Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #498

Gary: “Is that someone at the door? Are you expecting anyone?”

Ann: “Of course not. I have no idea who it is. And I didn’t sleep with the vacuum cleaner salesman.”

Gary: “That seems like a lot of information to share when a simple ‘no’ would have been sufficient.”

Ann: “I’m sorry, dear. I’m just tired and worn out. But it’s not because I spent the entire afternoon letting the salesman show me exactly what all those attachments can do for the lady of the house.”

Gary: “You’re starting to worry me. Should I be concerned that you are denying things that you haven’t been accused of?”

Ann: “No, no concern at all. I’m telling you the absolute truth when I say that I have never slept with another man since we got married.”

Justine: “Excuse me, could I put in a word or two?”

Gary: “Who said that? Is there somebody else in the room?”

Justine: “No, I’m not in the room, because you haven’t opened this damn door yet, you babbling twits. Let me break things down for you, Gary the Slow. Ann is being clever with her phrasing, and so far she has told the truth. But if you replace the word ‘man’ with the word ‘woman’ in all of her statements, then everything she has just said to you is a lie.”

Gary: “Then that would mean…”

Ann: “That I’ve never slept with a man named Justine!”

Justine: “See, she’s doing it again, Gary. Now, before you two jump on the divorce train, could somebody open this door so I can get my sample kit that I left in your now-cold bedroom? I’ve got some other sales calls scheduled on this street full of lonely housewives.”

Mystical Orb appearing above Gary’s right shoulder (his right, not yours): “Excuse me, but if all of you are done obfuscating, I’d like to interject a few words.”

Justine: “Excuse me, but I am not obfuscating. That won’t happen for another two weeks.”

Orb: “You’re pretty, dear, I’ll give you that, but you might want to read a book or two. I’m not referring to ovulation, I’m referring to… you know what, there’s only so much time in the day, and I’m certainly not in the mood for a vocabulary lesson, so I’ll try another route: Once this little triad is done with the wretched lying, I have a message for all of you.”

Justine: “I’m not lying. I never lie about anything. Well, except for the real reason behind why I woke up one day and decided to sell household implements to women whose households haven’t been implemented in quite some time. If you know what I mean.”

Orb: “I don’t know and I refuse to know, because, well, just.. NO. Let me try a third angle: Justine, you’re the only one who is still babbling, so could you shut the hell up for two seconds?”

Ann, glancing furtively at Gary, muttering: “Justine seems to be talking to someone that isn’t here. Of course, Justine is technically not here, either, standing on the porch as she is and not having sex with me, something I feel compelled to point out, although it does appear that this story is shifting in a direction that is not focused on me, thank the gods. Still and all, I suppose we should be concerned about the disembodied voice. Do you hear it as well?”

Gary: “Interestingly enough, I am hearing it, even though I generally don’t pay attention to anything you have to say because it’s usually not worth it. Why must you insist upon telling me how much lint you removed from the dryer trap on a daily basis? Could anyone ever benefit from such a report?”

Ann: “Well, with an attitude like that, is it any wonder that my fidelity weakened when someone rang the doorbell and offered to make me happy with an electronic device?”

Orb: “People! This is entirely out of hand. Perhaps you’re not aware that the appearance of an orb in one’s domicile is generally perceived as rather dramatic and noteworthy. Yet the three of you are giving me no true significance whatsoever.”

Justine: “That orb bitch seems kinda rude. Not that I can see her. This would probably be a really good time to open this damn door. And I still need my sample kit, so I think everybody wins if you throw the bolt.”

Ann: “And that brings us back around to Gary. If he would only throw the bolt every once in a while, maybe we wouldn’t be in this predicament.”

Gary: “And if you would only do something about that hair of yours that didn’t remind me of-”

Orb: “Silence! I am the spirit of Isadora Duncan!”

Crickets chirp.

Justine: “Well, that’s a bit of letdown. Who the hell is that?”

Ann: “Wasn’t she a dancer or something?”

Gary: “Never ask a Republican about dancing. We pretend like it doesn’t happen.”

Justine: “Wait, I seem to remember reading about this in my ‘Budding Lesbian’ magazine back in the day. Doesn’t the moral of her story have something to do with never wearing long scarves whilst riding in a convertible?”

Ann: “Oh, right. The scarf wrapped around the wheel and the girl got yanked to her death, poor thing. I guess that wheel of fortune didn’t work out.”

Gary: “Never ask a Republican about poor choices. We pretend like it doesn’t happen.”

Isadora Orb: “This really isn’t fair, folks. I worked long and hard in the afterlife to earn enough credits for a vestigial visitation, and when I finally do, I end up visiting the three people on the planet who care the least about me.”

Ann, suddenly feeling a bit maternal: “Sweetie, don’t be blue. We just didn’t realize how important this was for you.”

Gary, suddenly feeling a bit paternal: “Exactly. Isadora, how can we help you?”

