Who says Schaefer can't take a joke? Governor pokes fun at himself for charity

December 12, 1991|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS -- Tweaked by a parody of a Christmas song that his own press secretary described as "mean-spirited," Gov. William Donald Schaefer tweaked back yester- day -- but not the way you might expect.

Rather than complain about the tune's uncomplimentary verses, Mr. Schaefer actually posed for a picture that he then donated to boost sales of the taped song -- all because the proceeds are going to charity.

The picture shows Mr. Schaefer, dressed in a bright blue business suit, tweaking the red, light-bulb nose of an ornamental reindeer placed on the lawn of the governor's mansion this holiday season.

The song, called "Schaefer Got Run Over by a Reindeer," is part of a 10-tune second-volume collection of parodies produced by Baltimore radio station WQSR (105.7 on the FM dial). Tapes went on sale yesterday at $8 each, or $12 for the two-volume package.

Mr. Schaefer agreed to pose and sent 300 copies of the photograph to the station at a cost to the state of $15.75, because money raised through sales will go to the WQSR Children's Fund, explained Frank Traynor, the governor's press secretary.

"This is very weird," said J. D. Adams, the station's program director. "I didn't realize he has that kind of sense of humor."

Mr. Adams said the station sold $1,100 in tapes yesterday morning and expected to run out of the 3,000 produced so far. More may have to be made, he said.

Other titles on the tape include the always popular "Governor's Crackers," and a remake of the old Boxtops' tune, "The Governor Just Wrote Me A Letter."

"He's not our main target," Mr. Adams said. "It's just that when something shows up in the news, people write songs about it."

While Mr. Schaefer turned the other cheek, Mr. Traynor said he still thinks the lyrics to "Schaefer Got Run Over by a Reindeer" -- to the tune of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" -- are pretty mean.

Here are some of the verses:

When Hilda found him Christmas morning,

In Camden Yards flat on his back,

He had hoofprints on his forehead,

And lay stiff just like a piece of light-rail track.

Now a nut case he's been labeled,

An ego that is just too big.

The deficits he's mishandled,

No wonder Santa hit him with his rig.

I've warned all my friends and neighbors,

How much worse off could we be?

After what he's done to Maryland,

His next stop couldn't have been the presidency.

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