As most of you know by now, “The Goon and the Prune” didn’t shoot a single frame of film in Bootleg City. Amnesty International caught wind of the filmmakers’ plans to use local citizens as human crash test dummies in a massive “zombie demolition derby” action sequence and promptly cried foul, blanketing the town with banners that read “Extras are people too!” and forcing the production to hire professional stuntmen. Unfortunately for us, the stuntmen are back in California, so that’s where “The Goon and the Prune” is headed “unless we can work out some tax breaks with Arizona’s governor in exchange for helping her with that illegal immigrant problem,” according to one of the film’s producers.

It’s a crushing blow to our local economy and tourism industry, not to mention the quarterly earnings of Bootleg City’s hospitals and funeral parlors. So who blew the whistle in Amnesty International’s direction? I think I might know …

For the past year my staff has had the privilege of participating in Shoeless Mondays. It’s my version of Casual Friday here in the mayor’s office, except instead of wearing jeans and a T-shirt to work, you get to spend the entire day barefoot.

Sounds great, right? A relaxing way to start off a long workweek, yes? And all you had to do to be a part of it was donate $100 each week to a charity of my choosing whose name I chose not to reveal. But my requests for mandatory kindness seem to have upset my staffers, who apparently don’t like to contribute blindly to charity, even if the charity in question may or may not cure blindness one day, and have begun complaining to the media. Since none of them has ever asked, “Whatever possessed you to hire me? It’s painfully obvious I’m underqualified,” I’ve always assumed they enjoy a good mystery. I guess not.

Some have complained that they asked for an increase in the number of bathroom breaks they’re allowed each day, not a loosening of the dress code. One male staffer even claims he contracted athlete’s foot from the floor of the City Hall men’s room because of Shoeless Mondays. I told him urinating on his feet while showering would take care of that problem, and that if he couldn’t produce the aforementioned antiseptic while a State Farm representative watched, I could pinch-hit for him.

I would love to ask that employee to transfer his weekly charity donation to my legal fund, but because of media pressure and the threat of more lawsuits from staffers, I’ve decided to retire Shoeless Mondays. But because I’m such a good boss, each staffer will be assigned a free street urchin to shine his or her shoes at the end of each day before said urchins return to the streets and their makeshift beds of cardboard and tears. All I ask is that you do not tip the urchins, no matter how pathetic they might be. But if you really must defy my wishes, please tip in unmarked bills. Thank you.

This week’s bootleg is courtesy of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. More mystery! (It’s not Joe Klein. I promise.) The Seattle band Nirvana played at the U4 club in Vienna, Austria, on November 22, 1989, in support of their debut album, Bleach, and even though Back to the Future Part II debuted that day in movie theaters across the United States, Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Chad Channing apparently felt no need to celebrate its release with a performance of Huey Lewis & the News‘s “The Power of Love.” Boy, were these guys out of touch! No wonder I’d never heard of them until now.

Love Buzz
Floyd the Barber
About a Girl
Spank Thru
Big Cheese
Been a Son
Negative Creep

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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