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An OTR Parable
By F. Gwindell
An Old Time Radio Parable
with apologies to Correll And Gosden
"The Perfect Song" up and under...
BILL HAY: Never one to let slip a valuable business opportunity, the
Kingfish has set himself up in a new profession -- that of Old Time Radio
dealer. By energetic advertising, he has carved out for himself an
impressive share of the market, and is always looking for further
opportunities to expand his enterprises. As our scene opens, we find Amos
and Andy at the taxicab office, listening to their favorite Old Time Radio
cassettes. Here they are...
ANDY: You know, Amos, I sho' like listenin' to dat Lum an' Abner. Dem
fellers sho' do talk funny, you know dat?
AMOS: Yeah, dey sho' do, dat's fo' sure. Dat Lum kinda remind me of you
sometimes, Andy, dat's what he do.
ANDY: What you mean, Amos? Dat Lum ain't nothin' like me. I is a suc-cessful
businessman, dat's what I is. Dat Lum, he cain't do nothin' right, always
lettin' dat Squire Skimp give him de business. Dat's one feller ain't got no
kind of brains a'tall, dat's what I think. Wait a minute, here come de
KINGFISH: Well, hello dere brother Andy. Hello brother Amos.
ANDY: Hiya Kingfish. We was just listenin' to de old-time radio cas-settes
you done sold to us.
AMOS: Yeah, you know, Kingfish, dat's a good thing you done, makin' it so we
could have dese.
ANDY: Lots better den listn'ing to Amos moonin' over dat Ruby Taylor all de
AMOS: You gonna be seein' de moon and lots o' little stars floatin' over yo'
haid, you keep talkin' 'bout Ruby Taylor like dat, dat's what's gon' happen
ANDY: Don't mind dis one, Kingfish. He jus' got wimmins on de brain, dat's
AMOS: Least I got a brain. You just like dat Lum feller, dat's what you is.
Dey oughta put you on de radio or sumpin'.
KINGFISH: Yes, well, dat's kinda why I come over here dis afternoon. I needs
to talk to you both about sumpin'. Y'see, I was over here to de Bite And
Chew Lunchroom earlier today talkin' to Brother Crawford, and he done told
me dat you both was in dere earlier in de mo'nin', and dat you was talkin'
'bout dis Lum an' Abner program I done sold to you.
AMOS: Dat's right, we was talkin' while we was eatin' breakfast, 'bout who
was dat Diogenes Smith feller dat dey had on dat show. Lookin' fo' an honest
man, dat's what he's doin'.
ANDY: Dat's a hard thing to find dese days, you know dat, Kingfish? Dey's a
lot o' people out dere dat you jus' caint trust.
KINGFISH: Uhhh, well, dat's true, I guess. But what I has come here to talk
to you gentlemuns about is dis business o' you talkin' 'bout dese radio
shows. Brother Crawford tol' me dat you made him a copy o' dat tape I done
sold to you. An' he done give a copy to Madame Queen, an' she done made a
copy fo' Fred Gwindell, an' he done passed it along down de line to Flookie
Harris, an' he done give one to Lightnin'. An' now none o' dese peoples is
wantin' to buy no more of de tapes from me, you see? An' even more,
Lightnin' an' some o' dese other peoples is tellin' me dat dey is makin'
copies o' different shows an' givin' 'em to you! Now, I is done spent a lot
o'money to buy up de rights to put out dese shows fo' de people to here,
an' you know, it's only fair dat I gets some kind o' re-turn on my
AMOS: Dat's true, I guess, Kingfish. Ev'ybody en-titled to make a profit.
KINGFISH: I glad you see it dat way, brother Amos. Dat gonna make it a lot
easier to say whut I goin' to say now. You see, when you makes copies of de
radio shows, you is actual infringm'ntin' on my rights as de copyright
KINGFISH: I say, I is de licenseer. De copyright licenseer.
AMOS: What do dat mean, dat "liceseer."
KINGFISH: I gon' 'splain dat to you. You see, on all de radio shows, dey got
dis thing called de copyright. Dat means whoever got de copyright is got de
right to copy it. An' when I makes de copies, you gives me de money. And I
is de only one gets to do dat, see. De one and only. An' dat's what's right.
