The mayor of Bootleg City is back! And in case you have no idea who that is, the mayor is me!

Thank you, thank you, you’re too kind. But if it’s not too much of a bother, please turn down the crickets — I’m having trouble hearing your applause.

I originally planned to be on vacation for two months. Not long enough, if you ask me, but sometimes you have to make difficult sacrifices for your constituents. Then I remembered that I said I’d be spending the first 100 days of my second term far away from this godforsaken open sore of a town. (Those of you who didn’t vote for me wanted “the next mayor” to be honest, remember? Well, look who’s next, suckers.) A hundred days is more than three months, not two, so I shouldn’t even be here right now, except maybe to dump more snow in Matt Wardlaw’s driveway.

I wish I could go back to Spain, where my ex-lover Anita lives, but it looks like that Santa Maria has sailed, as Annie Zaleski told everyone a couple weeks ago. I’m sure you’ve heard that Spain has the best male lovers, but my foreign object wasn’t what ended my affair with Anita. Instead, it all boiled down to something the late, great Teddy Pendergrass once sang: “If you don’t know me by now, you will never, never, never know me. Ooh, ooh-woo-ooh.”

Ms. Zaleski also posed the following question: “Mayor Cass had abandoned his constituents for nothing more than a hot piece of ass?” I’d like to answer her with another question: Ms. Zaleski, have you ever fried a farm-fresh huevo on a hot piece of ass? Seeing as how we’re both asking rhetorical questions, I don’t await your reply. But I will say this: it’s delicious.

However, I do await your reply, Bootleggers. Will you continue to support me and not get all high and mighty and Jenny Sanford-y about my tryst? You know I’d never leave you. I’m just bad at math, among other things, so I lost track of time. Except I didn’t, since I’m technically still within the limits of a 100-day vacation. So I really haven’t done anything wrong. Maybe you’re the ones who’ve done something wrong — did you ever consider that?

I await your reply.

Because I was gone almost three months, it’s been a little difficult getting back into the municipal swing of things. That’s why I recently called a good friend, Mayor P.R. Nelson of Erotic City, for a pep talk. At least that’s what I had in mind …

Me: Thanks for taking time out, Mr. Mayor—

Nelson: My name is Prince. And I am funky.

Me: Right. Sorry. Force of habit. Prince, I’d like to ask you a few softball questions to begin with. First off, what’s your favorite comfort food?

Nelson: Starfish and coffee.

Me: Huh. That sounds interesting—

Nelson: Maple syrup and jam.

Me: Oh, you mean to spread on the starf—

Nelson: Butterscotch clouds. A tangerine.

Me: Anything else?

Nelson: A side order of ham.

Me: The next time I stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Erotic City, I’ll see if that’s part of the free continental breakfast.

Nelson: We can funk until the dawn, making love ’til cherry’s gone.

Me: Uh, that’s okay. I mean, I’d be happy to share a room with you and your lady friend on a road trip — with me and my lady friend in the other bed — but, personally, I prefer strawberries with my champagne.

Nelson: That sexy motherfucker’s so fine I could drink her bathwater.

Me: Yes, your lady friend is very attractive, if you don’t mind me saying, and drinking her bathwater shows a real commitment to the environment — we must conserve whenever we can.

Nelson: Girl, you’ve got a wonderful ass.

Me: Is, uh … is somebody else in the room with you?

Nelson: Now move your big ass ’round this way so I can work on that zipper, baby.

Me: Is this not a good time?

Nelson: It’s plain 2 see you’re the reason that God made a girl.

Me: Aww, that’s sweet.

Nelson: U be screamin’ like a white lady when I count 2 three.

Me: Do they scream? I guess I’ve never given one a reason to. Does that make me a hero? Well, if you say so—

Nelson: Shut up already! Damn!

Me: Look, Prince, you told me to call when the six met the nine. If you knew you were going to be, you know, entertaining before seven, you should’ve rescheduled. There’s no need to be a jerk about it.

Nelson: 4-letter words R seldom heard with such dignity and bite.

Me: Well, I’m sorry I had to use harsh language, but I’m glad you understand. Let’s continue. You’re the mayor of Erotic City — any particular turnoffs?