Isadora Orb: “Well, if we’re getting right to the point, I’m very invested in learning more about vacuum cleaner attachments. We don’t have any of those where I’m at now. And, of course, I would greatly prefer a vacuum specialist who could show me how to work things on a regular basis, if you get the drift of my scarf.”

Justine, suddenly feeling a bit financial: “Okay, I think this is where I come in. Well, Isadora, I’d love to be there for you, truly, but as I’m sure you’re aware, my commission is based on convincing people to sign up for a long-term installment plan. Which means you need to make regular payments, and I don’t now if they have PayPal in Heaven.”

Isadora Orb: “Oh, honey, I’m not in Heaven. I would think that would be obvious by the fact that I was only wearing a scarf when I was yanked out of that car. And then there’s that whole business of me sleeping with anything that moved. And the fact that I spoke my mind when women weren’t allowed to do so. And… well, let’s just say that I didn’t pass the entrance exam. I’m in that other place.”

Justine: “Really? Well, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I know PayPal works down under, because I have lots of Republican clients there who pretend like it hasn’t happened. Would you like me to sign you up for the frequent-flyers program?”

Isadora Orb: “Actually, no. I’ve done enough random flying in my day. I still can’t get the smell of asphalt out of my hair.”


Previously published in “Crusty Pie” and “Bonnywood Manor”. Considerably revised and extended for this revisit, completely changing the story. (Do you hear an echo from yesterday’s submission?) This retelling is based on a comment from the prior version by the lovely D. Wallace Peach, who innocently but quite sagely pondered “what’s that glowing orb over Gary’s shoulder”….


17 replies »

    • I think every person of sane mind noticed celestial and spiritual disturbances on the night an Orangutang ascended the American throne via hatred, division and lies. And no, we still don’t know what he is, but he’s clearly not human…. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • The delusion and the pretension just kills me. The crap that comes out of their mouths is so unbelievable, and so easily discounted by actual fact, that I don’t see how any thinking person could buy it. Of course, that explains why Republicans have been slashing education budgets for decades, as that’s the only way they know how to win elections: Keep the electoral base stupid….


      • “Any thinking person” .. Sadly that discounts many these days. Fact. It’s still out there if only his supporters understood fact not fake…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. He: I love you!! I DO!! Let us embrace in that oddly platonic way that the censors seem to think conveys love in the early days..”
    Quiet music begins to play ♪♫♫♫♥ ♥ ♪♫♪♪
    She: “Hold me! Hold me! Never let me go until you’ve told me, told me, what I want to know and then just hold me, hold me until you’ve made me tell you I’m in love with you! ♪♫♪
    He: Uh, what’s with the echolalia*? Do you have some genetic factors I should consider? Is there a mad uncle or two hidden in your closet?” (* meaningless repetition of another person’s spoken words as a symptom of psychiatric disorder.)
    She: ♪♫♪ Thrill me, thrill me
    Walk me down the lane where shadows will be, will be
    Hiding lovers just the same as we’ll be, we’ll be
    When you make me tell you I love you
    (Will you take me in your arms?)
    They told me, “Be sensible with your new love
    Don’t be fooled thinking this is the last you’ll find”
    But they never stood in the dark with you, love
    When you take me in your arms
    and drive me slowly out of my mind
    Kiss me, kiss me, and when you do
    I know that you will miss me, miss me
    If we ever say adieu, so kiss me, kiss me
    Make me tell you I’m in love with you…. ♪♫♪♫
    He: “Well I can certainly do those last things!” He takes her in his arms and kisses her passionately. After they come up for air (because although kissing and fondling in the dark are fine activities, breathing beats all ) .
    She: So when shall we set the date?
    He: What? I was just here for the moonlight and the canoodling, I’m not in it for any type of long haul. Which reminds me, my big rig is gassed up and I’m on a deadline for Cleveland and need to leave. NOW. So let go!”
    She” *sigh* “It’s always the same old story. One or five quick ones and you’re off to boast and brag to the boys! You keep your mouth SHUT and everything will work out fine. Adios. Don’t come back, Jack. In fact “Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no mo’, no mo’, no mo’… “♪♫♪♫
    He: Man! You really got a thing for musical repartee don’t you? I may just pass this way again…”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hands down, you win with this masterful use of the comment emporium. You’ve provided wit, savvy, and a healthy skewering of feigned morality, all accompanied by a musical soundtrack. Could this imaginative mix be any better? No. Should you be working on Broadway as a stellar playwright, dragging home a truckload of Tonys every night? Yes. Will you pursue this proposed endeavor? No. Because the rent in New York City is rudely absurd and no one with our backgrounds can justify the excess… 😉


    • It’s all in the details, really. And stage direction is very key when it comes to proper presentation. Despite the anguished toiling of playwrights throughout the millennia, struggling to get the words just right, the keystone has always been making sure that people look where they should look in order to further the story… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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