Bad News’s Birthday

In a break from routine, we’re observing a special day I only figured out last week.

The auspicious day of Baden’s birth. -throws cake and ice cream and confetti at everyone-

And to celebrate, I’ve written a short story in the same style as a similar one showing how Wolfgang got his name. Because Bad News is just as interesting of a name and deserves some backstory.

So we have a Bad News-y feeling song + a collage made by a friend. ❤

and our lil story:

Rita had guessed by the sheer size of her husband that this wasn’t going to be a particularly small baby. And it wasn’t a shock that the baby came a little before he was due.


But even with the expectations in place, seeing her child for the first time was shocking.


She thought she wouldn’t have the energy to react after that much pushing to get him out, but she found a well of inner strength to react after all.


Her jaw dropped, her eyes widening. “Holy moley.


He was like . . . as big as a toddler already. How had he even fit inside of her?


Olden chuckled and shifted the baby in his arms as he moved the blanket. “Go big or go home, huh? We got us a beauty.”


The midwife was busy cleaning some of her things up and seemed equally shocked. She’d already voiced the fact that she’d never delivered a bigger baby.


Rita nodded, letting out her breath as she leaned back on her bed again. She couldn’t stop staring.


Her sister, Sarah, rubbed at her shoulder then reached down to squeeze her hand and give her a smile. “Mazel tov. He’s beautiful.”


“Being big just means there’s more to love,” added Olden with a smile. “I mean, that’s how it is with me anyway isn’t it?” He rubbed one of his big hands over the top of his son’s head, feeling the dark fuzz that bristled up in all directions and looked almost hedgehog-ish.


Rita gave a weak laugh. He was a beautiful baby. He’d hardly cried at all since coming out. Just a few wails, then after getting a sleeper on, he’d opened his big, brown eyes and been absorbed with looking around ever since. He was the most content baby she’d ever seen.


Mrs. News the elder, Olden’s mother, poked her head into the room. “Do we have any . . . oh!” She gasped and clapped a hand over her mouth as she slipped the rest of the way in. Not seeming surprised by the size at all, a smile spread across her lips and tears filled her eyes. She stood on tiptoes to see the baby’s face. “I’m a Grandma,” her voice quavered.


“And I’m a dad,” added Olden. “And Rita’s a mom. Sarah’s an aunt. We’re all new things in here because of this little News here.”


The midwife had recovered from her shock just enough to smile. All the happiness and love crammed into the tiny apartment room in Chicago.


Olden came to Rita’s side, gently setting the large bundle of baby down in her arms. He brushed a few of his wife’s messy, red curls back from her face.


It was a lot easier than Rita thought, adjusting to the weight in her arms. She beamed down at her son. Her sister and mother-in-law peered over the sides of the bed to admire as well.


“Hello new little News,” Rita cooed softly touching his nose.


The baby blinked his dark eyes at her, reaching up to grab onto her finger.


Olden chuckled, reaching down to ruffle the baby’s hair again. He straightened back up and adjusted his fedora, then rubbed a hand over his close-shaven beard thoughtfully. “Well now, what should we name him then?”


“We’ll name him after his father of course,” said Mrs. News Senior.


Olden and Rita wrinkled their noses in unison. They’d already had conversations about hating the title of “junior”.


Olden shook his head. “Nahhh, I think I’m the ‘Old News’ here. He’s new. He needs somethin’ fresh.”


Rita felt her son’s fuzzy hedgehog-hair for a few more seconds. Then a thought crossed her mind. She muffled a giggle.


Her sister looked over at her. “What is it?”


Rita just shook her head, biting her lip as she tucked a strand of hair back. “I was just . . . thinking.”


“Hmm?” Olden sat down on the end of the bed, jouncing the mattress.


“Well . . . see, when he gets bigger, he’s gonna be . . . like, huge. And you could imagine that would look kinda intimidating for folks.” Rita couldn’t hold back her grin as she talked. “And what do people say sometimes when they see some big guy coming?”


Olden frowned in thought for a second, and then his face lit up at the same time the midwife’s and his mother’s both took on an expression of horror.


“Here comes bad news?” he replied.


Rita nodded, laughing again. “And we have the last name of News. I’ve always sort of liked the name Baden. And a nickname for Baden could be Bad, so . . .”


Bad News!” Olden burst out laughing, slapping a hand on his knee. “We could have a kid named Bad News! I love it!”


“Could you imagine for his little siblings? And when he goes out to take on the world?” Rita couldn’t keep herself from laughing while she talked this time. Sarah was even struggling not to giggle.


Olden clapped his hands together. “Okee dokee, that’s awesome. We’re doing that.”


“Olden!” his mother broke in, “You are not naming your son on a joke. Naming is a holy prophecy over your children! You should name him something Biblical! Some family name! How do you think he’ll turn out if you name him ‘Bad News’? How do you think he’ll feel about it when he’s older?”


She gestured to the innocent baby as if to prove her point.


And to everyone’s shock, the baby was laughing. It was a little deep for a newborn. More like chortles and gurgles, but his face was split in a wide smile, his eyes arching into dark half-moons.


Everyone stared, leaving the baby laughter as the only sound in the room for a few seconds. Then Rita started laughing again.


“Well, I’d say he likes his name,” she pointed out.


“It’s official,” declared Olden, spreading his arms. “Welcome Baden News to the world, everyone! Mazel tov, let’s print up the birth announcements.”


Sarah was laughing too now. She clapped, echoing the “mazel tov”.


Old Mrs. News’s expression was pained as she looked at the baby. “You can’t at least . . .?”


“Bible name?” Olden patted his mother’s shoulder. “His middle name can be Isaac. For the laughing. That sound good?”


She gave a gusty sigh. “Really . . . I just don’t see how any child named Bad News can turn out to do any sort of good.”


Rita smiled down at her happy baby for another second before looking up to her mother-in-law. “Don’t worry, Ma. He’ll turn out just wonderful. We’ll raise him right. And no baby this happy could be mean to anyone. Could you?” she cooed down at Baden, gently tickling him. “You’ll give bad news a good name.”


Sarah got up and headed for the door. “Well, I think we all need some food. I’m going to go get some ice cream to celebrate.”


And just for fun, since the year we’re in now of 2018 is technically before the events of Blank Mastermind take place, today in Baden’s timeline:

  • This is his 27th birthday
  • He was already in self-proclaimed retirement from mafia life
  • He lived in a trailer
  • And played many instruments/hustled pool for money
  • Has about seven months or so to go until taking on his role of Wolfgang’s self proclaimed bodyguard and personal chef

So. Hope that was a fun little bit for you guys today. ❤ Have a great weekend and eat some cake and ice cream in honor of the occasion!


18 thoughts on “Bad News’s Birthday

  1. AWWWWW. *warm fuzzies**dodges the cake you threw at me* Happy birthday, Baden. *jumps up on her tiptoes and tries to give him a hug with all five feet four inches and 112 pounds of her*

  2. Happy birthday Bad News! *contemplates the hug but goes for a high-five instead* Mazel tov on getting out of that mafia life! Have yourself a good one- spend some time with Goodwin (he’s already born, right?).

  3. Hmm… what a coincidence! Bad News happens to have the same birthday as at least one of his real life inspirations… the one with the giant gorilla features, cake for breakfast and musical tendencies. Happy birthday, Bad News… and Grandpa! 😜😁

    1. *whimpers pathetically* *eyes clock ticking steadily farther into the night* doesn’t it say somewhere “let not the sun go down upon your cliff-hangers”…

          1. When you keep leaving us on such suspenseful cliff-hangers, good intros and outros are honestly the last thing on my mind. ;P

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