Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #39

Ernst: “I’m so sorry. Have you been waiting an eternity, my love?”

Greta: “What does my face say?”

Ernst: “Your beautiful face says that I should remain over here until I ensure that you don’t have a sharp weapon tucked under your napkin.”

Greta: “Well, that’s part of what I’m saying. The other part is that you need to drop that ‘my love’ business because I’m clearly not your love or you would have been here on time.”

Ernst: “How can you say that? I was unavoidably detained.”

Greta: “You could have at least let me know. It’s been unbearable, with people at other tables staring at my shocking and pathetic abandonment. Now I know how Tallulah Bankhead felt after she had slept with every single person in Hollywood and there was no one left for her to sample.”

Ernst: “But I did send a message. In fact, he’s right there. Didn’t you listen?”

Greta: “He? Listen? Are you already as drunk as I’m trying to get? There’s clearly no one else at this table.”

Ernst, pointing, although we really can’t see him doing so: “The tiny, happy spaceman sitting on top of the lamp. He’s a voice recorder. You tap him on the head to hear the message.”

Greta: “Why on earth would you do something as insipid as that? How did he get here, and why would I know to tap him on his head? It’s not something I normally do, tapping complete strangers on the head, even if they are tiny and happy.”

Ernst: “Once I realized I was going to be detained, I had him sent to the restaurant and delivered to your table. I thought it would be a clever and amusing way to say that I’m going to be late. He’s supposed to have a card with instructions around his neck, but perhaps he had to jettison non-essential cargo when he encountered space turbulence. Or maybe the card just fell off, who knows. Go ahead, tap him.”

Greta: “That feels like such an unseemly thing to do. I have a reputation to uphold.”

Ernst: “Just tap him, Greta. All will be explained.”

Greta tapped.

Tiny Happy: “Message One. Hello, love. I’m so sorry to spring this on you, but I might be a bit late for dinner. It seems one of my patients requires emergency surgery and I’m heading to the operating room now. I know we have discussed how you don’t care for my job interrupting your social plans, but since this child might perish if I don’t remove the hubcap she managed to swallow, I trust that you will understand. See you soon!”

Greta: “Well, I suppose I could be a bit more understanding about the situation, what with potential-death now being a factor.”

Ernst: “I knew you would forgive me, especially with the little spaceman.”

Greta: “No, I didn’t say anything about forgiveness. I’ve been sitting here for three days, Ernst. How long was the surgery? How big was the hubcap?”

Ernst: “Three days? That can’t be possible. Surely this is still Sunday.”

Greta: “It’s Wednesday, Ernst. I’ve been here so long that the staff considers me family and one of them has even written me into his will. It’s been absolutely wretched.”

Ernst: “But why would you stay here all this time instead of going home? You are far too self-centered to be that much of a trooper. You would have stormed out after about…. Say, why is there an empty water glass on the table?”

Greta, visibly stiffening although trying to hide it: “I have no idea why you would ask that. It’s just a glass.”

Ernst: “No, you never allow a water glass to be on the table, ordering the waiter to take it away so you don’t accidentally take a sip and therefore dilute your alcohol intake. Has someone else been sitting here?”

Greta: “Of course not. I’ve been here all alone and didn’t sleep with anyone.”

Ernst: “That’s an odd thing to say. Tap the little spaceman again.”

Greta: “I heard your message, Ernst, about the stupid girl who doesn’t understand proper food groups.”

Ernst: “Oh, he’s a special little spaceman. He has very sensitive buttons that can easily be triggered if there is any rambunctiousness in the vicinity. Has there been rambunctiousness, Greta? Does the spaceman have something interesting to share? Tap his head again for the next message.”

Great: “I hate that little man and I’m never touching him again.”

Ernst: “Okay, I’ll do it.”

Ernst tapped.

Tiny Happy: “Message Two. Are you sure it’s okay to do this right here on the table? We’re fine, everybody has left for the night, so it’s just you and me. Okay, give me a sec to get this bread basket out from under my back. Wait, let me get the cup of butter out of that basket, it might come in handy and-”

Greta snatched up Tiny Happy and hurled him afar. Tiny Happy continued to burble in a distant corner, but any further dispatches were essentially irrelevant at this point.

Ernst: “How interesting, my love.”

Greta: “I can explain.”

Ernst: “I’m sure you can try. Should we order something from the dessert menu so we’ll have something to nosh on whilst we redefine our relationship?”


22 replies »

    • Interestingly enough, the original version of this Past Imperfect, when it first appeared on another blog, was simply this: “Summation of “The Look”: Whatever you did or didn’t do, it wasn’t the right thing…” I changed things up just a wee bit for this re-post… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’ve had me laughing out loud again. Laughter, the best medicine, good for the soul and all that. True. So.
    You have one of the greatest gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m stuck on ‘tiny happy spaceman’ who is channeling (and yeah this is probably politically incorrect) Al Jolson. When he sang “Mammy” and all. And nobody even mentioned Greta’s stained fingers which usually only occurs after a lusty (oops) ah er ahem VIGOROUS session of blackberry or blueberry picking. Pray tell, were there any fruit bogs in the near vicinity of Club 27 (which later grew up to be Club 54)? Or is this actually set at The Brown Derby or Spagos or The Flamingo Club or one of those older places the nifty and need to be seen hung out?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, she does have some rather naughty little fingers, now that I peruse. Perhaps she works part-time as a teacher’s assistant, and her paws are soiled due to hours spent churning pages out of the mimeograph machine? Maybe if we rescue and tap Tiny Happy, he might have some more intel to share…


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