For All Nails, pt. 72 - "Closing Time, with Walt MacAnuff"
NCCC affiliate, Regina, Indiana , 10:28pm, March 15th, 1973
"... not very sporting of Michigan City, if you ask me Bill," says the smarmy
looking local newsman, sitting at his news desk, looking to his right. He
turns to the camera, and finishes up the local half-hour 10-o-clock news
"That's all the news we have for this half-hour. It's Closing Time once
again, with Walt MacAnuff. Good night, Regina."
And right after the "(C) MCMLXXIII NCCC - Regina" appears on the bottom of
the screen, we CUT to the introductory music, and a Movie/TV-script style of
MUSIC - The music is the well-known "Closing Time March", a classic
pub tune turned late-night TV anthem. It's played with a New Orleans
style, however, that combines Dixieland Jazz and Zydeco. An OTL
listener might mistake it for a Mardi Gras version of J. P. Sousa's
"The Liberty Bell March". This is not Monty Python, however, this is
the most popular "closing time" show in the CNA.
Named after the time when pubs close in the CNA, the after-11pm 
timeslots were traditionally populated with shows of local interest.
The upstart Northern Confederation Communications Channel (NCCC) took
a great risk by letting comic performer and one-season footballer
Walt MacAnuff try a new kind of Vitavision program. It featured a
nightly comedy routine, poking fun at current events and popular
culture, followed by 1-3 interviews with celebrities and people
MacAnuff felt would be interesting.
Critics have widely acknowledged that only MacAnuff, who overcame a
crippling football injury to enter a career in comic performance,
could have made the show's unorthodox formula work. Because of his
widespread popularity across the worlds of sports and entertainment,
he could court a wide variety of guests. One critic likened him to
"your best mate, chatting with you in your favorite pub." His
surprisingly intelligent interview with "Insight" report Stan Marsh
(where they discussed the Boricuan Missile Crisis, Kramer Associates,
and the Burgoyne Generals), cemented his popularity as "Mr. Closing
The MUSIC starts, and we see a film of a stout gentleman, aged 27,
curly red hair, locking a pub door. He turns around, and it's Walt
MacAnuff, holding his cane in one hand, and the keys to the pub in
the other. He starts walking with his cane down the street.
The camera PANS OUT and we see it's Main Street in Hoboken, the
gambling and entertainment capital of the CNA. The lights are
shining as MacAnuff walks slowly down the street. The voiceover
It's 11:30pm (10:30pm Western), so it must be Closing Time.
Tonight's after-hours guests include Christian Mwai and
Charles Murphy, along with very special musical guest, Juan
We CUT to MacAnuff fiddling open the door of "NCCC Hoboken".
Here he is folks - Walt MacAnuff.
We CUT to a dark stage suddenly lighting up. The stage is small and
plain, with MACANUFF sitting on a stool. A table supports his cane,
a glass of water, and another stool is opposite his.
A live studio audience claps as the music ends.
MACANUFF (known around the CNA as just plain "Walt") speaks with the
manner of your best friend from college who'd encourage you to do
something really outrageous with him.
They launched another monkey from Georgia today, and things
are _almost_ on track for the first real space voyage to be
taken by last week's guest - Christine Lillehammer!
Raucous APPLAUSE for the CNA's current darling. Walt turns to
ask band co-leader Peter Shaffer, whose daughter is one of the Sweet
Pete, weren't you telling me that Trish had news?
Peter Shaffer, New Orleans trombonist and co-band leader with
long-time collaborator Phil Maroni, talks nothing like the typical
New Orleans resident of this time. He sounds vaguely Indianan, and
has a full head of curly brown hair, not unlike Walt.
Trish was mentioning they might want to do one more monkey
The audience BUZZES a bit, Walt sometimes inserts real breaking news
into his monologues. And with Pete being Trish's father, he
certainly might have an inside track.
The only problem they're having is finding another dumb
Walt cocks his eye, Belushi style, as he replies.
