Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #66

Despite the dreary London weather, Lady Penelope was still very excited about being in the Royal Procession to christen the newest bidet installed at Buckingham Palace. She could hardly wait to queue up at place where queueing up would soon become standard procedure.

There was a knock on the driver’s window. Lady Penelope ducked back in her own window, trying to pretend that she had not just been caught with her tongue blowing in the wind. (Sadly, she was always being caught with her excessively-large tongue doing such things. Damn that royal inbreeding. Her family really needed to branch out a little more with the matrimonial choices or there wouldn’t be a pretty one left in the bunch.)

The driver, whose full name was Ernest Knackersworth-Bellend, even though it’s not important to the story and you can immediately forget it, was appalled that someone would approach the vehicle in such a pedestrian manner. Still, he rolled down the window. “State your business.”

It was Rachel Maddow. “Hey, Ernie. Could I speak with Lady Penelope?”

Ernie turned to Lady Penelope. “Were you expecting Rachel Maddow?”

Lady Penelope turned to Ernie. “Is she on the guest list?”

Ernie: “We don’t have a guest list. I’m only asking you because you’ve asked me to ask you when people show up at the door and ask for you, instead of letting them in and possibly allowing them to pinch the heirloom flatware.”

Lady: “Ah, good point. Well, we didn’t bring the flatware with us, although I did briefly consider it, so I suppose we could parlay for a moment or two. Raise the drawbridge.”

Ernie turned to the other side, reached behind him, and popped up the lock ditty on the passenger door opposite the Lady Who Had Not Brought Flatware. “The drawbridge has been raised.” Somewhere nearby, an underling blew on a gilded trumpet. Said underling was immediately knocked to the ground by a passerby who did not wish to have a soundtrack as she made her daily sojourn to the corner coffeehouse.

Rachel hopped inside, in that nimble but annoying way that naturally-athletic people do everything. “Lady Penelope, thank you for this opportunity.”

Lady Penelope: “Opportunity? I didn’t realize such was in the offering. Pray tell.”

Rachel: “Well, let’s start with the fact that your name is not Lady Penelope.”

Lady Penelope, maybe: “How dare you say such things!”

Rachel: “I dare because I actually do research, unlike so many of my counterparts who think the proper preparation for a news story is picking out the right tie. Your name is actually Agnes Gasbox, and you’re from New Jersey, not Upper Westly Scratchford-on-Avon as you indicate in your social media profiles. You are not royalty, Agnes.”

Penelope Gasbox: “I am not going to listen to this drivel. Ernest, toss her out immediately.”

Ernie: “Are you kidding? You haven’t paid me in three months. I’ve already shoved some microwave popcorn under the hood and I’m revving the engine. I’m watching all of this show and taking notes like a woodpecker.”

Lady Gasbox, flummoxed but not yet giving in: “Prove your lies, you gel-haired harridan!”

Rachel: “Well, first off, we’re not in London. The Shubert Theatre behind us is actually in New York City. The Judy Holiday play on the marquee opened in 1956, a good ten years before your SnapTwit profile says you were born, and they don’t christen bidets at Buckingham Palace.”

Agnes, defeated and deflated, burst into tears. “Okay, fine, you’re right. I don’t know why I do the things I do.” Her big tongue flopped out in despair.

Rachel: “Oh, I do. You’ve been watching Fox News too much. And by too much, I mean watching it all. They create something out of nothing, even though that nothing can easily be disproven in two seconds. Like this sad little example of you crying out for attention even though the whole scene is nothing but manipulated special effects.”

Agnes: “But they make me feel so special.”

Rachel: “Do they? Or do they play to your fears and use that fear to make others feel less special?”

Agnes, wiping away a tear with a tongue that should have its own zip code. “You’re right. I’ve lost my way. I’ve only been thinking of myself and not others, which is a basic plank in the Republican Party platform. Wait a minute. I like that plank. As long as I have someone to blame, none of this is my fault.”

Rachel, turning to Ernie: “She’s having a relapse. Just keep driving. But whatever you do, don’t go near Wall Street. We’ve got enough lost souls on our hands.”

