Richard Youngblood, aspiring Congressman, is about to find out about honesty. He’s running on a platform of honesty and transparency—and against the advice of his friends and advisers he’s decided to start with himself. His autobiography will lay his entire life bare before voters just days before the election.
And what a life he’s had. Born in a commune and named Richard Milhous Nixon Youngblood as an angry shot at his absent father, Richard grows up in the spotlight, the son of an enigmatic fugitive and the grandson of a Republican senator. He’s kidnapped and rescued, kicked out of college for a prank involving turkeys, arrested in Hawaii while trying to deliver secrets to the CIA…Dick Nixon Youngblood’s ready to tell all.
He’ll even tell his readers about the Amandas—three women who share a name but not much else, and who each shaped and defined the man he’s become.
Are voters really ready for the whole truth?
Pianist in a Bordello is a hilarious political romp through the last four decades of American history, from a narrator who is full of surprises.
Targeted Age Group:: 30 to 80: Readers who have experienced some history tend to really get excited over this book.
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My life as a soldier in Vietnam and a history teacher for 36 years provided a back drop for me to write a book as retirement loomed ahead. It is a fictional autobiography of Richard Milous Nixon Youngblood, who was born in a hippy commune on election day, 1968 and his mother, in an act of vengeance against the her absent husband, named him after the newly elected President.
My main inspiration in writing this novel was entertaining myself with my own words, that are often funny and sometimes meaningful. Like my narrator, I wanted to make some sort of impact on society.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The characters seem to pop out of the pages of history books and the people I have known throughout my life.
P R O L O G U E
Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to
be smart enough to understand the game, but dumb enough
to think it’s important.
—Senator Eugene McCarthy
“Dick, you can’t be a great congressman if you never get
elected,” Emily said.
“Ah, the conundrum of seeking elected office.” I stood up
straight, all six feet two-plus inches of me, and gestured toward
the wide windows and the modest Sacramento cityscape beyond.
In my own mind, I was professorial in tone and as inspiring as
Kennedy at Brandenburg Gate.
Tim frowned. “Emily’s right. Your chances of election are
almost nil if you really put everything in your book. So what’s the
“It’s the truth as I know it,” I said. “The first completely honest
Emily groaned and jabbed her Clintonesque thumb at me.
“Why the hell did I agree to be your campaign manager?”
“You loved my commitment to candor?”
“This isn’t candor, it’s … it’s—”
“It’s too close to the election,” my legal adviser, Tim Escuella,
said. “It makes you look flippant.”
“It’s not flip—”
Mike C. Erickson
“It’s muck,” Emily said. “At least let us put a positive spin
That was when Bradford Nayan, my publisher’s representative,
“What’s up, Brad?” I said. “Ready for the next chapter?”
“Actually, I was hoping to talk you into a little … fine-tuning.”
“The kidnapping stays, but the yellow submarine—”
“That’s the way it happened,” I said. “The sub stays.”
Brad held up his hands. “It’s just that we don’t think this
book—as it stands now— will help you get elected.”
“So your company is jumping on my campaign bus?”
“Look, Dick—you win, your book makes money. You lose,
we’re lucky to break even.”
“Anything else?” I said.
“We’d like you to dial back the sex. More Jimmy Carter, less
“Sorry, Brad, no major content changes without my approval—
and I don’t approve. But you and your company can rest assured
I’m going to win.”
“That’s not what the polls say.”
“Allison, give us the latest numbers,” Emily said.
“Dick’s fallen from eight points up right after the primary to
ten points down today—in spite of having a two-to-one advantage
over Banks in name recognition.”
“Maybe now,” I said, “but after my book is—”
“Dick, this book is a really a crappy idea,” Tim said. “All of us
“Except Nick,” I said as my financial consultant entered the
office. “How’re we doing?”
“Contributions are down. Please tell me you’re not going ahead
with that book?”
“Stop!” I said,. “Thank you. Brad, what if I agree to personally
Pianist in a Bordello
cover the first hundred grand of your publisher’s losses—assuming
there are losses?”
Brad nodded. “Give me something in writing and I’ll take it to
the senior editors.”
“While you’re at it,” I said, “remind them that if they don’t
agree, I’ll sue their literary socks off —right, Tim?”
“We’ll explore all possible legal remedies.” Tim forced his
voice down to reasonable-lawyer levels. “You sure as hell don’t
want Rob Banks voting on stuff like education or immigration,
“Speaking of immigration,” Emily said, “take it out of your
stump speech. If someone asks, skirt the issue. It’s a huge loser in
parts of your district.”
Now I was the one struggling to keep my voice down. “Emily,
there is no way in hell I’m not bringing up immigration. It’s too
important. And I’m publishing the book. ”
That seemed to be the nail in the conversational coffin.
“Is there anything we can do to stop you?” Emily said after a
“What if I quit?” Tim said. “What if we all quit?”
I walked toward the windows, gazed out at the skyline again,
and counted thirty long seconds. Then walked back to the conference
“You won’t quit.”
One by one they caught each other’s gaze, and then they turned
to me. They all nodded.
Emily checked her cell phone.
“I’ve got to go. Just remember, Dick, most idealists end up as
footnotes in forgotten tomes in the basements of libraries.”
“You know, Gandhi—”
“And I don’t want to hear another one of your fucking Gandhi
* * *
Mike C. Erickson
The next day I picked up Amanda Patina at Sacramento
International Airport. As I watched her descend the escalator in
all her cosmopolitan splendor, I fell in love all over again.
We caught up over ales at the Red Dog Pub.
“So you’re going ahead with your autobiography,” she said.
“Voters are looking for candidates with integrity, an aura of
probity, and they won’t believe I’ve got it unless I show them
everything, scars and all.”
“I hope you’ve kept ‘aura of probity’ out of your speeches.”
“Just trying to impress a Harvard girl.”
“Know any Harvard girls?”
“Just you. Anything else to boost my ego?” I asked.
“You’re deliciously gifted in bed.”
“Hey, a quote for the book jacket. Anything else?”
“Well, your tongue is poetic platinum.” Her body began
shaking with a repressed giggle. “And didn’t you tell me if it’s men
in the race, the tallest guy wins?”
“Usually.” I scanned all the short people walking along the
street in front of the pub.
“I just read about that mayor of New York back in the twenties
who played the piano when campaigning. How about adding
some music to your campaign. You sing a little, and didn’t you tell
me you once wanted be a piano player?”
“Still do, but I realized my tongue was better-suited to speaking,
and my fingers … you know about my talent there.”
Her eyes brightened, and she wore a lascivious grin.
“If you win, do you think you can get Congress to sing your
song and hum your tune?”
“When I win, I want to be more than simply a pianist in a
“Even if I sat on your piano and sang your song, Dickie?” Her
grin became even sexier. “So you want to be the conductor of the
orchestra, right?” she said.
“Before leaving Congress, I want to become the … musical
soul of a pitch-perfect symphony.”
Pianist in a Bordello
“Have I ever told you how much I love you for your modesty?”
Although my staff had planted the tiniest seed of doubt, my
optimism remained more or less unscathed.
“One is a majority if he is right,” President Lincoln said after
overruling the wishes of his close advisors. Come Election Day,
I’d be putting that to the test.
—Richard Milhous Nixon Youngblood
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