The Follies are designed to be funny and irreverent, and this year’s mystery guest was both. Bob Flanders, dressed as an executioner, poked fun at his role as receiver for Central Falls by comparing himself to Darth Vader and calling himself the “lord of the pink slip.”
He sang a parody of “Imagine” (as John Lennon undoubtedly rolled over in his grave) with lyrics such as: “Imagine there’s no mayors/ It’s easy for true believers/ No councils below them/ Above us only receivers/ Imagine all the pensioners living with haircuts and co-pays/ You may say I’m a dictator…”
Flanders was funny, and he evidently can carry a tune. But when tasked with a job that involves publicly bringing hardships on so many people’s lives, it’s better to leave it to others to tell the jokes.
He said “there’s talk of sending me to East Providence or West Warwick or Providence. Why can’t they send me to Newport, or Block Island. I’d even take Charlestown.” But wisecracking about how ruthless you are won’t make negotiating any easier next time, regardless of the community.