Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #118 (Variations on a Theme)

Note: This is another Crusty Pie post where the original is a bit lackluster. So, let’s mess around with it, shall we?


Original Take.

Woman on the Right: “I really think highly of myself and therefore must wear this impromptu crown that I fashioned out of my grandmother’s dental work. Ignore the artistic mural behind me, where naked people appear to be doing primitive things. I don’t know what that’s all about and I just want a cocktail.”

Man on the Right: “Dear Lord, help me get through this moment when I am surrounded by estrogen.”

Woman on the Left: “I have no idea who these people are. I was just trying to find a bathroom, when this fool handed me a free drink. I’m not going to turn such a thing down, of course, because I clearly can’t afford a proper hair stylist. Still, I really need to pee, so I hope we can get this done and I can move on.”

Bartender: “None of these people are going to tip me, I can just sense it. Nobody ever has any respect for people in stupid hats. Just ask the Pope.”


Rewind, Take Two.

Woman on the Right: “I just slept with Donald Trump up in his penthouse! Of course, I had to take a number, but the line moved much faster than it does at Sol’s Deli.”

Man on the Right: “I used to sleep with women after Donald had slept with them, but I just couldn’t keep up. Of course, rumor is that he actually just watches, but I was paid by his lawyer not to share the video.”

Woman on the Left: “I’m sure I’ve given birth to at least two women who will eventually sleep with Donald. He’s making America amoral again!”

Bartender: “Wait, Trump owns this building? I better cash my paycheck before he files for bankruptcy again.”


Rewind, Take Three.

Woman on the Right: “Hi, I’m a blogger and I just got 47,000 hits on my last post about where to find the best eyeliner in Topeka, Kansas. Thank you for inviting me to this independent authors convention where the organizers are just making money off the dreams of people who don’t really have the money to spare.”

Man on the right: “Oh, honey, you should be at the Holiday Inn next door. This is the Ritz Carlton, where the five remaining mega-huge publishing houses are celebrating the fact that we can still make millions by only accepting formulaic novels written by formulaic writers who follow our formula.”

Woman on the Left, laughing and nudging Man on the Right: “Isn’t it absurd how these independent fools think they can actually make a difference by writing something fresh? This reminds me of those wretched years where poor people in this country thought their vote actually mattered until the Supreme Court started stripping away voting rights in order to appease their sponsors.”

Bartender: “I never pay any attention to politics. Of course, that’s probably why I still work for a minimum wage that is below the poverty level. I fully admit that I’m one of these people who likes to complain but never does a damn thing about it.”


Rewind, Take Four.

Woman on the Right: “I’ve been standing in this position for a long time and my arm is getting tired. I’m starting to think that The Writer is just throwing dialogue on the wall to see what might stick.”

Man on the Right: “I’m guessing you’re new here. I’ve been a guest at Bonnywood Manor for decades, and The Writer has always been the same, fumbling and poking and prodding until a few of his words show some semblance of life. But the bar is always well-stocked, so I keep renewing my membership.”

Woman on the Left: “Wait, are you serious? The Writer actually thinks he has something to contribute to society? That is so rich, just like my ex-husband was until the divorce.”

Bartender, inner voice: “One day I will get you, my pretties. One day. Because something is brewing in me that is hopefully the next Great Novel and not just a gastrointestinal disturbance.” Bartender, outer voice: “Should I refill the bowl of peanuts?”


Rewind, Take Five.

Woman on the Right, slipping into Charades Mode because that always happens when the octane level is high enough in the beverages: “Okay, let’s do movie titles that best explain The Writer’s writing style. Go!”

Man on the Right: “Lawrence of Belaboring.”

Woman on the Left: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Film Festival.”

Man on the Right: “Gone with the Mind.”

Woman on the Left: “The Plot-Father.”

Man on the Right: “Sunday in the Park with Gorge.”

Woman on the Left: “Romeo and Who He Let Fail.”

Man on the Right: “101 Inflammations.”

Woman on the Left: “The Wizard of Pause.”

Bartender, throwing the bowl of peanuts on the floor: “Fine. I’ll just let myself out.”

Woman on the Right: “I don’t think I’ve seen that movie. What the hell is he talking about?”

Man on the Right: “I’m telling you, this is what we get all the time at Bonnywood. He throws out some weird crap and we all politely click ‘like’ and hope that tomorrow will be a better day.”

Woman on the Left: “How sad. I wonder what happened in his childhood that made him be this way.”

Man on the Right: “Well, he’s posted about being raised in Oklahoma.”

Woman on the Right: “Oh, the poor thing. No wonder he was wearing that stupid hat.”

Woman on the Left: “Tragic, really. Say, do you think those peanuts on the floor are still good? Two-second rule?”


Originally published in “Crusty Pie” on 04/01/15. Revised far more than it should have been for this post. This is what happens when writers are left unsupervised for too long.