I hear the ump from the Tories-Burgoyne test match is
The audience LAUGHS hysterically (the ump in question made a really
bad call), and with a small amount of relief that there's not going
to be a delay in Lillehammer's flight.
We have a good show for you tonight. Visiting us from
Nairobi, Victoria, but more recently of London, is exiled
former VNC leader Christian Mwai.
More raucous applause. Mwai is well-liked in the CNA.
Hopefully he's going to talk about what's been going on over
there. I mean... a pal of mine once ordered a Black-and-Tan
in Nairobi, and he got half-a-pint of Bass and was thrown in
The audience, sympathetic to the cause of black Victorians, laughs
heartily at the slam on the Victorian government. Any joke like
this, no matter how lame, would get a laugh. He continues.
I'll have lots to talk about with Mr. Mwai.
Joining us from our Burgoyne studios is our old friend, NCCC
news anchor Charles Murphy.
The audience applauds, but it's not nearly as excited as it was for
Mwai. Murphy (as we'll see) is a recurring guest on "Closing Time".
And tonight we have a very special musical guest.
The crowd goes REALLY wild.
All the way from the state of Jefferson, the Mexican Master
himself - singer, songwriter, sensation... Juan Bailleres.
It takes a bit for the crowd to die down. Walt shouts over them:
Take it away boys, we'll be right back.
The camera PANS to the 5-piece New Orleans outfit that comprises the
show's band. Maroni and Shaffer, a clarinetist and a trombone
player, start riffing on the "Closing Time" theme again. The banjo,
bass, and drums are behind them. They all look and dress like New
Orleans natives, which they (mostly) are. We CUT to our first
. . .
A World Locomobile "Earnest" is driving down a Michigan City highway,
with the Kramerica Tower clearly in the background.
Visit your World Loke dealer today. It's our annual Earnest
Offer going on right now.
CUT to a showroom with an Earnest Coupe being peered at by a young
married couple. The Earnest Wagon is being showed to a 5-member
family by a salesman. And an Earnest Sedan is in the background.
We're pulling out all of the stops to make this our best
offer ever. 300 pound discounts if you purchase before the
end of March.
CUT to footballer Ed Becker, sitting in an Earnest Coupe.
Let World Loke put _you_ in the driver seat!
. . .
The in-studio camera pans across the live studio audience, and up
past Walt's stool to the band. The band is playing an arrangement of
a popular tune by the New Orleans band "The Crawfish". The clarinet
player from earlier (Maroni) is now playing a squeezebox, and Pete
is banging on a piano.
Pete indicates that the music should stop, and the main camera takes
over, pointing at Walt.
Ladies and Gentleman, Shaffer & Maroni's Genuine New Orleans
The audience applauds at the nightly tip the the Closing Time band.
The band camera takes over long enough for Pete and Phil to say...
MARONI (Heavy NO Italian-descended accent)
The camera quickly shows the other three band members... Rene Martin
on drums, Jack Rice on bass, and Tony Powell on Banjo/Guitar/etc.
Our first guest tonight was deported from his homeland in
1965 for speaking out against his government's policies on
racial segregation. He currently lives in London, but is
touring the Confederation to rally support for the cause of
the Victorian National Congress.
Raise your glasses for Christian Mwai!
The AUDIENCE applauds. The Walt camera shifts to the left to track
the entrance of a frail-looking man of about 50 years. Despite his
build, he walks with the confidence of someone three times his size.
Walt stands up (with the help of his cane), and shakes Mwai's hand.
Because of his injury, Walt doesn't do this for every guest. That he
does indicates a great deal of respect for the guest. A phrase
measuring importance beginning to be thrown about is "Walt will stand
for him." Mwai sits down and Walt begins to speak:
Mr. Mwai, how's the Confederation been treating you?
My own treatment here has been very warm and supportive.
Your governor-general is a gentleman, and the people of
Burgoyne were very friendly.
