This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
A drama with the moral of "be careful what you wish for, you might get it..." Jeremiah P. Driftwood is visited by a ghost/his conscience who bades him to turn off the faucet he left running. He is told there is a shortage but he refuses to cooperate. He wishes he had nothing to do with the city and his wish is granted. He then finds he can't accomplish anything. His trash won't be picked up by the sanitation department; the subway turnstile won't turn for him because it is run by the transportation department; the taxi's meter won't run because the driver reports to the hack bureau, etc. The turning point comes when he discovers he can't get a marriage license without the city's help. He wakes up from what was a dream, immediately turns off his dripping faucet, and all is right with the world.
During the day, Driftwood talks to a woman who throws around a handful of zingers about being a woman. Later, a bit of commentary from his fiancee about getting married.
Characters played by: Jim Bose, Anne Toviak (?), Arthur Anderson, and Ed Latimer.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 33746
Municipal archives id: LT1014
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
W. N.Y.C. presents the man without his city. The you. The new. As nine hundred forty nine draws to a close there is still on rights in the world the future is anybody's guess with everyone doing the guessing nineteen forty nine is the halfway mark the center of the century the dividing line in the decade we want to take the few remaining minutes in the life of it. All What's the use I can't do it but stop the music why is it that at the end of every year all radio announcers must walk around with trumpets under their arms and then a voice full of foreboding tell us all the things we did with such dramatic force that we don't even know they're talking about oughts Thilo we decided to cut the fanfares in the bass voices and tell our story simply and quietly a little quiet music played. The best. The the this is the story of Jeremiah that would a man ever minded a little too not to regret a matter of fact there are times when Jerry can be downright stubborn our story opens in Jerry's bachelor apartment at six thirty and he's seventy first Street it's morning and he shaving when the phone rang up. Alright alright I. L O O Giovanni No no a barber I'm not mad at you Well I just cut myself shaving oh everything's going wrong this morning. No of course I still love your breath yes baby in your sweet one o'clock and Luigi's I'll be there go by. When and where is that darn collar button. On my wrist watch the Jeremiah peed driftwood you left the water running water so why say I can't see you who are you anyway never mind who I am your facet is open go find another house to haunt I have enough troubles of my own let me see now where is that collar button around my R.P. driftwood turn off that tap you left the water running all go soak your head if you have got one you've wasted fourteen gallons already go away but a year bother me there is a serious shortage I'm in a hurry in this creek raves about some measly water your city asks you to cooperate one of the city ever do for me to go fly a kite then you refuse to cooperate Look buddy as far as I'm concerned this cooperating business is a lot of malarkey Do you realize what you are saying I sure do as a matter of fact I wish I had absolutely nothing to do with the city and the city had absolutely nothing to do with May That is your desire yes. Oh be it General P. driftwood wish gratin ten strikes Jeremiah's means their work refuse her recognize New York City extract the zero zero to God I F F How do you got against know your status report when nothing personal like I just want to have nothing to do with it that's all where were you born with the driftwood and well in the second largest floral up of a certain city whose name I do not care to mention Well my back how did you arrive at your momentous decision was a good wicket I just didn't that's all how do you predict your action will affect New York City's way of life no comment Can we quote you on that certainly now if you gentlemen will excuse me I have some important business to attend to Good day gentlemen thanks so much reporter with OK. Look up to Congress can. My new suit watch my garbage do it here why wasn't it remote hey you you work on that truck sanitation man. Yes What's my garbage doing here to be like it's just laying there well why didn't you collect it I'm sorry but I guess I must still be looked at well don't let it happen again. I wonder how I passed that up well up she goes. Shut the screw you hear this garbage dump dump. I can't figure it doesn't dump Well that's absurd look I'm dumping on dumping but I don't dump nonsense Who ever heard of garbage that doesn't dump Well look for yourself which I am possible then you never hear the law of gravity I don't care what law you pull on me Mr this garbage a dump and let me show you. OK that's funny seventeen years