Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #523

Greta, left: “I’m sorry, Daddy. I’ll try to do better.”

Henry, right: “Splendid. So let’s review what we’ve just learned.”

Greta: “I will stop stealing vodka from your private stock and then trying to seek validation by sharing said stock with my impressionable friends.”

Henry: “Good. And?”

Greta: “I will stop using variations of the Latin word for ‘wedge’ to describe my private school teachers.”

Henry: “Admirable. And when it comes to your mother?”

Greta: “I will stop calling her a fascist pig because she won’t buy me a diaphragm.”

Henry: “I’m so proud of you. You’ve grown so much since the beginning of this blog post. Still, you and I both know that your mother will continue to be a fascist if I don’t punish you in some way for your indiscretions. Therefore, I must banish you to your room and you are not allowed to make any non-essential travel from this dwelling until you mother gets distracted by something else.”

Greta: “But Daddy, I’m supposed to be on a ship tomorrow, one bound for America where I will soon be a major motion picture star who becomes famous despite not really wanting to be a famous motion picture star.”

Henry: “Oh? Perhaps I should be paying more attention to current events. Does this quest of yours involve an admirable income?”

Greta: “Yes, Daddy. I have a contract. And within two hours of arriving in Hollywood I’ll have made enough money to redecorate this wretchedly ugly parlor that is the real source of all of our family issues.”

Henry: “I see. Well, I suppose I could keep your fascist mother medicated for a day or two. Run free, my child. By the way, when you become enormously famous, will you be expecting Mother and I to join you in Hollywood?”

Greta: “No, Daddy. Despite my impending fame and fortune, I want to be let alone.”

Henry: “That sounds like a line that could easily be misquoted.”

Greta: “Trust me, it will be.”


Originally published in “Crusty Pie” on 05/10/17. No changes made, despite the unavoidable realization that the success of the ending depends on folks knowing Greta Garbo’s life story. Sometimes you just have to trust in the minimal value of movie-star trivia…


14 replies »

  1. Lovely. Perfect dialogue. All that sprung into my mind was “He KNOWS if you’ve been naughty or nice, you know!” And anyone who owns a dog recognizes Greta’s expression. She had been naughty, she just hadn’t been caught. Yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, it’s not just the dogs who exhibit that expression. The cats do it as well, when I waltz into my home and have to determine which one of the heathens found it necessary to latch onto the toilet paper and then unroll it all over the house in a frenzy of gleeful defiance…


  2. It clicked for me from the lines when she mentioned getting on a ship and not wanting to be famous.
    P.S. it DIDN’T click with me that her name was Greta up until that point – and I was looking at it every other sentence 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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