The audience applauds, especially a few people in one section.
Those are the same people who laughed about the ump joke.
Walt's demeanor changes a little.
Tell me, where are you heading after your swing here.
I will be in New York starting tomorrow morning. I am
visiting various neighborhoods tomorrow and throughout the
weekend. I will be addressing a group of Broad Street
investors on Monday.
Fundraising, no doubt.
Actually, I will be addressing the concerns the Congress has
about North American investing in Victoria. I feel, as do
many of my people struggling for freedom, that it is harder
to oppress people without adequate funds.
Oi! I didn't even think about something like that.
Tell me Mr. Mwai..
You may call me by my first name, Walt.
Okay. Tell me Christian, if I buy some product, am I funding
someone who'd throw Carter Monaghan in gaol? I mean, these
Broad Street folks trade in companies, right?
Yes, Walt. In fact, there are several Confederation
companies who have factories or other major presences in
Victoria. North American Motors, for example, has a factory
right outside Nairobi.
Surely they don't contribute directly to unfair racial
treatment? I mean, this is the same firm that funded the
Diffusion, back in the 1920s.
You're right, Walt, about NAM's history of social generosity.
I'm surprised that such a firm can, in good conscience, run
operations where people are kept under bootheels by an
Victorian government levies are not insubstantial on foreign
companies. Those levies fund the very oppression the
Victorian National Congress is trying to throw off our
To that end, we are organizing a boycott...
There is mumbling in the audience. Mwai has not mentioned this
during his tour so far.
... of several North American companies that have operations
in Victoria. Such a company effectively funds tyranny.
Wow. Well, we have to go to an advert. We'll be back in a
The band starts playing again. Walt is still talking with Mwai, but
we aren't sure what about.
. . .
A Dickinson Sedan (a product of North American Motors) - this TL's
equivalent of a BMW 5 or 7-series - is pulling up to a city sidewalk
parking space. Out steps 4 businesspeople (one white woman, one
black man, two white men) without a rumple on any of their
Dickinson means business.
CUT to another Dickinson, this time the Sport Coupe (based on the
same Sedan body, but with lots of performance tweaks), whizzing along
a forested Northern Confederation road.
Dickinson means performance.
CUT to another Coupe (the non-Sport model), this time being picked up
by a very stylish couple leaving the opera house. The camera CUTS to
the luxurious interior of the Dickinson, with walnut paneling, power
everything, and leather seating.
Dickinson means luxury.
A collage of historical shots from the original 1922 Dickinson,
following through its evolution to the high-status luxury brand it is
today. (The value brand, of course, is now NAM's highly successful
Galloway line, last seen in a commercial during #46.)
Dickinson means tradition.
Finally, a shot of three cars - the Dickinson Sedan, the Dickinson
Coupe, and the Dickinson Sport Coupe - in a dealer showroom, with a
dealer shaking hands and handing keys to another satisfied customer.
Dickinson means... motoring.
The Dickinson name and logo appears over the scene. A small set of
text at the bottom reads, "A North American Motors company."
. . .
The band is playing the song it played earlier, but on the screen is
a shot of Hoboken's Main Street. As the music stops, the camera goes
back to Walt and Mwai.
We're back with exiled VNC leader Christian Mwai.
Christian, what's your impression of us. You mentioned "your
own treatment" here. I got the impression that if you
weren't such a famous person, that you might not be as well
I often hold up the CNA as a model for racial relations.
While that is definitely true for black and white relations,
I have wondered if you show the same level of respect to the
natives of your land that the Victorian government has shown
to its own natives.
Another wave of mumbling goes through the audience. This wasn't
quite what they expected.
MACANUFF (somewhat lightly)
That was a long time ago! I mean, c'mon, we've tried very
hard to make up for that. It's not like we were putting them
to work in the cotton fields!
MWAI (appreciating the debate)
True, but you did segregate them, forced migration in some
places. Just look at your Nakota tribe.