Ernie nodded, just as the microwave engine dinged, letting him know the popcorn was ready. He snatched up the steaming bag of goodness and reached for a salt shaker. This was going to be a long ride, so he might as well keep up his strength…


29 replies »

  1. Ok, I admit it, damned lost here. I like the alpaca though (or is it a llama?). One thing I can be assured of though, in my lostedness, is that the writing is very fine indeed. Keep on keeping on writer!.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hahaa! I have tears of laughter streaming down my face. Good stuff. How can any of us be expected to forget that name the poor driver was saddled with? I see that Lady P has got Winston Churchill’s victory sign on her head. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, a little lost. But seems a well written and humorous little story. Definitely arching toward an opportunity to slam Republicans. Although, in truth, the Democratic party and associated news agencies are no better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I need to keep my glasses with me at all times. Because my sight is so poor. I took the image you so adroitly provided with this post to be a large slug or snail wedged somehow into a NYC cab…Ummm. So I went, I found my spectacles and READ the post (and took a better look at the picture) and discovered it was a llama/alpaca (push me pull ewe?) in that cab and Lady Penelope nee Gasbag was her name… You rather lost me at “Fox News” though because personally I think even SEEING that horrible name in text is enough to kill brain cells in a significant way. Poor Gasworth on Thames deluded Penelope….and who is Rachel Whatishername? Ah. Google to the rescue again! Well MSNBC and Fox aren’t one much better than the other and the destruction of coherent thought in my head is complete. Their mission accomplished… Anthropomorphism wins again….

    Liked by 1 person

    • See, now I have to write this one over again, just so I can use the phrase “Gasworth on Thames deluded Penelope”. That got me, but good. Just as this picture did when I first came across it. And actually, it was sent to me by a Facebook friend back in the early days of Crusty Pie when I requested submissions for inspiration. I eventually had to stop asking for submissions because too many folks didn’t “get” what I was looking for, which resulted in (saying this politely) a lot of crap. But now that I think about, I would imagine that many of the fine folks here at Bonnywood could come up with some real winners. Thoughts?


      • I have a few that I think are Past Imperfect worthy…I’ll forward them along to you! And glad I could bring some mirth to your day, it’s only fair. You mirth me every day! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. There was a time, Nineties I think, where Cher and Goldie Hawn were all turning fifty on the cover of slick check out stand mags. Like every year. Ninety five would have been right. The first time. Then thy were fifty when I was, and I was like, huh? Poor Lady Penelope shouldn’t take it so hard, getting her age wrong. Why, she might have been victimized by fake news…Something that happenes when no one knows what happened and four talking heads fill a screen on Fox or CNN and speculate. What a word that is. Sounds like what happens to the toilet bowl when nothing happens but a high pressure wet fart. Now there’s a bidet christening if I heard of one. Or was that merely the sound of speculating, and not the fury? It’s so hard to find the truth without blame these days…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will never be able to see or hear the word speculate again without unrequited accompanying visuals. Thanks for that, buddy. As for the Cher and Goldie Hawn thing…. and Lady Penelope’s true age… and, well, every other admirable point you made, I think… no, I’m stuck on that visual. I feel like I should up the ante by posting a picture of a specula, but… I just need some alone time.

      All of the above is just rib-nudging. Sort of… 😉


    • I shall refrain from going where I really want to go with “bottom washer” and instead focus on the critter. I wasn’t quite certain of the species myself, so I purposely did not lean one way or the other with my twisted narrative, because I didn’t want to make an error and subsequently get my bottom washed by those in the know. (Okay, I went there anyway…)

      Liked by 1 person

    • How does one tell an alpaca from a llama? They both are big, hair/fur covered, have a rather surly expression and floppy ears. I bet they smell pretty ripe too…please do enlighten Lady Peggy! Thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • The ears and neck are the giveaways. Llamas are much bigger than alpacas and have much longer ears—banana-shaped. There are other differences, but they wouldn’t be obvious from the photo.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Poor Lady Llama (she is nobody’s Alpaca for the avoidance of doubt) chewed up and spat out of the adroit and pithy Rachel’s fabulously honed lips. Which is quite ironic since Llamas are well known for their adroit and pithy spitting I can share 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • But at the end of the day, it’s really about who got the better overnight ratings, or at least that’s what they want us to believe in America. As for the spitting, I’m not so savvy on who has more precision, other than wanting to do such when I review those very ratings. (Why are so many people so stupid? Help me understand this.) Rachel’s honed lips? Fine, indeed, which makes the delivery of her quirky truth even more compelling. I have a bit of a smart-girl crush on her… 😉


      • Brian we REALLY need to sit and stare at that sunset sipping whatever takes our fancy and discuss the collective stupidity of people. Maybe we aren’t descended from fish at all but rather lemmings? All I know is that 2 straight weeks in Britain has me weeping for the country of my birth rollicking merrily towards the precipice marked ‘Brexit’ but it’s OK because the newspaper tells us it is (and to blame it all on immigration). I despair and you, my friend are a little Shining beacon of hope in my bleak morass. And Rachel. I share your crush. X

        Liked by 1 person

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