Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #100

Walter, internally: “I don’t know why we’re doing this. I only went on this date so my parents would quit pestering me about the fact that I haven’t shown any interest in women since birth. I want to stay in my father’s will, naturally, because an inherited lifestyle is much more satisfying than an earned one, and I only get the money if people assume that I will procreate at some point. As luck would have it, my friend Wanda, who I think has a crush on me, actually thought this evening was all about our budding romance, so the pictures of us having a festive time should at least look realistic.”

Wanda, internally: “I think I might have something lodged. But I’m fairly certain he had nothing to do with it. He thinks I don’t know, but I do. Hell, everybody knows, except his parents, who apparently aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. But he paid for the drinks, and this questionable outfit, so I’m good.”

Walter, externally: “Aren’t we having a swell time?”

Wanda, externally: “I think you and I might have a different interpretation of what might be considered swell. But I like the alcohol part, so let’s focus more on that.”

Before they could fully shift the focus, a phone started ringing. Why there would be a phone in the middle of what appeared to be an abandoned lot is perhaps a mystery left for resolution at another time. (The bigger mystery? Why our lead characters would be dancing there in the first place. And what’s up with that hideous bow? So many questions, not enough cocktails in the world.) In any case, a phone rang. The duo ignored the noise, as one of them was in perpetual denial and the other one simply didn’t care. The strenuous choreography and misperceived perceptions continued for several minutes.

Finally, a homeless man who had been dozing against a nearby trashcan grew tired of the intrusive racket and stumbled his way toward the phone that logically shouldn’t have been there. He picked up the receiver, had a brief coughing fit because his insurance benefits had run out 74 years ago and he wasn’t in the best of health, and then got directly to the point: “Who the hell is this?”

Brief pause while someone offstage explained just who the hell it was. Apparently, there was a lot of backstory to be shared, as Homeless nodded his head for quite some time, perhaps not realizing that Who the Hell couldn’t see him doing such. Eventually, Homeless looked at Walter. “Is your name My Idiot Son?”

Walter: “I might be known as that in certain circles, through no fault of my own. Who wants to know?”

Homeless: “Well, I would think the ‘son’ part would mean it’s got to be your mom or your dad, but I’ll shorthand it for you anyway. It’s your dad, and it sounds like he drank all the booze that I can no longer afford.”

Walter: “Well, you can just tell him that I’m busy doing a Charleston.”

Wanda, interjecting: “Oh, honey, that’s a line you really shouldn’t say to Daddy. Not if you don’t want him to know the truth.”

Walter: “What truth are you babbling about?”

Wanda: “That you really want to do Charleston, the bartender over at the Sticky Wicket.”

Walter: “Wait, what makes you think that?”

Wanda: “Girl, please. My gaydar dinged all the way back in the third grade when you wanted to play Mary Magdalene in the Christmas pageant.”

Walter, sighing: “Well, I’m glad it’s finally out.”

Wanda: “But you aren’t. I think you need to tell your daddy. And mommy. Because they are the only two people on the planet that don’t know, Mary.”

Walter: “Are you insane? You don’t know what’s at stake in this situation.”

Wanda: “But don’t you want to be happy?”

Homeless, forcefully clearing his throat: “You know what would make me happy? Somebody taking this damn phone. I haven’t had a full meal in three days and I’m a little weak and this phone is heavy.”

Walter, sighing again, walked over to Homeless, handed him a tip (because this was instinctual when dealing with The Help in a public establishment), and brought the phone to his ear. “Daddy?… Yeah, there’s something I need to tell you…. no, you really need to hear this… why do you have to go there?… yes, I understand that I have to get married or I won’t get the 25 million-dollar inheritance, but it’s time I was honest about myself and-”

The phone was suddenly wrenched out of Walter Magdalene’s hand.

Wanda, glaring at Walter: “You’re right, I didn’t know what was at stake. 25 million dollars? My first reaction is to hate you a little bit because you made me wear this tacky-ass dress when you can clearly afford better. But more importantly, my next reaction is this.” She shoved Walter out of the way and spoke into the receiver. “Mr. Walter’s Daddy? Hi, this is Wanda. What Walter is trying to say is that we are deeply in love, I just found out that I’m expecting, and we plan to get married this weekend. Isn’t this great news?”

Homeless, wandering off to a place where people were less annoying: “Good luck with that mess, Walter. How do you think I ended up on the streets like this?”

Meanwhile, at the other end of the abandoned lot, another phone began to ring. It was Cary Grant, wondering if Charleston was working this evening…

 

21 replies »

  1. lololololololol! (last sentence was priceless) I have been looking for a Walter my entire life. Happy to be a beard for a cool 25 mil! No pregnancy included, however. If we can lie to Mumsy and Dad about ole Walt, my sad string of misfortune shouldn’t be too tricky. Obviously, there is so much they simply don’t want to know.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I once tried to hint about Cary to my grandmother. She told me to take it back or I’d be disinherited. I knew perfectly well that my father was one of ten siblings (each of whom enthusiastically embraced the concept of go-forth-and-multiply with such enthusiasm that my inheritance expectations were limited by the existence of 60+ fellow grandchildren ), but I left her image of Cary in exchange for her silver monogrammed gravy ladle.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I think you got Rock Hudson confused with Cary Grant (whom I didn’t personally ever see until I was 23 or 24 and found the wonder that old movies ARE)…because I, like apparently every other blue haired dimly vague old soul wandering around, thought Ol’ Cary was STRAIGHT. Um. Of course he could be (like so many) batting for both teams, depending on who is buying the drinks and seems flush at the precious moment. Wow. Cary Grant. Took my mind completely off Walter and Wanda and their 25 mil. I’d be a beard too for that kind of recompense. Hell for a COUPLE of mil I’d do it. But I would NOT ever ever wear that hideous dress. Even if Walter’s mother picked it out specially for the occasion because even she got the fact that he was severely fashion sense challenged.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nope, not confused about Cary. (Here’s a hint for a side project, should you get bored one day: Randolph Scott. Go forth and conquer the Internet!) But I completely agree with you that I would never wear that dress, for love or money. Unless drinking had been involved. Drinking is a life-changing factor…. 😉

      Like

  4. I once saw an interview with Dyan Cannon and she was asked about the gay issue. She laughed uproariously. And once you hear her laugh, you remember it forever.
    From what I remember, it was more believed he was bisexual… or perhaps hyper-sexual?
    Another note: I wonder how many marriages were entered into with an agreement? We’ll keep up pretenses, have kids if we must, and extra-curricular activities are perfectly permissible. Sad, really.

    Liked by 1 person

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