Nelson: Overcast days never turned me on.

Me: Yeah, me neither. They’re a bummer. They always make me feel lonely.

Nelson: If you’re the one who’s always lonely, then I’m the one who’s always alone.

Me: Well, see, that leads me to my next question: You’ve been mayor of Erotic City since 1984. Do you ever think about retiring? I know how isolating the job can be.

Nelson: U better live now, before the grim reaper come knocking on your door.

Me: So retirement’s not in the cards.

Nelson: I’ve seen the future and it will be. I’ve seen the future and it works.

Me: Fair enough. Does that outlook extend to the current administration in Washington?

Nelson: We need a new breed. Leaders, stand up. Organize.

Me: You’re already unhappy with Obama? But it’s only been a year. You can’t deny he was handed a terrible economy. Don’t NBC the guy just yet.

Nelson: If your man ain’t no good, come on over 2 my neighborhood. We can jump in the sack. And I’ll jack U off.

Me: Hold everything! Last time we talked, you hinted at a possible presidential run in 2016. But now you’re saying 2012?

Nelson: It’s time 4 a new direction. It’s time 4 jazz 2 die. 4th day of November, we need a purple high.

Me: I’m pretty sure the sixth is the first Tuesday in November that year.

Nelson: U might not like the taste, but I’m still gon’ stick your face in this funk.

Me: So you’re going to stage a coup on November 4 before the election can even take place?

Nelson: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, boys and motherfuckin’ girls. This is your captain with no name speaking, and I’m here 2 rock your world.

Me: Yeah, great inauguration speech, Prince. You had me going for a minute there. Listen, all kidding aside, if you’re going to run for president you need to disclose all of your sexual indiscretions. I know you do things a certain way in Erotic City, like when you had that nude campaign poster in ’88, but that doesn’t mean your act will play well in the middle of the country. So, any secrets?

Nelson: I was only 16, but I guess that’s no excuse. My sister was 32, lovely, and loose.

Me: I don’t like where this is going.

Nelson: My sister never made love 2 anyone else but me. She’s the reason 4 my, uh, sexuality. She showed me where it’s supposed 2 go. A blow job doesn’t mean “blow.”

Me: Wow, look at the time. I should probably get—

Nelson: Incest is everything it’s said 2 be.

Me: Oh dear.

Nelson: We were meant 2 live together. Underneath the sun, I can’t think of nothing better. Don’t you wanna come? Get on the boat.

Me: I don’t think even Karl Rove could turn that ship around, Prince. We’re probably both better off sticking to local politics. But I appreciate you pepping me up. Your story of brotherly love beats a double shot of espresso any day.

… This week’s bootleg is “The Ex-mas Rehearsal,” featuring Mayor Nelson and his advisers, a.k.a. the Revolution, practicing the song “Another Lonely Christmas” in December of ’84, right after he was elected into office; “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When the Saints Go Marching In” also get a brief workout. (Note: This is the second week in a row that “Saints” has been featured in a bootleg. Place your superstitious Super Bowl bets accordingly.) You may be thinking, “Christmas has already come and gone, Mayor Cass,” but if you’re lucky enough to live in Erotic City, it comes over and over and over again.

You can thank Ickmusic and Popdose’s Michael Parr for the bootleg, and I’d like to thank Matthew Boles, Matt Wardlaw, and Annie Zaleski for fulfilling my fireside-chat duties while I was gone. I’d also like to thank Kelly, Dave, and Karin, three of Mayor Nelson’s current advisers, for their help in arranging our phone chat. (Be sure to check out Dave’s threepart guide to the mayor’s career.)

Another Lonely Christmas [instrumental]
Another Lonely Christmas [keyboards and bass only]
When the Saints Go Marching In
Another Lonely Christmas [keyboards, bass, and guitar only]
Another Lonely Christmas [full band]
Let’s Go Crazy [instrumental #1]
[instrumental jam]
Let’s Go Crazy [instrumental #2]
[LinnDrum sound check]
Another Lonely Christmas [live version]
Another Lonely Christmas [studio version]

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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