Sunday, October 27, 2013

191 Quiz Answer

Here’s the answer: The Pajama Game is a musical based on the novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell.  The story deals with labor troubles in a pajama factory, where worker demands for a seven-and-a-half cents raise are going unheeded.

(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "P" is for "Bob Porter")
Here’s this week’s Berownial quiz question.  I wrote the following to see if it might remind you of a famous musical.  Which musical?

Friend of mine, Bob Porter, was hurt badly by the recent recession.

He was depressed.  No job, no money coming in; for him it was the old 1929 crash all over again.

He’s an old-fashioned type.  He still believes in trade unions, even though in our twenty-first century they seem to have lost a good deal of their power.

When Bob was a lad, and it goes for me too, unions ruled.  In some industries you couldn’t get a job if you weren’t in the union and the Catch 22 was that you couldn’t get in the union if you didn’t have a job.

I believe many folks think trade unions are now just a thing of the past, like running-boards on a 1930 Studebaker.  But they’re still around; they’re just not as sharp as they like to think they once were.  Bob, though, had hung on to his membership in his union – for what reason?  For la nostalgie, maybe, or perhaps it was like believing in a myth, a sense of loyalty to the old days.

But what do you know, it paid off.  He got a job, after months of no work, with a clothing manufacturer specializing in nightwear.  The pay certainly wasn’t great and the work wasn’t interesting, but it was a job.

As fate would have it, he had joined the work force of this company while all its workers were in the middle of a brawl with management about wages.  For some reason, very unusual for employees, they felt their work was worth more money.

Well, when Bob learned what their demands were, he nearly burst out laughing.  They were asking for an hourly raise of less than ten cents!  They were marching around, carrying signs, chanting slogans, all for the fuzzy goal of less than a dime an hour increase.

Bob thought this made little sense.  But one of the working stiffs explained it to him.  You’re right, he said, a raise of less than ten cents an hour is very little, almost nothing.  But give it to me every hour, forty hours every week, and that's enough for me to be living like a king.

(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings)

21 comments:

Altonian said...

I saw this in London, 57 years ago. Edmund Hockridge played Sid Sorokin (wonderful singer). I am, of course, talking about 'The Pajama Game'. Didn't like the film version so much.

Lyn said...

Could it be "The Pajama Game"? Is the game I'm in.....

Berowne said...

First with the right answer are Lyn and Altonian - who, he reports, saw the musical in question 57 years ago.

naturgesetz said...

Nightwear suggests "The Pajama Game." Never saw the show, but I seem to recall hearing that there was a labor dispute (strike?) involved.

Berowne said...

Naturgesetz has just joined us with the correct answer.

New York Erratic said...

The Pajama Game, but I've never seen it.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Pajama Game - the musical that gave us "Hey There (You With the Stars in Your Eyes)" and "Hernando's Hideaway"! Thanks, Berowne. I love these posts of yours.

Berowne said...

Two more "winners." New York Erratic and Sharp Little Pencil have the right answer.

Kutamun said...

Oliver Twist ??

Bekkie Sanchez said...

Maybe these aren't for me Berowne! I don't know this either! Lol!

I never heard of this musical! Guess I'll try next week anyway! Have a good one!

Roger Owen Green said...

feel I should know this...

Kathe W. said...

Pajama Game???
Have a great week Berowne!

Hildred said...

All I can suggest is The Pajama Game, but don't think it meets all your criteria, Berowne.

Berowne said...

Hildred and Kathe W have just joined our merry band with the correct answer.

Reader Wil said...

I have seen a lot of musical, but not this one.Thanks anyway.
Wil, ABCW Team

Carver said...

I should be able to think of this one but can't. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

Little Nell said...

I think this is The Pajama Game, not that I remember the plot but the mention of nightwear was the clue. I do recall being taken to the cinema to see it, by my mother, who was in love with the leading man I think.

MERYL JAFFE, PhD - parent, psychologist, teacher, author... said...

Was it The Pajama Game? I keep thinking of the song "7 1/2 cents..." was it from this play?

Berowne said...

Little Nell and Meryl Jaffe, PhD, are the two latest to join us with the right answer.

Sheilagh Lee said...

I have no idea

Hazel Ceej said...

Aha... thanks for mentioning some bit of Catch 22. That's a of little of something I've always wanted to read.

Hazel

 
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