I agree that the sins of the father are not to be paid for by
the son, but the facts show your indigenous population is far
more impoverished than any other racial group in the CNA.
And beyond that, there are money and class stratifications
that, while cutting across racial lines, do nothing but build
barriers between the working class and those with power,
money, and privilege. You yourself are considered beneath
many aristocratic people, Walt, even though you command the
respect of the nation. This rigid class system you have here
cannot be denied.
I'll give you that.
Christian, if you don't mind staying with us, I'd love it if
you could join my conversation with NCCC News's Charles
I'm so sorry, Walt. I have an early morning engagement in
Maybe next time, then. Ladies and Gentleman, let's all thank
A light smattering of applause follows. The audience is a bit
stunned. So is the rest of the CNA, but we don't know that yet.
. . .
An actor is speaking into a radio microphone. Viewers will recognize
it as a recreation of Owen Galloway's Christmas Speech (from 1922,
see Sobel pp. 291-293). Astute viewers will know that the actor
delivers the speech with a lot more feeling that the actual Owen
We go to a better land, to a future gained and paid for by
the sacrifice of our ancestors. In so doing we assure the
continuance of our people, and not their destruction.
During the last sentence of the speech, the scene cuts to a long line
- where Galloway Trust workers are processing emigrants. We see a
14-year-old Southern Vandalian boy with his parents. The NARRATOR
The award winning motion picture comes to the vita screen.
The scene cuts to the same Southern Vandalian, named ISAIAH RICHARDS,
now a young 20 year old. He is looking longingly at another 20 year
old, JOSEPHINE TAYLOR, who is a native of the Michigan City suburb
the Richards family has moved to. This is a story of interracial
romance set in the mid 1920s.
You really don't care... do you.
I know what's here.
She points at his heart.
So it doesn't matter what's here.
She strokes her hand against his cheek. They kiss... passionately.
"Galloway's Children"  airs this Sunday night, at 7:00,
6:00 Western. Only on NCCC.
. . .
The audience applauds as the footage aired is that of Burgoyne, the
CNA's capitol. Viewers know that this is a prelude to a remote
interview from Burgoyne. In this case, it's with NCCC news anchor
The view is back in the Studio, and we see a big screen next to Walt
now. On that screen is 48-year-old CHARLES MURPHY, the respected
anchor of the NCCC Ten-o-clock-News. An OTL viewer might mistake him
for a serious-looking Bill Murray at first glance, but that's mostly
Hello folks! We're back, and on the screen live from
Burgoyne is our old friend, Charles Murphy
The audience applauds.
Walt, you're scooping me again. We're scrambling around here
right now to make the story on Mwai's boycott.
Sorry Charles - I honestly don't try to do this. I
mean... it's enough just having Trish Shaffer's Dad leading
I know. I'll be honest, I wish Mwai had spoken about
something we're covering over here at NCCC News. You're
aware of the trial of Victoria Madoka.
On trial for being successful, right?
MURPHY (just a hair condescendingly)
It's a little more complicated than that, Walt, but that's a
good workmanlike way of saying it. Victoria Madoka is
on trial for sedition, something even Mexicans don't have to
worry about too much.
Anyway, we'll have reporter Theresa Gugliano _live_ from
Nairobi when the trial begins.
Oh wow! You have the satellite link working?
We are going to be using Space Age technology to bring our
viewers the latest events from around the world.
We will be sharing this satellite with the other networks,
but we have a transmitting lorry already in place in Nairobi
for this trial.
Good show, Charles. Good show indeed. Will we be able to
report from even remote locations? Or do we need to be near
As long as we have electricity, we can report the news. Our
lorry could be equipped with a generator, I suppose.
So what else should we look for at 10:00 in the next few
Walt, the Grand Council is in recess until after Easter,
as members have returned to their districts to see what
their constituents think of the strange new political
landscape here. The Governor-General has made the initial
appointments of the new term, reflecting his new alliance
with the Levine faction of the PJP. His one-vote
governing majority seems secure for the moment, but
clearly any domestic or foreign crisis would put his
government in jeopardy.
