Here’s how I pitched this one: “…a fantasia folding real figures from American music and the labor movement into a narrative of forbidden technology and political resistance, all framed in the form of an oral history.” In other words: a 5,000 word in-joke for a tiny niche audience, written entirely in dialect to boot. I still can’t understand why it got bounced three times in six weeks.
—see why you want to put it so close, is all. That’s a cardioid mike. It’s gonna pick up just fine.
INTERVIEWER: [off-mic, unintelligible]
Whyn’t you put on them cans and watch the meters, then? Tell me what I’m about. You rollin on that thing? All right. One, two. A salt pickle tastes fine with ham. Open the crate but don’t break the glass. Add the sum to the product of these three. The ripe taste of cheese improves with age. Sibilance. Sssssssssibilance.
That’s what I told you. Shoot, sister, I been a audio engineer since your gran’daddy was in knee pants. Don’t you tell me what I’m about.
Well, that was me and Equity. That was his name, Equity Prentiss. You like that? Equity Prentiss, ain’t that the damnedest name? And He shall govern the peoples with equity. Like the Bible. That’s where it come from, or that’s what he told me. Said his daddy wanted to name him Retribution, and it was his mother who talked him down to Equity. He wasn’t Pennsylvania Dutch, but he was one of them. Old Order Mennonite, or something or other. He left his church, though, long fore I meet him. Left his church, left his people. Or they thrown him out. On account of he took up with lectricity. That’s what we had in common.
This is a pretty long story, now. You sure you got enough tape on them reels?