Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #481 (A Random and Unrequited Crusty Pie Marathon)

Police Officer: “Ma’am, I’m sorry to bother you since you seem to be so comfortable in that position, but I do have a few questions about what happened tonight.”

Comfortable Lady: “I don’t mind. I’ve never been one to shy away from confrontation. Ask away.”

Officer: “Well, we received a call from the owner of this house that someone was in this house that doesn’t belong. I’m assuming that’s you?”

Lady: “Oh. Well, your caller must have been misinformed. I completely belong in Hollywood.”

Officer: “Hollywood? Hollywood’s a big place, because they have to make room for all the egos. But this is just a house, one of many thousands, and one that does not belong to you.”

Lady: “Yes, I’m aware that Hollywood might not be mine, for the moment, but I intend to make it so. You can’t get anything if you wait for people to give it to you. You have to take it. For these few moments, I have this sofa, and it makes me happy. Isn’t it a lovely sofa?”

Officer: “Well, it’s certainly better than the one I have at home. It’s covered in beer stains and regret. But this one is not yours. Why don’t you come with me so we can find you another sofa that won’t result in a call to the Beverly Hills PD?”

Lady, sighing: “Yes, I suppose you’re right. I got a bit carried away and I didn’t follow the rules. But that’s just how I am. I think that one should do what feels right instead of what one is told is right. If we all stick to the norms, the norms never change, and if that’s the case, how will we ever grow?”

Officer: “It’s nice to hear that you’ve apparently been reading some inspirational posters involving kittens and rainbows. But do you really think it’s okay that your growing involves being in a place that you shouldn’t be?”

Lady: “I admit that I stumbled with this one and there was a slight error in judgment. Sometimes I reach too far, but I learned a long time ago that if you don’t reach at all then you will never touch anything. I also may have accidentally smoked a marijuana cigarette during a misunderstanding at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this evening, but that’s just part of life’s journey. I believe that we have to make mistakes in order to truly appreciate success. What do you believe, Mr. Officer?”

Mr. Officer: “I believe that I need to get your name for the police report.”

Lady: “Barbara. Barbara Stanwyck.”

Mr. Officer: “And your occupation? Other than what you are doing right now on that couch.”

Barbara: “I’m an actress, of course.”

Mr. Officer: “Of course. That is such a surprise in this town. Have you been in any movies I might have seen?”

Barbara: “Well, I could mention a few of them, but the writer of this piece hasn’t done adequate research on the exact date of my photo that he snitched from the internet, so I have to be a bit vague in order to retain at least minimal integrity with the authenticity of this story. Suffice it to say that I will soon be a huge star and I will cap off my illustrious career with airings of ‘The Big Valley’ every week on a new thing called television.”

Mr. Officer: “Ma’am, I should point out to you that offering sexual favors during a police investigation will not look good in my report. I am not interested in your big valley or how you might air it. I’m from West Hollywood.”

Barbara: “How did you get there from here? How absurd. Look, you seem a little tense. Say, why don’t you share this other cigarette with me? I got a two-for-one deal at the Bowl. Join me on the couch.”

Mr. Officer: “I couldn’t possibly do such a thing. I have a reputation to uphold.”

Barbara: “Oh, please. This is Hollywood. Your reputation is only as good as your last movie. And since you’ve never been in one, you’ve got nothing to lose. Besides, I already checked the kitchen and they’ve got a chocolate pie cooling on the stove. A couple puffs on Mr. Happy and we will claim that pie.”

Mr. Officer: “Is it chocolate cream pie?”

Barbara: “Indeed it is.”

Mr. Officer turned off his body cam.


Originally published in “Crusty Pie” (ahem) on 12/29/16. Considerably revised for this post. I had to make changes, as the original ended with the “big reveal” about Barbara’s name, which is no longer a “big reveal” since I revealed it mere days ago with the last Friday Night Clam Bake. Such is the unending scramble of bloggers who recycle posts…


20 replies »

    • I do admire the architectural details of the sofa. Sleek and refined without appearing too austere. But that rug? Someone should have put a halt to that mess with the fringe, considering the travel hazard it would be during cocktail hour…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Stranger entering scene: Is that lady dead?
    Officer: Nope. She is trying to look … pensive. And maybe sexy. I’m not sure. Who knows with these actresses.
    Stranger: Well, I’d thank you to get her and her pot out of here and back to her big valley before she croaks.
    Officer: Yup. If she croaks now, Brian will be disappointed. But what about some pie?
    Stranger: Yeah okay. YOU can have a piece, but not that piece over there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is the life I dream of. Wearing spangly frocks with just the right amount of tulle overskirt not to overwhelm and flopping graciously on pretty couches just because I can. No need to air the Big Valley in my hazy cloud of slightly squiffy elegance and no place for chocolate cream pie lest I spoil the line, you understand. And champagne brings so little regret with which to stain a strangers sofa, just the merest hint of fanciful bubbles. Which actually does describe my life come to think of it ….

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have crystallized my vision of you perfectly. I believe I now have enough background material to finally start composing the epic biography of you that I work on nightly in my head. Now, if I could just concoct the right title for the opus that will further fuel my mission. “The Luxury of Lolling”? “The Freedom of Flopping”? Hmm. I may have to pull together a focus group to study this further…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I got the ‘come hither and ravage me” part of that photo, but the cop? Must have been off screen during the whole mess. If I were LAPD, I’d stay off camera too, not that they’ve done anything particularly awful lately; or perhaps they have. I avoid news. It causes frown lines and wrinkles and who needs more of those? I did have one question though: Who bakes CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE? That’s a mess best served cold, well at least how they make it in these parts, which bear no resemblance to Hollywood and where, if someone strange is lying on one’s couch, one is nominally free to shoot them for trespassing. I like mine with Cool Whip or Redi-Whip (which is REAL cream. It says so on the can…).. and I should probably make sure it’s known I like my chocolate cream pie with whipped topping…not dead strangers who had the bad luck to choose my couch to lounge upon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, I may have once again inadvertently revealed salacious details concerning my hick upbringing. I am basing my chocolate pie-making technique on what I observed my granny doing when I was a wee bairn. She would bake the pie proper, allow it to cool, add a whipped topping that she had beaten into submission with a hand mixer, shove it back in the oven very briefly so as to slightly brown said topping, then throw the whole mess in the fridge to chill. It took about 8 days for this pageantry to play out, and we would be nearly delirious with yearning before we were allowed to get our dirty little fingers anywhere near the masterpiece…


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