Foreign Minister Bakersfield arrived in Boricua today, but we
won't be able to send a lorry _there_ for sure.
Of course we'll keep you up to date with all the latest
developments on the space launches, as Christine
Lillehammer prepares to be the first person to go up
The audience applauds at this.
But there's not a lot of world-shaking events we're tracking
beyond Boricua and this Madoka trial.
How is your family doing?
Molly is doing well at home. And Charles Jr. is finishing up
his first year at MCU.
A great campus there in Michigan City.
Tell me, Charles. We have Mexican signing sensation Juan
Bailleres on tonight. Is this another sign that Mexican -
Confederation relations are thawing?
The USM is confusing to a lot of officials here. There may
be a power struggle going on between de facto leader Vincent
Mercator, and who we _thought_ was his hand-picked President
Talk about scorpions in a bottle! That won't spill over
here, will it?
You pointed out thawing yourself. Would Juan Bailleres be
doing so well over here if we were in danger of conflct?
Mexican culture is starting to become very popular -
especially in the SC and Southern Vandalia. We did a story
about it last week, if you recall.
The Tania piece. That's a piece _I_ wouldn't mind having.
The Audience laughs. Tania Monroy's flaunting sexuality is making
inroads in the CNA, and is a source of many Walt jokes.
The last time we had such a blending between our two
countries like this was before the Diffusion. Hopefully we
won't have the same level of chaos we did in the 20s.
Hopefully we won't get another "Galloway's Children" out of
it. It's so sweet it makes me want to vomit.
My wife loves that movie. She and I will be watching it this
Sorry 'bout that, mate.
Look forward to having you on the show next time. Folks,
raise your glasses to our old friend, Charles Murphy!
The audience applauds a little wildly.
Coming up next.... Juan Bailleres!
More applause as we cut to commercial.
. . .
We're in a crowded football match. Our heroes, STEVE and DAVE, are
cheering on their favorite team. The problem is, they're surrounded
by fans of the other team. We realize STEVE and DAVE are cheering
against the home crowd.
STEVE looks at DAVE.
Your turn, innit?
DAVE looks like he's about to deny it, but then relents.
Blast - you're right.
DAVE starts to wander off camera to the right. Once he's off, STEVE
looks to the right, and winces as we hear various screams, and sounds
of someone being hit.
The over card reads: TWO MINUTES LATER
DAVE is still looking to the right. The same noises are in the
background, but DAVE is looking excited. STEVE comes back into
frame, carrying two cups with the famous Martin's Lager symbol on
STEVE looks horrible, his clothes are torn, and he beaten and bruised
in several places. Still, he smiles (now with one less tooth), hands
one of the cups to DAVE, and says...
Here you go mate. Say, aren't we playing in Michigan City
DAVE spits out his first sip upon hearing this.
DAVE looks at his cup, takes a sip, and continues.
I'll handle it.
The VOICEOVER kicks in.
Martin's Lager... it's worth it!
. . .
The AUDIENCE is now very excited. You can hear them over Pete and
Phil's music. The camera is on Walt the entire time.
You've waited all night for this. With his new single, "In
the CNA", here's Juan Bailleres!
Juan Bailleres drives the audience wild - think Elvis on Ed Sullivan.
He's very suave, which makes him a hit with the women, and he's a
very aggressive guitar soloist, which makes him a hit with the men.
His band consists of himself on guitar and vocals, a bass player, a
drummer, a percussionist (with congas, and other assorted traps), and
two trumpet players.
Bailleres starts off the band with "dos, tres, cuatro" and they rip
into something catchy - something an OTL listener might mistake for
Dick Dale and his Del Tones performing an infernal Squirrel Nut
Zippers song. Bailleres sure plays guitar like Dick Dale, and the
words are very charged.
