Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #426

The lovely Saturday evening had been going splendidly until Claudette laughed just a bit too hard and the cauliflower casserole from dinner backfired unexpectedly. Her bloomers billowed, the conversation ceased, the cab driver discreetly rolled down a window before they all perished, and the possibility of a second date suddenly skittered onto perilous ice.

Claudette, obviously, was not pleased with this development, and she tentatively eased her way into a desperate mode of damage control. “I’m not sure what to say at this point.”

Clark: “Well, your ass didn’t have any problem finding the words. I can still hear them now.”

Claudette’s mortification eased slightly, tempered by budding discontent with her date. “It’s not as if I did it on purpose, carefully-selecting the highest-fiber items on the menu at the restaurant just to powder the cannon. There’s no reason to be rude about things.”

Clark: “I’m not being rude. My ass hasn’t said a peep, although there was a brief moment when I thought it might have something to share when we hit that pothole back on Fifth Avenue.”

Claudette, discontent now winning: “I don’t think you’re being very considerate of my delicate condition. Perhaps we should cut this evening short so you won’t be in danger of further changes in atmospheric pressure.” She leaned forward. “Oh, driver?”

Driver apparently did not have an official response prepared, and he said nothing.

Clark: “Perhaps he’s suffering from PTSD. Give him a few minutes to recover.”

Claudette: “Driver? We’ve had a change in plans and we won’t be going to the 21 Club.” She leaned forward and tapped Driver on the shoulder. “Did you hear me?”

Driver had a response this time, in that his head slumped forward and then stayed there. Perhaps it was a moment of sudden prayerful devotion, what with the startling climate change of this experience hinting at an apocalypse, but it did not appear that Judy Garland would soon be singing a perky song on the soundtrack.

Clark: “It’s worse than I thought. You’ve killed him with your ass. Are you happy now?”

Claudette jerked her hand away from Maybe-Dead Driver, apparently not having learned that sudden movement on her part was ill-advised at this point, considering the repeating cauliflower. “Would you stop saying the word ‘ass’?” I get it. You are not impressed with mine. Frankly, I’m not impressed with yours, for a different reason. So stop being one and help me figure out what to do now.”

Clark pondered.

Claudette clenched, because the cauliflower was hinting at an encore, damn it all.

Driver continued to not do anything.

Clark, finally, had a moment of brilliant observation. “Say, this cab is no longer moving, just like Driver.”

Claudette, sweating because of the clenching: “What are you saying? What does this mean?”

Clark: “It means that we can just get out and walk away. And I won’t have to pay the cab fare. I think everybody wins.”

Claudette, nearly hyperventilating with the extreme muscle control: “But what about Driver? We can’t just leave him here.”

Clark: “Oh, now you’re concerned about Driver? You certainly didn’t have his interests in mind with your Chernobyl incident. I don’t think anybody will be able to use this cab for fifty years due to all the radiation.”

Suddenly, Driver’s head popped up.

Claudette crop-dusted once more.

Clark screamed, in a manly way, according to his publicist the next day.

Driver: “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”

Claudette, waving away the fog: “Are you kidding me? This was just the opener for a TV show?”

Clark: “What kind of crazy producer would approve of this?”

Lorne Michaels, Saturday Night Live creator, walking past the non-moving cab and chomping on a street-vendor hot dog, extra onions: “Hey, if the ratings get low, you have to get low with the writing.”

The Writer: “Thanks, Lorne. Happy to help. Now, can I meet Tina Fey like you promised?”

Lorne: “You know the rules. You don’t get to meet Tina until you’ve hosted the show at least five times.”

Claudette: “I feel so violated.”

The Writer: “Me too. So dirty.”

The Seat Cushion: “Both of you have nothing on me.”

Clark: “So do I have to pay the cab fare or not?”


Previously published in “Crusty Pie” (short version, one paragraph) and “Bonnywood Manor” (the above, much longer version). No changes made for this post. Truth be told, I was inspired to dig this one out of the archives after a comment chat with the lovely Melanie, wherein I confessed that there may have been a slight pressure release at the two-moon junction as I snickered my way through one of her delightful wordsmithing concoctions. We’re all flawed and messy humans, so we might as well be honest about it, right? Right.


25 replies »

    • At the end of the day, though? They both made a ton more money than we will ever make (adjusted for inflation, of course), so I guess character doesn’t really matter in the end? Does that make me sound bitter?


  1. a realtive of mine used to say: “wherever you may be, let your wind go free” –
    youalso know what happens if you keep it in – it rots your brain and you start thinking bad political decisons are actually good! So, fart when you need to rebel against politics.

    and yes, I am rebelling and not using capitals too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Withheld comments of the ass kind are one of the largest reasons (in my own opinion) for the mess America is in. As Claudette (the blogger, not the actress) said about letting wind go free and her relative…I also have a little phrase for those moments when the cruciferous vegetable will not be silenced nor muted. ♪♫ Beans, beans – the natural fruit (so it’s a vegetable. Shaddup. I’m having a moment here) ♪♫♪♫ the more you eat ’em, the more you toot… (there’s more, but why over-gild the lily?) Also this one from the archives: “Release the gas. If you hold it in, it crawls up your spine into your brain and that’s where shitty ideas come from.” See? Too many gas bags who won’t release the gas have been elected (*rude snicker*) to political office. They think they’re being ‘kind to the environment by saving the ozone from all that methane’ We (the rabble who have to (sometimes) live with their shitty ideas are pretty sure it’s just bad gas. All of it. Now Ms. Claudette (the actress, not the blogger) SHOULD have done what all ‘ladies of good refinement and breeding’ from the 1920-40(ishes) did and carried around a little spray bottle of eau du fartbanish #5. A discreet spritz and nobody is the wiser. Moral of your little tale: Don’t eat cauliflower (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts) on a first date. Or maybe until he slips the ring on your finger and says “I Do.” Women aren’t supposed to fart. We FLUFF dammit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I know that little ditty about “the more you eat, the more you toot”. My mother used to sing that to me when I was a wee bairn, which partially explains why I have anxiety to this day. (But she called it “musical fruit”, as if that somehow softened the trauma.)

      But my favorite bit in your whole delicious comment is “eau de fartbanish #5”. Brilliant.


  3. Lol! This is hilarious. “Claudette clenched..”

    But – after i’ve eaten blue cheese, i must clench some also, or i could blow my husband through the roof with my wind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been told it is the sign of good breeding, whether we comment on the crop-dusting or pretend it never happened. We’d probably all be better off we weren’t so dang up-tight, and by relaxing we’d probably dust our crops less often as a result.
    This is the deepest I’ve ever gotten on this subject. I hope you make note of it, as I doubt it will ever be repeated. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Out of respect for your sensible sensibilities, I will never bring this topic up again, at least for the rest of this day.

      But yes, so many people are so uptight about so many pointless things. Let’s focus on the important stuff, shall we?

      Liked by 1 person

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