Apple Kid

"Wait a second."

Waluigi looked at his papers. And then looked back at the applicant. He looked back at the papers. And then back to the applicant. Papers. Applicant.

"You're not Orange Kid!"

He was expecting a thinner (and, quite frankly, stunningly handsome) youth of roughly the same age. Instead, he had a somewhat plump boy wearing a ridiculous red hat.

"Yeah, I get that a lot," the boy responded. "You see, I'm Apple Kid. Orange Kid is my neighbor."

Waluigi didn't bother concealing his disappointment. "Oh... I see." He checked his watch. "Well, I don't have all day, so let's just get this over with. Who are you and why should I put you in my game? Also, can you see if Orange Kid has any availability later this week?"

Apple Kid blinked. "Uh, I guess I'll take those questions one at a time. So, yeah. My name's Apple Kid. I'm a Twoson native, and I'm also somewhat of a prolific inventor. In fact, just the other day, I..."

Waluigi was already beginning to zone out. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but something about this guest really irritated him. Maybe it was his sloppy demeanor, his unkempt appearance, the circular shape of his body... It was all very familiar.

Right as he was beginning to connect the dots, a certain boisterous presence barged into the room.

"Bro! Quick question." Wario hobbled over to the dining table where Waluigi was conducting his interview. Normally, this would be an unwelcome occurrence, but this Apple Kid fellow was putting him to sleep. As Wario entered, he started pretending to shoot exactly one red orb of energy. After this little display, he shook his hands and started blowing them, as if to fan out some smoke.

Waluigi rubbed his eyes. "Yes, what is it?"

Wario stopped in his tracks. "Bro, is that who I think it is?"

Waluigi scoffed at him. "No, brother. I'm afraid this isn't Orange Kid. It's apparently..."

"Of course that ain't Orange Kid, bro. Anyone worth his salt knows that Orange Kid is a no-good grifter. This is the legendary Apple Kid, bro!"

Waluigi couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Pardon? How dare you besmirch the great Orange Kid name! He's just so... so debonair!"

Wario darted over to Apple Kid's side of the table. "Apple Kid, bro, I'm a huge fan. Your inventions are off the chain, bro! I own your premium automatic nose picker. My nostrils have never been this booger-free, bro."

Apple Kid reflexively rubbed the back of his neck out of embarrassment. "Gosh! Well, I'm absolutely chuffed. Always happy to meet a fan."

Waluigi's face scrunched up in disgust. What a clownfest. Speaking of clowns, he thought back to a time when he considered studying to be a clown in Venice, Florida. And that time he saw a group of remarkable trained pigs. And a devastating July 1944 fire in Hartford, Connecticut. Wait, what was he doing?

"Waaaa!" Wario cried. "This is so crazy. Bro, I can't believe you got freaking Apple Kid to work for you. This guy invented my phone!" He whipped out a dinky, little red phone.

Waluigi cackled. "Ha! That pathetic little thing? How much did that cost you? A paltry 50 coins?"

Wario paused to recall the actual sum. "Uh, 55, bro."

Apple Kid flashed a grin. "I'm all about high functionality, high affordability."

"Right, well. This premium Orange Kid Hyperflux Vector phone cost me 1200 coins. And I get to join special chats with other Elite Class Orange Club members and take hi-resolution photos."

"That's cool and all, bro. But can your phone do this?" Wario held the phone to his face. "Burp Mode, activate. Bro." Within milliseconds, the phone simulated a loud, prolonged burp on command. Wario and Apple Kid instantly burst out laughing and high-fived each other.

Waluigi rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well can your phone do this? Phone, when does the pizza store down the road close?"

The phone began to vibrate and a snooty AI-generated voice replied. "ORANGE KID IS AWESOME. ORANGE KID IS AWESOME."

Wario smirked. "That's pretty sweet, bro. Not sure if that really answered your question, though."

Waluigi shook the phone in frustration. "No, no, tell me about the pizza!"