Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #554

Heidi, apparently just back from Rehab: “Grandpa, I missed you so.”

Grandpa, apparently in need of such: “And I missed you, too, little… um… I’m sorry. I can’t recall your name. Our family breeds like rabbits on moonshine and there are 47 girls running about who look just like you.”

Heidi: “That’s okay, Grandpa. I’ve grown accustomed to not having an identity after Mother started dressing me like this. But still, I had a few questions for you, if you don’t mind. It’s for a project at school.”

Grandpa: “School? So, they’re letting you go back there, even after what you did during the Festival of the Stuck Pig? That’s wonderful!”

Heidi: “Well, it’s not all that great. I’m not allowed to have caffeinated beverages and I can’t go to the bathroom without an armed chaperon, but they do let me take classes that don’t involve machinery or combustible chemicals. In one of my classes, Rudimentary Composition for People Born in Barns, we have to interview one of our elders and write a report about it.”

Grandpa: “And you picked me? That makes me feel pretty special.”

Heidi: “Well, you don’t toot as much as the other grandpa, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of time on the decision.”

Grandpa: “Oh. I guess that makes sense. I never did understand why my cousin Earl has such noisy guts. You’d think he’d stop eating whatever it is that makes him that way, especially after he blew out the south wall of the-”

Heidi: “Grandpa, that’s not really one of my questions, so you can save that. My first question is where did we come from?”

Grandpa: “Come from?”

Heidi, sighing: “Where did our family live before we lived here?”

Grandpa: “Hell if I know. I would imagine that wherever we come from is a place that didn’t want us anymore.”

Heidi: “Yeah, well, that doesn’t help me out a lot. Anyway, next question. Who is my most famous ancestor?”

Grandpa: “It’s not cousin Earl.”

Heidi: “I think I figured that out on my own. Look, you’re not taking this very seriously. Do you want me to get a bad grade on this report and they hold me back a year?”

Grandpa: “Like you haven’t been to that dance before. Honey, I’m just being honest with you. Our family hasn’t done squat since we crawled out of the sea. We are not the Kennedys. We aren’t even The Simpsons on a bad day. We simply carry on with what we’ve got and we make do. Like me wearing this ugly-ass shawl because I’m cold and I’m too lazy to find something more manly.”

Heidi: “Okay, I see where this is going, which is probably more time in Rehab. Still, I might as well ask the last question. What is the most enduring quality of our family?”

Grandpa: “Oh, that one I can answer. All of us are doomed to have really bad hair, no matter what we do. We will never be attractive in yearbook photos or most-wanted posters. It’s a curse that knows no end.”

Heidi: “So, I really am looking at another round of Rehab.”

Grandpa: “Probably. But look on the bright side. You’ll get to catch up with a lot of your kinfolk that you haven’t seen in a while.”

Heidi: “All of this is just so depressing.”

Grandpa: “Oh, chin up, girl. At least you didn’t have to bunk with Cousin Earl when you were a young un. Life is really challenging when you have to strap yourself to the bed so you don’t get blown out the south wall. Wait, where are you going?”

Heidi: “Any place but here.”


Originally posted in “Crusty Pie” on 10/12/17. Slight changes made. For the record, Heidi eventually triumphed over her circumstances and became a well-respected board member at Planned Parenthood. I think we can understand why…


28 replies »

  1. Ah kismet …. I am currently in Bavaria, a short Maria Von Trapp of a skip and hop from the Austrian border and a mere yodel from Switzerland (the German side, I’m always an alpine horn’s toot from the French) and I swear I bumpted into all those rabbits on moonshine relatives of Heidi whilst occupying myself re-enacting vignettes from war movies with nuns and curtain-clad children with an uncanny ability to operate complicated marionettes, The result of these encounters was a surfeit of Riesling last night and today I am sporting my Jackie-O’s in a clever ploy to disguise my gueule de bois 😵

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, The Riesling can be a beast if not handled with strict supervision, although it’s one thing to proffer this sentiment and another thing to actually heed the advice. As a result, I never go anywhere without my startlingly-large Gucci sunglasses, day or night. To ward off any accusations of snobbery, the sunglasses are my one (okay, maybe one of a few) bits of designer-ware that I allow myself to sport, as such is not normally my thing. This pair has been with me since Tokyo Rose was just starting her career in radio, and the lenses are just as scarred and pitted as my autobiography will eventually be. They give me comfort, providing security in this cruel world.

      Um, what were we talking about?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a very clever response. It’s gone. Don’t know where, perhaps that Rehab place that all closely related folk tend to inhabit. The response was something to do with lack of fresh air and sunshine and red meat for the little girl…she looks seriously anemic, but that could just be her general demeanor. OH! Here it is: “Thorazine clearly isn’t for everyone.” Um. Well I tried.

    And on a different note (nothing whatever to do with this snicker post, I have a question: Why is it that when I log into WP Reader and scurry down to find Bonnywood Manor, that for the past ten days, your page or blog or whatever they call your space in WP is leaping about on the screen like someone who inhaled too much meth at the party last night? I have to refresh the page to get it to stop. And one can’t enter the cloistered Bonnywood Manor halls whilst the page/site/whatever is leaping around like that (a rapid moving up and down is the actual phenomenon), so you could possibly be losing some likes. Alternatively it’s my computer, but nobody else on my Reader is doing digitized aerobics.. thought you might like to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that many of my comments vanish into the WordPress ether. As we’ve chatted about before, there have been so many times when I “thought” I had left something at least measurably witty or thoughtful on one of your own posts, only to find it completely not there when I check. (For a while, I actually has some sense and would save my comments in the mouse just in case there was a snafu, but that requires a lot of planning and it’s so much easier to just take the chance and then whine about it later.)

      Now, as for the hyperactive feed, I’m not sure what’s going on there, but I have noticed that my stats have been off lately. The number of visitors seems about par, but the number of likes has dropped considerably, as if folks can at least navigate to the page but then are unable to show any love. (Of course, there’s always the possibility that folks just didn’t like the post and moved on with looking back, but I don’t wish to dwell on that aspect.) Thanks for letting me know, and I’ll see if I can determine the cause…


    • Confession one: I’ve never read the Heidi books or watched the movies. (Or perhaps I did, and I’m repressing the memories for some obscure, self-inflicted reason.) Confession two: I’m at a loss with your last question. Is this due to my first confession? Or am I missing an unrelated reference that I should be getting, as my mind is slow and lazy this evening after consuming the overstuffed grilled-cheese sandwiches that Partner made this evening?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry, I’m not sure what made me think you might have an awareness of the book. *facepalm* It’s the sort of book that was read to girls to keep us proper and in line (sorry, feminism sneaking in). The cheese reference is from the book (perhaps movie too, I don’t know). The grandfather would cook the cheese over the fire and that’s what he and Heidi ate, almost to the exclusion of anything else. Another young girl comes to visit, maybe a cousin? and she’s fairly lame, but after some time in the mountain air and grandpa’s cheese, miracle of miracles, she can walk!
        Honestly, it was just as silly as it sounds. Gosh I hated that book.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Rehab, schmehab. Just get with the program, Heidi. Buy a shawl that looks like it could be a couch cover, accept the fact that your family gene pool could fit into a thimble, stop whining and go practise your yodelling. Maybe one day (or perhaps several – you never know), you’ll grow up to work for Ricola. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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