Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #417

Bette Davis, left: “Hmm. Just as I suspected, the gardener did not trim the begonias as I instructed.”

Joan Crawford, right: “How on Earth can you be thinking about flowers at a time like this? You are keeping me prisoner in this house as we both struggle through a movie script that will hopefully resuscitate our careers.”

Bette: “Our careers? Oh, Joan, I didn’t take this part for a jump start. I took it because I wanted you to suffer.”

Joan: “Suffer? I’m already doing that by having to sit in a fake wheelchair next to you.”

Bette: “Good. Maybe next time you won’t be such a wretched tramp and sleep with my husband.”

Joan: “Your husband? Somebody married you?”

Bette: “Of course I’ve been married. Several times, actually. How do you think I got my children? I certainly didn’t order them on eBay like you did.”

Joan: “Don’t judge me for that, I simply took advantage of the free shipping. Besides, I never slept with your husband. Wait, what did he look like?”

Bette: “He had a penis. Isn’t that your only criteria?”

Joan: “Well, if vodka was involved, yes. But still, I didn’t sleep with every man I met. There simply isn’t time in the day.”

Bette: “Oh, I’m sure you didn’t. There must have been one or two who took one look at your eyebrows and escaped into the night.”

Joan: “My eyebrows? Mine are real. Yours were clearly created by a morphine addict who didn’t know what part of your body he was accenting.”

Director Robert Aldrich, wandering back from having also slept with one of Bette’s husbands: “Ladies, there appears to be a bit of dissension on the set. Do we need to take a break?”

Bette: “Of course not. I’m a professional. Unlike Va-Joan-a over there.”

Joan: “We’re both professionals, dearest Bob. Just at different things. Let’s get this done before her eyebrows drip off.”


Previously published in “Crusty Pie” and “Bonnywood Manor”. Slight changes made for this post.


Later that day, Joan’s daughter Christina Crawford made a wrong door selection whilst searching for the loo, and she found herself in what appeared to be a dusty, forgotten storage closet. She spied an ancient typewriter that smelled of vodka and regret.

Her eyes lit up. She’d always wanted to be a writer, but she had never settled on the exact story that she should tell. Then her eyes drifted to an abandoned wire hanger conveniently placed next to said typewriter by a stagehand who had slept with Joan during the filming of “Neurotic Vixen in Heat”. Said stagehand was unable to fully appreciate the climax of the film, so to speak, due to Joan insisting on taking a phone call from her agent during the roundelay, and he had been bitter ever since.

Christina’s eyes lit up even further. Perhaps she did have a story, after all. She ripped the cracked plastic cover off the typewriter and got to work…


24 replies »

  1. Hi Brian, not sure how happened but I somehow unfollowed you. It was very weird. One second I was reading your post and in the next you just disappeared. But I found you again and followed. 🙂 I don’t think I’ll ever understand WP. I don’t know how, but it’s got to be those two wyrd women making an equally wyrd movie called Bette in Hinterland. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sigh. Yep, the WordPress gods are fickle and mystifying. I am constantly noticing that I am suddenly no longer following people that I have been following for YEARS. You would think that, at this point, that important people would have figured out how to stop odd things from happening. But nope, the oddities continue. Just like political elections…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Alice/KBG,

      I would happily follow you into the various rabbit holes you delightfully envision.

      And it’s also past my bedtime, according to my therapist, which probably explains a lot my posts.


      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kind Sir. As for standards, well, I’m probably not really qualified in that area. (Please refer to anything that I’ve ever posted.) Still, I report the facts as I envision them and we go from there… 😉


  2. Now it’s probably true that I commented on that earlier “Pie post”. But I’m willing to comment here too.
    Bette: “Oh gawd! It’s a liberal ringing our doorbell. They have one of those “Warren for President” pamphlets in their sweaty godless hands too!!” (she scowls evilly, in the way that only Bette Davis ever perfected).
    Joan: “Ah! A breath of fresh air. Maybe I’ll get to be “free at last!”
    Bette: “Not if I have anything to do about it! I’m simply not going to answer the door. So there! Nyahhh.”
    Joan: “For an actually conversation with an adult! I’d give one of my Fed-Ex pseudo-children for that privilege!”
    Bette: (sotto voce): “Keep to the script you has-been harpy! You’re ruining my close-up with your blatant photo bomb!!”
    Joan: “What’s a photo bomb?! I knew it!! You’re going to try to kill me! *insert dramatic gasp and a presumed frail and weak hand pressed against a long suffering brow* ”
    Bette: “Well DOH ‘sister’. What do you think this movie is about any way?”
    Joan: “The revival of our floundering careers?”
    Bette: “Well there is that of course. I know I’ll be successful, but you my dear, smell of old failure…”
    Joan: “That’s not failure, that’s my superior getting into the character method of acting. Now ask that silly director to come wheel me downstairs. My Depends needs a change…”

    Sorry. I got a bit giddy there…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I was in junior high when I saw that movie on late night TV (pre-cable, you know). I remember getting weirded out by it. Then I read Mommy Dearest when I was in high school. Yeah, weird stuff.
    I like your take on it very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually miss the days of late-night, pre-cable TV. In most cases, you generally only had three, possibly four choices. (The Big 3 networks and a hit-or-miss local channel.) So, most of the time, one would have to settle for something that was not all that initially appealing, but then would be surprisingly entertained by offerings that we no longer take a chance on in these days of 500 available channels. Sometimes too much is, well, too much.

      Liked by 1 person

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