming!”

Grant Brown clapped slowly. “It’s like watching Picasso paint.”

“Pink grill, flamingo. I’m drumming like Ringo. You boys are like Kinkos. I howl like a dingo.”

The orange sun slowly sank lower.

“Like a fat kid in a candy shop, it’s a sticky situation. Let’s do a full body exam, I’m the doctor, you the patient.”

Sweating, panting, Lil Wayne gave up. He draped a wet towel over his head and crashed down on his skateboard.

The soupy purple night exploded with cheers. Strangers kissed. Hot bottles of champagne popped. Eighty-year-old Arlene Hill fired her pistol blindly in the air. Lil Wayne generated over a week’s worth of energy for St. John’s. The group’s prayers had been answered.

A small child shouted out her window on the hospital’s second floor: “You showed up. No foolin’. You actually showed up.”

Lil Wayne winked at the girl. “Weezy F. Baby, and the F ain’t for foolin’.”

“The fireman coming!” said The Waynerator+.

“I wish I could stay,” Lil Wayne said, climbing to his feet. “But there’s a flood in Zimbabwe, and those good people need my help.”

The helicopter’s propellers kicked up wind as they again began to spin.

“Weezy,” said Amanda Nunn. “How can we ever repay you?”

Lil Wayne’s body hung halfway out the helicopter. “Everyone knows I’m a rapper and a skater. What people don’t know is I’m also a philanthropist.” Wayne had to shout over the propellers now, the chopper no longer touching the ground. “Repay me by helping people. Help people, and don’t brag about it.”

As if realizing something, Amanda Nunn said, “Real G’s move in silence like lasagna…”

The red-eyed men and women held hands and danced in a circle as the helicopter ascended. Smiles splitting their faces. The chopper climbing higher and higher until it was once again a little black dot.

There was only one thing left to do.

Donald Rub stepped up to the Waynerator+. “I’m the matador, you the bull. Check your diaper, I think it’s full.”

“The fireman coming!” said the Waynerator+.

Finally. Energy inside and outside St. John’s.


Alex Dermody was born and raised in Florida, currently lives in New York, and is 5’7 (even though he tells everyone he’s 5’8). Alex’s fiction has been most recently published in The Seattle Star and Corvus Review. He can be reached at alexdermody15@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.