in the department and this is the Voice time they missed me take a good look at you. Same eyes same nose your god your hand them who I see your picture in the papers your dad Chris would feel I think yes you're the guy who won't have nothing to do with the city and vice versa thank you You're darn tootin that well I get it now I know why you're gone which won't don't what do you mean the sanitation department is a branch of that city and it. Just what you well what am I supposed to do now it's your headache Mr I suggest you start rationed thanks oh yeah well I wouldn't let him collect my garbage if my they paid me not give it to charity that's what I'll do I'll give it to charity hey hey I can't waste time I got to meet Barbara but I get to a subway. Come on this year I gotta get in the subway to my boss is an awful thought and there's something wrong with this turnstile my dime won't go when you're trying to dip in a slug are you Mr they send people to jail for that of course not a look at it looked OK to me. It sounds all right get a bonafide Why don't you try another car in style I did it didn't work there either that's right it's next to. Not the same here some men find everything so difficult here give me your DI let me hear they went in like a charm and they say women are the weaker thing but I can understand it maybe you haven't got the right touch Mr it's not what you do with the way that you do it go ahead in the thing. Not a turnstile stuck turn some men are so helpless push harder and push step aside Mr let's see if it works for me OK. Do you work I always say it takes a woman's brains to run the world I hear a train coming so long Mr I'm late already and not. Come back oh well I'll try another one this diamond going either maybe I'm not pushing hard enough that it's going to. My eye it bounce right back. That's kind of funny business has gone on here mystery I've been watching you I just put my diamond in a jump back and hit me in the eye this is where the night heard years a station a dream I heard of trying to score each What brother the shorters are no one on me no story put a dime in yourself and see the border transportation page me to make change of the station not to be droppin does seem to deter board of transportation city to partner now I get it well you know what they can do whatever all subway it's like I better take a taxi if I want to meet Bob or on time. Actually hate actually and some of you have gotten a cab these days Taxi taxi. Luigi's restaurant thirty second lectures and I'm in a hurry it causes me great pain new friends to be unable to accommodate just a bit more the it is the appointed hour for me midday meal however so just care to wait until I have partaken of me repassed I was a minute privileged to transport just for you that the nation but I have no time in a hurry hurry the bane of our civilization you know sudden it was a great sage who said he will hurries loses time but on the other hand what is time of void of nothingness resting in the lap of a tiny little look here I can argue with you are you going one moment forth for the intellect takes precedence over sustenance for the stomach right I will gladly forego me meal but a place you have come into gripes with a free flask mind such as you look body which is be kind enough the friend to step in the ME humble taxicab so that we may discuss Leopold verities at our leisure No I gotta get to thirty six great Lexington right away he was truly a say to observe the group aggrandize is the wise man compromise come on leave us proceed to fifty six Street in Lexington Avenue but slowly. And this ranks. Modern conveyances you know something the invention of the wheel was mankind's greatest blunder Yeah yeah let's get rolling and what is the wheel but I diameter surrounded by a solid conference what is your opinion my friend my opinion is that you ought to get the motor started motor generators of power and what is power but of all solution please how about starting your my friend I thought but why does the little flag on the meter is gonna go down. Hey it repeals this to this then come on come on I'm going to siting pressure but it resists me to get it down phase I have got all day and women perhaps it is symbolic perhaps the fate would have a sit here and debate site in crews that are greater than both of us look and you can't get going I have to get out of this can look I wish to accommodate just but I cannot proceed in this here until this here little flag the sand then get it down or else I get out I am unable to do so too bad to my friends my friends come back a little flag of this and good. Now let's let's get going. Holy cats the little flags flown up again. What can it mean I don't care what it means all I want is to get the fifty six straight slam it down again I'm straining but it resists me hey perhaps with a phenomenon such as this it is wiser to be gentle even compassionate push hard after Lehi but I've got no alternative but to report this here incident to the high clear old but as you say I got no