Flash Fiction: As Usual

Many of the songs that serve as prompts for Matt’s Flash Fiction Foray are new to me, which is fine. I’m all for broadening my horizons. But it’s nice, every now and then, to get a song an old geezer like me actually knows. This week’s prompt was Sinatra’s My Way.

They were hopeless, as usual. Kiki missed her cue and Fanny was all over the place. ‘Cretins!’ he yelled, and gave them one last chance. Which Suzie messed up – half a beat late – so tears or not, her dancing career ended there. He kept Michelle, though, clumsy as she was. She had good tits and never complained when he came, as usual, to her dressing room.

Back home, still fuming, he ran a bath. Just when he was relaxing, the light bulb flickered, crackled, then pfft! ‘Typical!’ he muttered, and got out to change it.

Electricity and water? As usual.

So what does this have to do with My Way? Simply that the original song (with different  lyrics) was written by the French pop star Claude François in 1967. It was called Comme d’habitude (As Usual) and was about a couple splitting up. François was, by all accounts, a tyrant, hard on himself but even harder on his backing dancers, the Clodettes, who nonetheless put up with him, knowing that to protest would mean they were out. The singer was at the height of his fame when he died fixing a wonky bulb above his bath.

You could say I’ve taken a lot of liberty with the prompt. On the other hand, I did it my way.


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  1. Haha I love this Curtis, and I’ve learnt something new about the song! I really enjoyed your cynical prose, and the way you tied it in with historical events. Thanks for taking part!
    Best wishes, Matt

  2. Hi Curtis – brilliant – loved that and I certainly didn’t know the story … that song I’m not keen on for some reason – but now I think I do … I can visualise it another way … cheers Hilary

  3. Pingback: Flash Fiction Foray-‘My Way’ – The Book Blogger

  4. Hahaha! Brilliant. I would have thought you’d made up the backstory, too, if I hadn’t researched it myself. What self-respecting dancer would agree to be called a Clod-ette. I wonder why they weren’t the Claudettes, although those dancers do look kind of rough. lol

    • I’m not sure if the picture is of the real Clodettes – it’s from a costume catalogue. His nickname was Cloclo, hence the Clodettes. Shows who was in charge.

  5. You didn’t mention how stupid the French lyrics to “My Way” are, and how appropriate (if not really monumental) Paul Anka’s rewrite/translation is. But maybe that’s just me.

  6. Honestly, I feel like it fit the prompt even without the (interesting!) background… Sure, he’s a *cough* but he’s doing it all on histerms and when the world around him finally fails to conform to his expectations, the result is nothing short of breathtaking. I liked the French twist, but it just goes to show that the song didn’t change as much as we might think.

    • Ah, good! But I thought I’d better provide an explanation – perhaps not everyone might see the connection as you did. Thanks for the nice insight.

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