Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #468

Little Sally: “Are we really supposed to eat that? It looks like roadkill.”

Little Billy: “I know it’s not pretty. But it’s only a month until Christmas and you know what that means.”

Little Sally: “That there will be another one of these dead birds on the table?”

Little Billy: “Well, yes. But it also means that we have to be perfect little angels for the next four weeks or the presents under the tree will be a cesspool of disappointment. So suck it up, keep smiling and eat whatever they give you.”

Little Sally: “Got it. Wait, why do we have to be good? I’ve been watching the news lately on my Etch-a-Sketch, and there are a lot of politicians out there who have been behaving very badly and yet they keep getting re-elected. I mean, I know our family is ultra-conservative and I’m supposed to be subservient because I don’t have a dingle-dangle, but something seems a bit unfair about this arrangement.”

Little Billy: “You do have a point, even though you’re not supposed to have an opinion based on your unfortunate chromosomes, so I’ll give you a bit of advice that our older brother gave me.”

Little Sally: “We have an older brother? Pray tell why I have never been informed of such.”

Little Billy: “Probably because he’s no longer a member of the family, which is the normal result of bucking tradition in a red state and trying to make your own choices. You should know this if you’ve been getting the news on your Etch-a-Sketch, which is the preferred Internet provider in states where we change our values every day based on whatever lies we are being told.”

Little Sally: “Oh, I have a special filter on my Sketch. It eliminates everything that can’t be proven by actual fact. Of course, this means the two-hour broadcast from Fox Spews is reduced to 13 seconds, but still, I get what I need. And another thing I need is to find out more about this older brother.”

Little Billy: “Well, last I heard, he was performing on Broadway in ‘The Book of More Men’. Naturally, his singing and dancing in a wanton way has done nothing to improve his status in the eyes of our parents, despite the fact that their eyes haven’t even been open since 1872.”

Little Sally: “I love him already and I feel compelled to write a moving sonnet about him later this evening. But first, what is this advice that he gave you before I was old enough to realize he existed?”

Little Billy: “He said the only way to survive is to pretend that you like the dead birds offered by your parents until you turn 18, then you run like hell.”

Little Sally: “So there’s hope?”

Little Billy: “There’s always hope. And some day, maybe, we can finally stop running.”

Big Momma, wandering in from wherever and clutching a martini: “I thought I told you kids to clear the table.”

Little Sally: “Oh, we did. Just not in the way you expected.”


Originally published in “Crusty Pie” on 11/25/16 and “Bonnywood Manor” on 12/01/17. Revised and considerably extended for this post. The following year, Little Big Brother won the Tony award for Best Featured Actor for his performance in “A Streetcar Named Redemption”.


Big Momma, wandering back to wherever: “I just don’t trust those kids of ours.”

Big Daddy: “We have kids?”

Big Momma: “Of course we do. Little Billy and Little… um… Cindy, I think it is. They bring you your pipe and slippers every night.”

Big Daddy: “Hmm. I thought they just came with this house when we bought it. Anyway, shake the Etch-a-Sketch, it’s time for the evening news.”


25 replies »

  1. Little Sally: Why am I smiling at a rotten bird that has been lying in the sun for a long time?
    Little Billy: Just smile. You don’t want those large children occupying the next room and slurping from those strange bottles to know that we know better.
    Little Sal: (sotto voice): What do we know?
    Lillie Bill: That they’re from Westworld!
    Little Sal: Is that where the Etch-a-sketch came from?
    Little Bill: Yes! It was programmed by the minions of Donald Lump. He’s not real you know, but he thinks he is. Actually, the minions control HIM.
    Little Sal: Ohhh. Okay. Let’s just swallow this sunburnt bird and wait our turn. It’s coming …

    These are so witty and so much fun, Brian. And yup, there’s hope. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well…ah. Forgive the pause for dramatic effect, it’s only just noon and my head still isn’t right. I had my fair share of ‘road kill’ just three days ago and the after burner is just starting to wear off…

    Little Sally: WOW! Look at the size of that bird! Do you think they shot it up with hormones before they killed it’s immense carcass?
    Little Billy: This is 1955. Of course they didn’t. And where did YOU (a girl) learn words like hormones or immense carcass? Your education is supposed to cover no more than the basics of sewing, cooking and pleasin’ your man.
    Little Sally: Oh get with it man. There were hipsters in 1955 ** koff *** koff ARE hipsters koff koffity… (glances furtively around to make sure her faux pas ((more words she should not know)) wasn’t noted by Big Brother)
    Little Billy: Yeah, maybe. But they are KNOWN to be subversive and embracing things like COMMUNISM and you know that gives little people BIG ideas.
    Little Sally: Say! Aren’t those mashed potatoes CREAMY though? Mom sure did a great job and I’m THANKFUL g%$@mmit!!
    Mother: SALLY! LADIES don’t speak like that! ‘Specially not God-fearing ladies from Oklahoma. We have STANDARDS and besides you KNOW it upsets your father!
    Father (from behind his big ass newspaper): “What?”
    Mother: Eat your green beans dear. It’s nothing. Just has to do with rearing the children, which is MY job. You just continue to be mis-informed on world events and bring in that paycheck. The rest will take care of itself.
    Little Sally: Thank goodness (sly look at her mother) I have TWO X chromosomes and not one X and one Y. That Y business seems to make some people (a sneer at her brother) rather dim witted.
    Little Billy: Ma!! She’s using those four dollar words AGAIN and I just don’t understand…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent alternate take. Poor Little Billy, he just doesn’t get it. And in a few years, he REALLY won’t be getting it. (Ahem.) And Mother? Well, we gave up on Mother back when she said “I do”…

      Interestingly enough (or perhaps not, we’ll see), I didn’t actually have any road kill for Thanksgiving. Partner trotted off to West Texas to be with some of his family, whilst I stayed here to work on NaNoWriMo and The Village. Given free reign as I was, I made stir-fry for Turkey Eve and then a seafood feast for Turkey Day. Of course, Partner came back from the West with a U-Haul full of leftovers, and we will be hacking our way through that mess until Christmas… 😉


      • It was mentioned to me that the left overs are the best part, and I fully agree. And I didn’t get a single leftover to bring home either. ;'( A little leftover turkey would have been nice.. So nosh for me. I have a bird to cook, but I think I’ll save it for Christmas.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember enjoying this the first time around, but glad you gave it a reboot. Honestly, it’s too great a pic to leave alone, as the above comments show. I have nothing to add. Just play on, maestro, play on. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a comparison, at that age I looked exactly like Little Billy, with the ill-fitting suit and jacked-up tie, my life in a nutshell. But I wouldn’t have been that gleeful about devouring a turkey. A book? Certainly…

      Liked by 1 person

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