AMOS: So dat's what makes it de "copy-right", is dat what you sayin',
KINGFISH: Dat's right, brother Amos.
ANDY: So you goin' show us dis copyright? I never see nothin' like dat befo'
-- I sho' would like to see one.
KINGFISH: Welllll, no, now, brother Andy, uhh, dat ain't...dat ain't, you
AMOS: Yeah, I sees it.
KINGFISH: Be quiet, dere, now, brother Amos. I is thinkin' 'bout some
re-po'tant matters here.
ANDY: Yeah, cain't you see de Kingfish is done got a lot on his mind? You
gon' get him all undistractilated o' sumpin'.
KINGFISH: Uh, yeah, I thinkin' hard 'bout dis one, an' I is done got de
answer all foambulatin' in my head here. You see, now, I done said dere
dat I was de copyright licenseer. Now whut dat means is dat I is de one dat
gets to see de license!
AMOS: I got a license right here, to drive de taxicab.
KINGFISH: Dis is a different kind o' license den dat, brother Amos. Dis is
a license dat costs lots o' money an' dat only us big business mens and
lawyers an' ex-ecutives is allowed to see. Dat's why we is de licenseers.
An' you is -- you is --uh-- you is de lice or sumpin'. I forgets de legal
AMOS. You forgets, huh. You forgets a lot o' things, dere, Kingfish.
KINGFISH: I is goin' to over look dat last remark, brother Amos, because I
is not in'erested in causin' no unhappy feelin's o' nuthin'. Never fo'get
dat we is all brothers in dat great fraternity de Mystic Knights O' de Sea,
an' I is yo' honest brother an' true friend all de time. Ain't I de one dat
put all dem Old Time Radio shows out fo' you in dem nice pretty packages,
with de pictures on de front? Ain't I de one dat on'y charges you thutty o'
fo'ty o' fifty o' sixty...
AMOS: When it get to seventy, I sellin'.
ANDY: Dat's enuff, Amos. Don' mind him, Kingfish. He ain' got no sense.
AMOS: You listen to de Kingfish, you ain't gonna have no cents neither. Or
KINGFISH: I is also gonna overlook dat last remark, brother Amos, cause I is
a gen-u-ine humanitilarian. But I is gotta follow de rules, and if I lets
you see de license, an' lets you be a licenseer too, den ev'ybody want to be
one, and where's dat gonna leave me? I be just like you den, just anudder
one o' de lice. An' you knows, an' I knows, dat a re-po'tant businessman
like me just cain't be like dat.
ANDY: Dat's true, Kingfish. Ain't nobody like you, dat's fo' sure.
AMOS: Ain't dat de trufe..
KINGFISH: Now because we is all brothers, I ain't gonna slap you with one o'
dem big liturgiticalous enstranglulations and writs o' habeous corpuscle o'
nothin'. I is too full o' love fo' you, and fo' de wonderful Old Time Radio
shows dat we all love, dat I gonna make you dis propolition. You is gotta
pay me fo' ev'y copy o' de tape dat you made, and promise never to make no
mo' tapes fo' nobody any mo. I is de licenseer, remember, an' dat means I
sees everything dat goes on. You start makin' dem copies again, an' I gonna
see dat. Den you be in big trouble. I protectin' you now, you see, so you
listen an' do like I tell you, an' you don't never get in no trouble
a-tall. An' you kin go right on an' buy all de radio shows you want -- long
as you buy dem from me. O'course, de prices might be goin' up here sometime
soon, but dat's one o' de costs o' doin' business. Remember, we got dem
pretty pictures on de front, an' dem kind o' things cost money. But you is
gettin' de benficials, remember dat.
AMOS: We is gettin' sumpin', dat's fo' sure. We is gettin' sumpin...mmm
Published with permission of the author. This fair-use satire is (c) 1999, Anonymous, and is based on the serial-era radio program, known to be within the public domain. So if you wanna sue, knock yourself out...we're covered.