After The Ninth Time I Was Shot, I Began To Reconsider My Choices
Word to your motha. I am probably known best to the readership of this fine newspaper by the moniker "51 Cent", a rapper whose media persona is that of a hardened and experienced gangster...a persona, I might add, that is quite the opposite of my genuine timid and gentlemanly nature, but that's another editorial, I dare say.
You see, this persona is a throwback to my early years growing up with my grandmother, who was a hardened and experienced crack dealer. I learned everything I know today from her -- how to cook, how to sew, and how to sell expensive and wildly addictive crack-cocaine to desperate junkies. As with all high-return investments, however, my former line of work was very risky.
It was after the ninth time I was shot that I decided I had had enough.
My first two bullet-wounds, or "medals", as my grandmother affectionately called them, were "marks of the trade," symbols of my deep-rooted heritage and marks of experience. I wore them with pride and as a message to addicts who were unruly not to fuck with me.
After I was shot the third, fourth, and fifth times, however, I began to feel a bit apprehensive about bits of lead fired at high rates of speed tearing into my body. To help me through, I would always remember my grandmother's advice:
- Dangerous business makes for high profits.
- A watched pot never boils.
- If, while beating a junkie, your hands become bloody, wash them immediately with anti-bacterial soap.
- Never accept the offer of sodomy for payment. An occasional incident of fellatio is an acceptable substitute.
Keeping these idioms in mind, my sixth and seventh times didn't really make an impression on me. They hurt, however, because I followed my grandmother's rule of never using what I dealt. But painful or not, these bullet wounds, in addition to the five before them, did not serve to deter me from my line of work.
The eighth bullet wound, come to think of it, also did not phase me...but that ninth time I was shot, I really had to stop and wonder if what I was doing was the best for me.
"51 Cent," I thought to myself, opting to use my media name rather than my actual birth name of Perciful H. Fickleworth. "Perhaps this line of work is proving entirely too harmful for you. You may be better suited to a chef in a fine Italian restaurant, or perhaps a connoisseur of fancy glass eggs."
But as I entertained these fanciful notions, I was reminded of little Billy from the corner of Vine and 6th, who I first sold crack-cocaine to in the illustrious and beautiful spring of 1998. Or Pete "FYU" Sampson (the "FYU" stands for "Fuck You Up"), who tells me that he prefers my wares to those of any other merchant on the street.
I thought of those people who I touch with my business, and I realized that I simply could not, in good faith, abandon them and my craft just because of a few wounds to the body. Because while those wounds may be painful and sometimes even debilitating, they are only physical wounds. My soul, however, remains driven and intact, and perhaps even stronger than ever.
So, to those intent on keeping me from carrying out my legacy of providing high-quality smack for reasonable prices, I say: bring on your gunshots! Bring on wounds ten, eleven, and twelve. But try not to, because at twelve shots, I think I will quit, and fuck that soul shit to hell.