Jerry and the Bad Bunny Effect
I got a call one morning when I was at work.
“Bro, ya gotta help me.” said a semi-frantic voice .
“Okay?” I replied, not sure where any of this would go.
“You know Bad Bunny’s in town this week right?”
“There’s this fine chick here at work, I told her I know Bad Bunny.”
“Why would you do that? You don’t know Bad Bunny.” I reason.
“I know! But she doesn’t know that. She knows I’m a comedian and that I have connections, so I told her I know Bad Bunny. Now she’s really into me.”
It’s my friend Jerry, and he’s calling with another hare-brained scheme to get with a woman he just met.
“So now I gotta prove it. That’s where you come in!” he starts.
I shake my head with a giggle with an audible “Oh no.”
“Naw bro! It’s easy! I saved your number in my phone as Bad Bunny so when you text me it looks like I’m getting a text from him.”
“So, I just need you to text me like you’re Bad Bunny.”
“Huh? How the hell does Bad Bunny text? What does he say?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but I trust you’ll come up with something. She’s coming now! Text me back when I text you.” he finished and hung up.
This isn’t the first time Jerry has asked me to be his Wing-Man at the Computer. Some time the year before he hit me up with the same premise, except I was to be George Lopez, Jerry’s famous comedian friend and texting buddy. When it came time for some veritable truth, I was stalking George Lopez’ twitter account for an off-the-cuff selfie to send, which I found. I don’t think she bought it very long.
My phone buzzed.
Jerry: Say bro. I have a super fan here at the job that loves you and so I told her you my boy but shes like ya tu sabes (This is from the real text, verbatim. All these texts are.)
It’s started. But before I could pretend to be Bad Bunny, I had to ask just who Bad Bunny is, because, really, I didn't know shit about him. Quick search: Reggaeton rapper, singer and songwriter. Okay, check. Puerto Rican born. Okay check, that’s a big one. I did another search, Puerto Rican slang. My phone buzzes again. It’s Jerry, stepping out of character a sec to give me some direction.
Jerry: I’m gonna mention your concert in Houston the 21st and you correct me and you mean the first bro
Jerry: This message will delete in 5mins
Game time. I parse through the list of slang words. There’s some good stuff here. I’m ready.
Jerry: Sup bro you making fucker. Im call your mom
Not exactly sure what he’s saying there but I begin to reply as Bad Bunny.
Bad Bunny: Oye Mano, I’ll call your mom!
Bad Bunny: Que paso nene, you hittin me up early trying to get my beauty sleep
Jerry: Can you hooke up with some tickets for show on December 21st
Jerry: In Houston
Bad Bunny: Ay bendito I’m in Houston on the 1st
Bad Bunny: I got you bro. Vamos a hanguiar.
Jerry: Ya Sta
Jerry: You know what I mean foo
The game ended there. He called me an hour later to give me an update.
“So what happened?” I asked.
“She was with it for a second but when I showed her the texts she asked ‘Why does Bad Bunny have a Houston area code?’”
Jerry passed away last December due to complications from Covid-19. I haven’t even begun to delve into our chat and text threads, let alone delete anything because we discussed so much and shared a lot of pics, opinions and ideas, the story above coming from one such instance. It was a shock two months ago and it’s still shocking now that such a big, boisterous persona is no longer here with us. We still had so much more to create.
Currently I’m working on a comic about Jerry and his trip through the afterlife. While his family and following is huge, I like to think I’m one of the privileged few who knew him through his creative side. The 13th of this month he would have turned 39. It’s unreal going through his feed and posts knowing that this is it and they’ll never be updated again. On the flip side, it’s reassuring knowing I can hit up his profile and pick a video and my late friend will spring back to life for 30 seconds. Nothing can replace his true presence, but it looks like one will live on in the metaverse. I’ll be stalking his videos and stories closely as I flesh out this short story, which I’ll be posting the progress on very soon.