Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #136

Lupe was startled when she learned that the censors objected to her performance in this scene. After all, this was years before that horrid little man, Will Hays, came up with the insipid Production Code that edited anything remotely naughty out of the movies. Interestingly enough, the censors weren’t bothered by the panties with the elegant but still easy-access pull cords, or the brassiere fashioned out of perkily-crocheted doilies. No, they were more concerned about Lupe having strapped a diaphragm to the side of her head for no apparent reason.

Lupe was not impressed by this ruling. She tracked down the censors as they were dining at The Brown Scurvy and confronted them at their table. “First, of all, it’s not a diaphragm. I’m a devout Catholic and it would never cross my mind to own one, let alone parade about with it on my head. Second, who the hell cares if it is a diaphragm? I may not care to use it, but women in this country should be free to choose their own accessories.”

Myron, Censor #1, stopped poking at his Cobb salad and set his fork aside. “This is Hollywood. Hollywood is about perception. And the perception is that it appears to be a diaphragm. Surely you can see the logic, even with all that overdone mascara.”

Lupe: “No, I don’t see the logic. And you still haven’t answered my question. Maybe you didn’t hear it, what with your head in all that sand.”

Enid, Censor #2, shoving her own Cobb salad (hold the bacon) to the side. “Perhaps I can better help you envision the tableau. You’re already prancing about on the set wearing essentially nothing but a tassel and some heating pads. That alone had me incensed, but my male counterparts on this board, bulging with testosterone as they are, convinced me that your lack of attire could be considered an artistic statement. But once we spied the diaphragm, it became clear to even the Neanderthals that this was not artistry but rather a shocking promotion of wanton infidelity, craven lust, willful carnality and the concept that people can just fornicate with complete abandon as long as somebody has a mini-Frisbee in the picnic basket.”

Lupe: “Wow. You got all that from seeing a diaphragm that isn’t really there? Perhaps you can introduce me to your pharmacist.”

Bill, Censor #3, shoving aside his own version of a Cobb salad (a gin and tonic, hold the tonic). “I might have a solution that can solve all of our problems. Well, at least the problems concerning the scene in this movie. Myron and Enid are going to be in therapy until they die, as there’s no way around that.”

Lupe: “Pray tell. You seem to at least have a bit of sanity.”

Bill: “Well, what if we rework the script so that, in the scene just before you frolic with the Frisbee, you just happen to be walking by a pasta factory when it suddenly exploded. That would explain why most of your clothing is missing and you have a wad of ravioli smacked up against your head.”

Lupe: “Apparently I spoke too soon about your sanity. That is never going to work.”

Myron: “Actually, I kind of like it. She’s not dancing for lust, she’s dancing for lasagna.”

Enid: “And it provides a cautionary tale about the dangers of carbohydrates! I love cautionary tales. I’m the woman I am today because my mother scared the hell out of me on a daily basis with her Bible stories and random surprise enemas.”

Lupe: “You poor thing. I could almost feel sorry for you, but no, not really getting there.”

Bill: “So, Lupe, I think this is your best offer if you want to keep the scene in the movie. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices.”

Lupe: “I think I made the sacrifice when I walked into The Brown Scurvy.”

Waiter, nameless because he didn’t have a decent agent, scampering up to the table: “Sorry for the intrusion, but I’m afraid I have to ask all of you to leave the restaurant.”

Enid, indignant, just as she had always been since that first surprise intrusion many years ago: “What on earth for?”

Waiter: “This is Hollywood. Hollywood is about perception. And the perception is that this scene is out of control and we need a rewrite. You all need to go. Except for Lupe. The master chef would like to study her ravioli to see if he can recreate it for a new signature dish which he has temporarily christened La Carbonara Contracepta. Her meal is free, as if we couldn’t discern that by her lack of an outfit. The rest of you will have to pay.”

Myron: “But that’s absurd. You always comp our Cobbs.”

Waiter: “That was ten minutes ago when you were famous and we were desperate for you to give our establishment a shout-out on social media. Since then, our advertising director has decided that censorship is no longer trending and Lupe represents our new branding concept. Now scoot, you hypocrites. Lupe? Please follow me to the private dining room so the master chef can figure out what sauce would go best with your couture.”

Lupe, smiling at the censors: “Well, then. Karma is a bitchy Cobb salad, eh?”


Previously published as a single paragraph in “Crusty Pie” and a longer version in “Bonnywood Manor”. Revised and extended for this current post.


Later, on the sidewalk outside The Brown Scurvy…

Edna: “I cannot believe we were just treated that way. The nerve of that wretched waiter, telling us what we can and cannot do.”

Bill: “Interesting. Perhaps you’re missing the irony, in that you are a movie censor.”

Myron: “Well, I’m not going to stand for it. I think we should sue, which is what every decent American does when they can’t get their way. Don’t you agree, Edna?”

Edna: “…”

Bill: “Leave her be. She just noticed that fire hydrant over there and she’s having a flashback.”


23 replies »

  1. And here am I, completely clueless again. Oh well. My initial response (without reading the text) was “I’m REALLY ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille” (apologies to Nora Whosherface and black and white silents every where). “My girls are as perky as they’re EVER going to be, but aw sh*t. Too late. The water damn has broken and I’m afraid I’ve peed all over my bows and shoes. Damn the inventors of Depends ™ who aren’t even born yet, and the shocking lack of bathroom breaks when one is trying to pass off spaghetti (or bow tie pasta) and a diaphragm as ‘couture.” But a girl must work, right?” Nora cum Lupe exits stage left, leaving a rather damp spot where she once stood. And an air of faded glory..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOLOLOLOL sorry but ummm BWah ha ha haha ha and ummm I’m guessing, your experience with diaphragms would be limited in the extreme because if that huge bumpy thing is a diaphragm it must be one designed for a sperm whale because no human could possibly have a cervix large enough for that sucker. hahahahahaha I was thinking it looked more like she had become a little too close with one of the other chorus girls and ended up with that unfortunate ladies costume bra stuck to her head.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, as Lupe points out, it’s not a diaphragm. But the whole story just doesn’t work unless we pretend that it is, so we just have to suspend out belief for a bit, just like many folks do with politicians. All that aside, you get extra bonus points for your “sperm whale” reference, which had me giggling more than I should have… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought this was plenty funny in its original, improved upon on replay, achieving masterpiece in its final edition. Favorite line: “Perhaps you’re missing the irony, in that you are a movie censor.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you kindly. And I’m sure you will fully appreciate this bit of an editing dilemma, as we often think alike: I spent a good ten minutes trying to decide if the end of that line should be “you are a movie censor” or “you’re a movie censor”. I finally decided on the more formal “you are” as the character is a bit pompous and rather fond of his own diction, proving that I spend far too much time on background stories for characters that are gone in a flash… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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