law no reported to whom and to have poor old if it's what in their province the people certifies me as a license when they oversee the operation of this little flag and the meter is well license bureau city now I get it ah well I got my way they way they want to play ball it's OK with me so long my friend admit I guess I better start walking if I ever hope to meet Barbara. Hello Barbara I'm sorry I'm late Jerry dressed for it all Dave to be late I'm sorry honey but well things got a little out of control say why were you standing outside I thought we were supposed to meet inside that we really were free this side of the window to all my fine customers who do me great honor to enjoy my chicken cacciatore and other special day she's. Pleased to announce that today Luigi's is closed I am attending the graduation of my son. From the Academy of coal Eastman after six o'clock Raphael is a regular cops and I opened the store with free wine for all of sign Luigi Palombi a monkey's uncle police department even Luigi's tied up with the city. And nothing nothing honey did you see the papers this morning I didn't get a chance to go out but find a place to eat. Dinner you are going to happen to you. All about this place is only cafeteria but the food is good all right. There's never been able let me How do you check on me I get it all on my. Money have just to know I'm white and coffee no dessert no thanks I'll sit tight baby I'll be back in a jiffy. The two nonwhite have a G.'s on right but a little mayonnaise on the tuna please. Please Here you are thanks can't believe we have to punch you know no charge account Oh I'm sorry to hear that thirty five and. What's wrong with my friends were at one time I was working a minute ago now probably. Say about him only when I. Say. This one stuff I can't thank you it may do you happen to have anything to do with the city where the main Are you connected with the city in any manner shape or form it's important Wow I took the civil service exam one but I didn't make out so no no I mean right now my boyfriend the foreign minister actually no how about yourself you personally. Every so often I have to report to the Board of Health I'm a licensed would happily you know every one of us here have that's when I can solo sandwiches full of horses telling customers. Come on Barbara let's get out of here but also we haven't yet Jerry stop pulling my heart back blade here that both blank Gerry's open the door and. Now that we're outside would you please explain what's gotten to you today what I'm glad I don't care about your boss first you're barking at me over the phone I didn't mean to bark at you Barbara Well it certainly sounded like a back to me then your show up late in the week well I started out on time Barbara honey but well I couldn't you really wanted to you could have and now you told me the sun cafeteria and then drag me out before I could even get it let alone have a bite to eat I demand an explanation geriatric but I refuse to go a single step further with a madman like you have to explain it sooner or later so we're going to let better be good Baroni to. Day was going to be the day I finally got up enough courage I decided to ask you to marry but. Still. Over you. Were letting that make you. But foreign allies know why you were so nervous of Gerry you should have known I'd say you don't understand Barbara I can't even take a taxi I really want to hear everything as long as we love you Let me explain because I don't want to write darling I understand everything I don't care for if you're poor you lost your job will mess with me for a husband I have used woman in the Lurline but they're a deal really is true of course I love you Barbara Honey I love you more than anything else and the world I want to hear for a moment I thought you didn't want to marry me Jerry. Wonderful idea let's go down to city hall right now and take out a marriage license city hall license no no no no. No. There is still time. Off your father No no no. Board. Grab ass no no no. She enlistments on to mostly sleep for the dream oh gosh the water's dripping I can shove it up table can't wait for food. That's better. One of my spotted me so. Wish I could remember when I went. Oh. Hello Barbara how are you honey that's good. You're not angry with me oh no no no good reason I just wanted that soft Of course I love you baby as much as ever more Meet me at Luigi's Your Here I'll hold everything I got a better idea why wait let's meet in front of the city hall let's say got our marriage license today. You have been listening to The Man Without a city presented by your city station as a reminder of things past and present in the past you heard Jim bones that Jerry and the Tony act as Barbara Arthur Anderson as the voice of the conscience and the cabbie at Latimer as the voices of city employees and root Life and Liberty Bell the man with out of the day was written by Luke drop in and Felix Leon and produced and directed by George Wallace for a Happy New Year stay tuned to the municipal Broadcasting System.