“Who are you?”

“I told you, George. I’m Clarence, your guardian agent.”

“But where’s my offices? Where’s my Mercedes? Where’s my brother?”

“You’re brother died, George. Without you, there wasn’t an independent promoter to book Marilyn Manson. Without Marilyn, there was no one to pull your brother from the ice. Without your brother, there was no one there to save the roadies the night Ray Charles tried to drive the tour bus. You’ve been given a great gift, George. A chance to see what the world would be like without you.”

“But where do you fit in?”

“In my mortal life I never was able to close a deal. Oh, I tried. You name them, Social Distortion, Southern Culture On The Skids, I made offers, I bargained and I dickered, but I was never able to book a date. That’s why I was sent here to help you, George. It’s the only way I can earn my commission.”

“Listen, Clarence, I changed my mind. I want my wife, my home, my cell phone. I want my dates for Clint Black, Linkin Park and They Might Be Giants. I want my life back!”

“That could be difficult.”

“Try, Clarence. For godsakes, try!”

“I’m trying! I’m trying!”


“George? What are you doing out here? It’s freezing.”

“Bert? I told you, come any closer and… and… You know me?”

“Of course. You’re George Bailey. You’re the biggest independent promoter in town. You just announced Blue Oyster Cult for January. Say, any chance you can swing some comps for me and the missus?”

“You said my name! You said, ‘George Bailey!’ I’m back!”

And with that, George ran down the main street through the center of town, shouting joyfully at everyone he met.

“Merry Christmas, Sting! Happy Holidays, Kenny G! Merry Christmas, TicketMaster! Merry Christmas, SFX, you old national corporate entity, you! Merry Christmas, everybody!”

When George ran up the steps of his house, his wife and family were waiting for him, but there was one more bridge to cross.

“Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!”

“It’s not going to be so merry where you’re going, George. You’ve lost all the contracts, including the deals for Keb’ Mo’and The Derek Trucks Band. These gentlemen are the tour inspectors. They’re going to send you away for a long, long time.”

But before George could answer, there was a knock on the door. To George’s amazement, the entire town was gathered outside his house. And they brought contracts. Signed agreements for Foo Fighters, The Dandy Warhols and Barenaked Ladies. George was saved!”

George clenched the contracts in his hand as his friends toasted the finest independent promoter in the land. And as they swung into another verse of ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ George’s cell phone rang.

“Mommy says,” exclaimed George’s youngest daughter, “every time you hear a cell phone ring, it means an agent has received his commission.”

“That’s right, my little one,” said George. Then he picked up the phone and yelled into the mouthpiece, “Attaboy, Clarence!”