Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #155

Angie really, really wanted to be a flapper, but it turned out that she just really wasn’t all that good at it. Perhaps the first sign of failure was the complete stranger trying to physically restrain her flapping before we were all treated to a rustic tableau that we really didn’t need to see.

Angie: “Are you here to help me with the finale?”

Burt: “No, I’m here to make sure that we never get there.”

Angie: “What’s your beef, mister? You hate dancin’?”

Burt: “Well, I didn’t, until I walked into this room and cast my eyes on you. What you are doing right now is a sacrilege against The Charleston.”

Angie: “Oh, I’m not doing The Charleston. I made up my own dance. This is The Cincinnati. Only with more sin. Isn’t it swell?”

Burt: “No. And I think both cities would agree.”

Angie: “Look, are you just going to take everything I say and turn it into some joke you can tell your buddies at The Stork Club later? Because I don’t have time to be turned into a literary archetype.”

Burt: “Well, it did cross my mind that this might make a great anecdote to share with Bitsy Longbottom at the… wait, what did you just say? What do you know about writing clichés?”

Angie: “Oh, just a few things, considering I have a doctorate in both linguistics and American Literature. In fact, the second half of this dance is based on my musings concerning William Faulkner’s latest bit of self-centeredness, As I Lay Dying, Waiting for Godot to Fix Me Another Drink.”

Burt: “I had no idea you were a woman of letters.”

Angie: “Neither did the writer until about halfway through this piece.”

Burt: “Do you suppose we could get together for a drink? Preferably not one made by Godot. It will never make it to the table.”

Angie: “It’s possible. After all, some people think I look like Zelda Fitzgerald. And with another drink or two, I think you might pass for Scott Fitzgerald.”

Burt: “I’m thinking all of the people you just mentioned should stop thinking.”

Angie: “You’re doing it again, with the default sarcasm. Freud would advise that such infantilism is unhealthy.”

Burt: “Then the writer of this piece must be very sick, indeed.”

Angie: “Finally, something we can agree on.”

Burt: “And can we agree on that drink?”

Angie: “Sure. But first, help me finish up my interpretive dance. Just hoist me in the air and I’ll take it from there.”

It proved to be a night to remember. Especially for those in the front row seats when the rustic tableau finally made its debut during a racy trumpet solo. Several audience members switched political parties immediately after the performance, which resulted in an entirely unexpected presidential election that year. Sometimes you just have to do The Cincinnati instead of the Charleston. With extra sin on top…


22 replies »

  1. “The things you see when you don’t got yore gun.” Allan Holdsworth, who proved it. Maybe that’s what our heroine was dancing too, which would explain the weird look on her face. The combination of these two things – the ‘dancing’ uh creature up there and hearing what Mr. Holdsworth thought was music have qualified me for the Helen Keller Award for People of Good Taste. I now can’t see NOR hear..but it may be that situation came about from the application of too much fried chicken and bad pizza, and not to do with the artists at all. Thank GOD the writer/narrator was there for her. HE never disappoints..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whew, I’m glad Phil hopped in with a clever response, as I was at a loss as to exactly how I should respond. (My mind was a bit distracted, what with visions of you pumping a well and getting your fingers wet in a moment of great satisfaction. In the background, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke held up score cards to rate your performance.) In the end, though, you’re right: It’s the fried chicken and the bad pizza….


  2. Well, this is positively dripping with literary allusions! Did you have a bet going with someone? 😉
    Loved the Godot reference. I never understood the play, but a drink would have helped immeasurably.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That dancer looks oddly like Jack Lemmon (R.I.P.) in Some Like It Hot….huh. I never got that on the first pass. Hmmm. Maybe bad pizza and fried chicken kills brain cells….

    Liked by 1 person

    • The dancer also reminds me of someone else. Sarah Rue comes to mind, and they do look a little alike, but there’s another name stumbling around in my subconscious that I can’t quite get to surface…


      • Lordy you’re right. If she cut her hair that is….(see I didn’t know who Sarah Rue WAS, but Google to the rescue as usual). I actually think the look on that dancer’s face was prominently displayed in “Grease” by Stockard Channing at the sock hop. Now talk about some fertile fields for a future Past Imperfect..

        Liked by 1 person

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