It also means that some of the Seventy-Sixer posts are going to be severely out of order, because today's is supposed to be Singing/Playing an Instrument, but mine takes place after the V-Day gift. So. I'll have to post this (and the other Seventy-Sixer FF stories) after the V-Day gift story, i.e. end of the month.
You don't get fluff today, basically. BUT you get some bittersweet Viva New Vegas.
“It helps that you gave Mister New Vegas all those tapes,” Arcade said. It had been a real shot in the arm for the radio station, not to mention everyone who listened. Radio New Vegas was one of only a handful broadcasting, and the only one with twenty-four hour coverage.
“I know. It’s good to hear something different now and then.” Almost everyone in the city tuned to Radio New Vegas, which meant you could hardly avoid it when you went out. Like now. “There’s still the standing reward for tapes in good condition, right?”
“Of course there is. And there’s full-time people to make sure that the tapes are, indeed, in good condition. What’s on the tapes, well…”
“Hello listeners,” came the voice of Mister New Vegas himself. “I understand we have so many of you to thank for the new music for me to play for all of you. If rumor’s to be believed, a working holotape production facility exists in California. If that’s true, maybe someday we’ll get to hear our own homegrown music too. I’m looking forward to that. Coming up…”
“If the NCR had one, they’d be using it,” Arcade said. He said no more as Ralph handed over a parcel and Gunnar handed over caps.
“Is NCR scrip still used?” Gunnar asked.
Ralph shook his head. “There’s a place in Westside that does an exchange, I heard, if you’re real desperate. NCR money’s lost its value since they left.”
“Got it. Thanks, Ralph.”
“You bet, Ponix. I’ll send a message if we get more.”
Gunnar and Arcade left, and Gunnar handed the parcel to Arcade to carry so he could use his walking stick. “I’m probably never going to avoid this, am I?” he asked, looking down at it. “Using a cane.”
“I think you’re safer using it from here on,” Arcade said. “Unless you want a palanquin to ride on.”
“Seems like a bit much just to go down to the corner for a soda,” Gunnar sighed. They heard another radio playing as they walked.
“It’s funny,” Gunnar said, “I know that song, but with other lyrics. The originals, I think.”
“Yeah. They’re more… bittersweet, I guess. And it was a duet.”
Arcade wasn’t ready for Gunnar to softly sing along with the radio. “Thanks… for the memories…” and then sing over them, yes, different words: “of tinkling temple bells, alma mater yells, and Cuban rum and towels from the very best hotels…” Gunnar took a deep breath. “How lovely it was…”
“Sounds just as pre-war as anything,” Arcade said.
“Well, it is.”
“What’s some more of it?” Arcade wasn’t sure he’d ever heard Gunnar sing before.
“Not in public,” Gunnar lightly mock-punched him in the arm.
“Because I know that despite the evidence of musicals and show tunes, the entire town will not suddenly join in or otherwise be enamored,” Gunnar said, smiling. But when they were away from others, he began again: “Thanks, for the memories, of cushions on the floor, hash with Dinty Moore, that pair of gay pajamas that you bought and never wore…”
“Are you sure you didn’t just come up with these yourself?” Arcade asked.
“I said, I’m pretty sure those are the original words.”
They walked toward an overlook, where one could see the ruins for what felt like miles. “We said goodbye with a highball, then I got us high as a steeple,” Gunnar sang, stronger now, “but we were intelligent people; no tears, no fuss…” His voice caught. “Hooray for us…”
Arcade took Gunnar’s free hand and squeezed it.
Gunnar smiled a little, nodded. “This is the end part,” he said, voice thick with emotion. “Strictly entre-nous, darling, how are you? And how are all those little dreams that never did come true?” He turned to face Arcade, and put his arms around him. “Awfully glad I met you, cheerio, toodaloo…”
Arcade held him. “Sorry,” he said into Gunnar’s hair. “I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories.”“No, you didn’t,” Gunnar said. “They’re good memories. But,” he stepped back so they could see face to face, “it’s always a good time to make new good memories, right?”
~ ~ ~
(Thanks for the Memories was Bob Hope's signature song, but heavily covered by many many other artists, all of whom changed the lyrics to suit themselves. One by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross is my favorite, but it's not the one in the film that introduced the song to the world, The Big Broadcast of 1938, showing that even then, there were variations in the lyrics.)
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