CHORUS: In the CNA
At all the places along the way
Ay Caramba! What a sight!
There's a girl I'll kiss tonight
My favorite Tory, in all her glory
A redhead in Burgoyne, this is my story
I saw her in the square - we made a perfect pair
Watch her shake her body, you can't help but stare
In Michigan City, a girl that's pretty
I'd like to ask her out, but it's a pity
Her boyfriend's really large, a man in charge
I don't want to fight him, he's the size of a barge
My heart was broken, in Hoboken
A show girl blonde, she was really smokin
She teased me with her curls, these CNA girls
Nobody comes close in all of the world!
The final chorus is sung with a Mariachi-style dramatic pause
In the CNA...
At all the places along the way...
Ay Caramba! CNA Girls...
Nobody comes close... in ... all... the... world
The high praise for CNA women is appreciated by the female audience
members, at least 2 of whom pass out.
The camera points back to Walt as he stands up. He has to shout over
Ladies and gentleman... Juan Bailleres!
The audience screams more, almost drowning out the final words of the
Tomorrow night is Friday, so we'll have a visit from the
Closing Time Players, plus Terrence Philips, and music from
singer Jane Yount!
Good night, folks!
Normally the Shaffer and Moroni kick off "The Closing Time March"
again, but the fanfare is just too much, as the camera pulls back to
bedlam in the stuidio, plus both Walt and Juan Bailleres and his band
just soaking up the applause. "(C) MCMLXXIII NCCC - Hoboken" appears
on the bottom of the screen.
. . .
New York Herald, March 19th, 1973, Business Section:
"CLOSING TIME" FOR NAM AND NCCC
North American Motors withdrew all advertising from North American
Communications's NCCC network after Victorian exile Christian Mwai listed
NAM as a company that, in his words, "effectively funds tyrrany."
Mwai, the exiled former leader of the Victorian National Congress, will
address a group of Broad Street dignitaries today. He will call for a
boycott of businesses that deal in Victoria. Mwai announced this boycott
unexpectedly on NCCC's "Closing Time" vitavision program on Thursday. Host
Walt MacAnuff took the announcement in relative stride, only cutting
prematurely to an advertisement, ironically from NAM's Dickinson division,
before continuing with Mwai.
NCCC is also being barraged with letters about Mwai's commentary on
Confederation treatment of Indians, as well as what he perceived to be a
"rigid class system" still in place in the nation.
"It's split down the middle so far," says NCCC spokesman Neville St. Johns.
"We've received letters congratulating us, and Walt, for being brave enough
to have such a guest and let him speak his mind. We've also received many
scathing letters, including a threat on Walt's life."
When asked about the threat, Mr. St. Johns replied, "Walt isn't terribly
concerned. He says he's more worried about being trampled to death by Juan
Bailleres fans, and his interview with Stan Marsh next month."
. . .
 Regina, Indiana is this TL's Milwaukee. It's a tip of the hat to my
 Local news in the CNA follows network feeds of programs. It happens to
fall on times that resemble ours, unless, of course, there was a misprint
in the New York Herald's Vitavision section in #46.
 Just like England OTL.
 "Galloway's Children" is based on the novel of the same name by
pro-Diffusion author Stephen Quentin. The novel itself was viewed as
perhaps too-idealistic snapshot of the Time of Diffusion. It follows the
Richards family, a poor Southern Vandalian farming family, who moves to
Michigan City via the Galloway Plan. Eventually the oldest son Isaiah
Richards falls in love with local Michigan City girl Josephine Taylor.
The plot is more-or-less Romeo and Juliet but with a happy ending. That
ending caused most literary critics to lambaste Quentin for being too
dreamy about the Diffusion.
In 1968, the novel was brought to the big screen. The adaptation and
performances were superb, and garnered Felix awards for Best Actor (Ben
Trimble, in the role of Isaiah) and Best Actress (Martha Jackson, in the
role of Josephine).