The Union Man: Act One

Imagine if Harold Hill, instead of peddling band supplies which he never intended to deliver, set out to organize an existing boys’ band…

Act One

Professor Hill arrives at the River City station in a raucous passenger car of Boys Band United Guild (BBUG) brothers, eager to shine the light of collectivism into a suspiciously independent populace. He departs the station as the train steams further west, carrying a union rep to every town from the Mississippi to the Pacific.

First stop: River City Middle School, where the youngest members of the marching band can be heard awkwardly drumming and trumpeting. Professor Hill circulates through the crowd, all smiles, offering a business card to the parents and children who warm up most readily to gentle suggestions that perhaps the band should be better funded. Business in River City is booming – what citizen would refuse the town’s children new drumsticks and uniforms?

Those seeds planted, Professor Hill saunters to Town Hall, whistling a tune as he waits outside the mayor’s office. The mayor bristles at the suggestion that additional taxes be levied on River City’s businesses, but his tone changes abruptly at mention of the professor’s Boys Band United Guild credentials.

Weeks later, Professor Hill leads a jubilant River City Boys’ Band in a celebratory tune to commemorate their new status as part of the national BBUG brotherhood. Members’ parents will submit a nominal fee to Professor Hill to facilitate the more frequent purchase of new band equipment, the outstanding bills for which will be delivered to Town Hall. River City businesses are happy to give the Boys’ Band a boost, with many a citizen proudly noting that Mason City does not care enough about its children to support BBUG.

Continue to Act Two, or learn about Ohio’s real-life government unions.

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