Peter, the lounge singer at the Four Clover Tavern, has received a surprising amount of attention for his satirical song about the financial crisis that he sings to the tune of “White Christmas.”
“I’m dreaming of my own bailout,
just like the one AIG got.
Where the gold coins glisten,
to hear poll numbers falling low.
I’m dreaming of my own bailout,
but would settle for food stamps.
May your 401-Ks stop falling and soar.
And may you get a bailout before you’re poor.”
“If he gets another verse, I’ll play it on the radio,” said Mike Van Wilson the conservative talk host on Nero radio station WNRO. Nero is a fictional mill town that has seen better days.
“Boy, that would be Peter’s big break,” responded former Nero union boss Marty the Bull.
“These bailouts have gone too far,” Mike said. “And Peter’s harmless little spoof points out that we’re throwing good money after bad.”
“Well, I almost agree with you,” Marty said. “Nobody bailed out the sock mills when they were going under. And our union didn’t have one of those job banks where our members could not work and get paid.”
There was commotion at the door as Disease Cotter, retired mill worker, was trying to come down the stairs into the Clover at the same time as a two-person TV news crew was bullying some equipment down the stairs.
“Hey, give the old man a break,” Marty yelled out. “You think you own the place because you’re on television?”
“Sorry about that,” said TV reporter Lance Larue. “This is the Four Clover where Peter does the bailout song, right?” Mike Van Wilson was on it, “Lance, Mike Van Wilson here, popular radio talk host. I’d be happy to give you a view of how this song is going our in our gritty city. In fact, I’ve been in touch with your news director. Has he mentioned my name? I’d be interested in doing a short commentary on your news show. I’ve even got a name for it, ‘A Minute with Mike the Mouth.’ ”
Lance replied, “Mr. Van Wilson, a pleasure to met you. My grandmother lives right outside Nero and is a big fan.” “That’s the kiss of death,” Marty the Bull thought to himself. “Almost makes me feel sorry for Mike.”
Stan the bartender was now on the case as Peter, keeping one eye on the TV crew, was gamely finishing up a version of “Home for the Holidays” while keeping an eye on the TV guys.
Stan said, “We’re happy to have you here at the Four Clover, Lance. Is there any way you can get a shot of the poster where we advertise Peter’s big New Year’s Eve celebration here?” “Happy to,” Lance replied, glad to be a in a place with people old enough to be impressed by television coverage.
Mike Van Wilson was still hopeful, thinking to himself that Lance probably would take a good report about him back to the TV news director. Peter the lounge singer was hoping that maybe a little TV coverage could get him a gig in some place that wasn’t in a basement on a steep hill in a small town. Stan the bartender was getting excited about New Year’s Eve, wondering if he should order another box of hats and noisemakers.
Marty and Disease, who by now had grabbed a seat at the bar, were sitting back and enjoying the best show at the Four Clover in many a moon.
All in all, it was wonderful night.
Disease whispered to Marty, “I love show business.”
Bob Cudmore lives in Scotia and is a regular contributor to the Sunday Opinion section.