:: Article

Credit Card Song

They’d played the one hit and the other one you sometimes hear if you listen to that weird station without commercials, but not the credit card song, the one we’d really come to hear, the one our fifty five dollars a head demanded. After one more tune, a cover of a song from the time they said existed before we all were born, they just said thank you and goodnight. We laughed at first, thinking this was a joke. Then the stage went dark, and we were silent, lost in thought about that credit card commercial&#0150the one that always had the human decency to play our unheard song, whatever it was called, the one we’d paid for, with the tinkly piano and creamy falsetto that brought us all to tears.

But now was not the time for tears. Now was the time to band together. It started with the chanting&#0150″Credit card, credit card, credit card!”&#0150to show them we were real fans. Then some savvy somebody pulled out his Mastercard. Soon, everyone was reaching for their wallets and their purses&#0150it was a beautiful thing to see, the way the gesture caught on, the way the idea so readily consumed us all. When we swiped the cards through the air, they had no choice but to return to the stage, smiling and waving and thanking us very much.

“We’d like to play a little something new,” the frontman said, shaking sweaty hair from his eyes.

We booed, we jeered, our voices high as interest rates.

“It’s actually…a bit of a departure,” he said, his voice a nervous crackle against the now vicious melody of our rage.

We surged forward, arms raised in unison. A few of us down front gained purchase on the stage. Through all the pandemonium, you could hear quite clearly the uncanny sound of plastic chopping down the air between us and them.

Michael Cocchiarale
lives and works in Chester, PA. Some of his other creative work may be found in Eclectica Magazine, Tattoo Highway, Slow Trains, Ducts, and Pindeldyboz.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, November 9th, 2006.