31 replies »

  1. I think you should go outside, take a deep breath, look up into the sky and marvel at the wonders of the world, take another deep breath, walk inside, drink something nice, eat something nice, hug your cats and your man, and stop revising your revisions!
    Oh, and I love you, but take a break and write your freaking novel 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Words of wisdom, indeed. I really am trying to get some focus. I’m ALMOST at the point where I might disappear for a while and do what I really should be doing with my words in the middle of the night. It’s just hard to walk away from the personal satisfaction of posting and interacting on a daily basis, despite whining that I know I need to stop it. And for the record, in case I haven’t said it enough, you are one of the shining stars that keeps me looking to the skies over Bonnywood…

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is hard, leaving friends, but think of the reunion (and the booze and food and laughs) when you return. Not that I want you to go, you know, I do enjoy your posts lots. Maybe you could wean yourself down to only 2 posts per week – short ones! Here’s a CHALLENGE for your Brian – next week (starrting Monday) only post 2x, and your word limit is 150. Go on, take the CHALLENGE – write all the other word quota you would have used in your NOVEL. Just do it for 1 week, and then tell me how many words you wrote for your novel (not edited, polished, obviously, jsut words to build on).
        I’ll be twinkling, watching to see if you will accept. 🙂
        P>S thanks for your lovely words, I really appreciate that someone thinks I shine 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sooooo good when you fling stuff at the wall. Love the truths of #3 but #5 is too funny.(Is there such a thing?) Thanks for the morning chuckle. Have a big day ahead and this is the perfect way to start it. Might stop me from throttling somebody.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If my tiny words can somehow limit the throttling of people who are only guilty of immense ignorance and ineptitude, then I feel I have contributed to society in some way. Maybe not for the better, but still, contributing… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, tomorrow always comes. It might not be wearing the outfit that you hoped it would, but it will arrive. (And I am purposefully avoiding the “Groundhog Day” reference, in case it pertains to something in the movie, as I am one of two people left on the planet who hasn’t seen such.)


  3. This is where, if I knew how, I’d insert one of those emoticons that looks vaguely like a deer caught in someone’s headlights… o.O 😬 ? You had me at “free drinks” btw…limeade anyone? And clarify for me,could you? Is the bartender some subtle, filled with underlying subliminal messages..clone of YOU? Or is it (as I saw him anyway) Bill Murray’s understudy, filled with bitterness because ol’ Bill doesn’t really act any more, he comes on scene and farts or something and gets wads of money, so the understudy (or body double I suppose) has nothing to do. Being a vegan and avoiding cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and anything cruciferous? The woman on the left (Blondie for clarification) looks like yes, she does have to pee, but maybe that boat has sailed already. She looks rather painfully relieved. The woman on the right (Brunettie) is clearly high on some substance that won’t become trendy until 1982. The guy? Is thinking what a lot of fat old(er) men think (not your people, Brian, the other ones – and you’re not fat. As evidenced by the leanness of the bartender) the fat old guy is thinking “Whoa. Threesome??” because of the uninhibited wallpaper frolics behind him. Even though, from the clothes those people are wearing, it’s 1952, and the tuxedo tie is a real turn-off. Even if you’re stoned.

    Film Titles that wandered through my brain field:

    “Finding Humor”
    “Paying It Forward With Interest”
    “Lost and Confused” (real title, not really indicative of your writing style though)
    “Children of Bonnywood – the Later Years”
    “Forrest Gump and Gumption-ability”

    Well you didn’t say the titles had to be top shelf. It’s Monday. Should explain a lot of things..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, there is so much richness in the first part of your comment that I don’t even know where to begin. Trust that I was chuckling immensely (Scotch the Cat threw holy water on my at one point), and the only way I can respond is to genuflect in your honor in a manner that is appreciative but not so intense that I snap a knee tendon or two. When you hit it, you really hit it. (I should point out, just in case I’m under surveillance by the FBI, that I am in no way supporting domestic violence. It’s just an expression, J. Edgar.)

      Now, the second part, with the movie titles. More guffawing, especially with the last one. I love Jane Austen. I would be quite satisfied with BEING Jane Austen. A delicious turn of phrase is the very reason that I am at this keyboard…


  4. Woman on the right: I really like that bartender. I wish I could go home with him tonight.
    Woman on the left: God! One of my eyes won’t open. Am I drinking absinthe again?
    Man in the middle: For God’s sake hold your glass straight. I hate this plural marriage bit.
    Bartender: She’s hitting on me again! I can’t look any more!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. I can be funny sometimes. Especially if you see me trying to get up in the morning. But really, I’m nowhere near as funny as you. 😀

        And btw, I think you should take Claudette’s advice. I love your posts, but if you’re procrastinating your book, maybe you should cut back on us lot for a bit. Can’t speak for the others, but I’m just a miscreant. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You are full of ideas and awesome writing! I would totally miss you, but i want you to write that novel. Then i want to come to one of your many readings and have you sign a copy!

    Liked by 1 person

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