LABOR: The Pied Piper of Chi

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James Caesar Petrillo cannot see germs, at least not very well, but they do not fool him. He knows there are armies of them all around him : hairy ones with mil lions of eyes, wiggly ones with transparent heads, sloppy ones shaped like tomato sur prises, stiff ones which look like piccolos in aspic. He never forgets that they are coming at him, morning, noon & night. But he is not intimidated. He fights them.

As grand sachem, lord paramount and international president of the American Federation of Musicians, Caesar Petrillo has an imperial disdain for convention, and, when confronted by bacteria, he will stop at nothing. He roars like a wounded lion if a photographer lays a camera down near him; he believes microbes use cam eras as invasion barges to leap out at him.

When drinking ale he often retires to a lavatory and scrubs feverishly at his glass to get the bugs off it. He frequently refuses to shake hands. Instead, he extends only his little finger, thus exposing a minimum of his person to bacilli and micrococci.

While germs are the smallest and possibly the most numerous of Petrillo's enemies, they are by no means the only ones. He maintains a noisy state of war with countless members of the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms.

The Octopus. He heartily dislikes actors and always insists that musicians get the lower berths when traveling with dramatic troupes. He hates the greens on golf courses, and when playing, simply skips them. He is eternally suspicious of lawyers. He believes "they can steal without getting put in jail" and habitually greets them with the cry of "Burglar!" He is against John L. Lewis, amateurs of all kinds, and the custom of eating lunch. He is convinced that the legislative process was conceived for only one purpose—grilling Petrillo like a frankfurter. When annoyed by an opponent, he screams: "Tell him he's nuts—he oughta run for Congress." He trusts only one man with power—Petrillo.

He dips deeply into his reservoirs of energy, belligerency and profanity when dealing with these forces of evil, but he does so with a comparatively relaxed air—something like a lion-tamer lobbing house cats into the chandelier of a Sunday morning. His real enemies are the phonograph record and its cousins, the motion picture sound track and the radio station turntable. He is mortally afraid that without James Caesar Petrillo, all the music in the U.S. would eventually be produced by one non-union musician playing a musical comb into a microphone.

Last week, in his efforts to stave off this eventuality, Petrillo had tangled himself up in the works of the canned-music business with the bellicose ingenuity of an octopus in a pea thresher.

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