Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #472

Joan: “Look, I understand that you are upset, but there is absolutely no reason for you to be shoving your hand anywhere near my bosom. You’re not a casting director.”

Cliff: “No, you don’t understand. I have been in the kitchen all day, sweating my ass off and trying to make the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.”

Joan: “Perhaps I should point out that such imagery does not make anyone want to eat anything that you’ve ever made.”

Cliff: “Stop trying to divert the issue. Do you have any idea how much planning goes into making sure that we have enough food for everyone to eat?”

Joan: “Not really. I’ve never cooked a single thing in my entire life. Except other actresses who wanted the same parts that I did.”

Cliff: “You can’t add new people to the guest list at the last minute. It throws everything off. At the very least, I’ll have to make another batch of scalloped potatoes, and another tub of green bean casserole, and the dessert list is shot to hell. This is an outrage that should not happen in modern society!”

Joan: “I can’t believe these words are coming out of my mouth, but you appear to be more controlling than I am. Tell me your secret. Is it a vitamin regimen? I must know.”

Cliff: “I don’t know you anymore. Why would you invite two extra people?”

Joan: “Maybe because they’re my children? Well, the two that haven’t written a tell-all book about my lack of parenting skills.”

Cliff: “Your children? We’ve been married for four months now, which is an outstanding accomplishment in Hollywood, and you’ve never mentioned that you’ve given birth.”

Joan: “Well, if we need to get into the fine print, none of my children actually had a staycation in my womb. But a certain blogger in Texas keeps insisting on posting these horrid little stories about how I got all my children during a sale at Macy’s and implying that I only did it for the sake of advancing my career.” [Joan turns toward the camera and winks at the blogger, knowing full well that any publicity is better than no publicity.] “And I just want to prove that I love all my children dearly and they are the foundation of my very soul.”

Cliff: “Oh. I didn’t realize how important this was to you. Okay, I just need to add a few place cards to the table. What are their names?”

Joan: “Um…”

Cliff: “Seriously? You don’t have an immediate answer for that? You have too many twisted secrets. Is Joan even your real name?”

Joan: “Um…”

Cliff: “That’s it. We’re done. I’m filing for divorce and I’m taking half of everything you own. Including your plastic surgery and one of your eyebrows.”

Joan: “Oh, I have an answer this time. This may startle you as much as it satisfies me to say. We aren’t actually married.”

Cliff: “Of course we’re married. There was a ceremony and we signed paperwork and there was that huge party afterwards with hundreds of guests. And before you try to get tricky with an annulment, don’t forget we consummated our marriage during our honeymoon at that Dude Ranch in Reno. Now that I look back, it was less of a consummation and more about me spelunking in a vast cavern that had seen a lot of tourists, but I got the damn job done.”

Joan: “How quaint of you to assume that you completed your duties. The ceremony was a scene in one of my movies, the paperwork you signed gave up any claim you might have on my earnings and possessions, including the eyebrows, and the party afterwards was merely the annual reunion for those who have spelunked before you and still have a special fondness for my echo chamber. My star might have a little tarnish but it still shines brightly in the eyes of many.” [Joan winks again at the certain blogger in Texas.] “So then, dearest Cliff, which is exactly where you are now standing, what do you suppose your next move might be?”

Cliff: “Um…”

Joan: “Thought so. Now, be a dear and work on those extra place cards. I’ll have my agent send you a text with the actual names you should put on them.”

Greta Garbo, wandering through for no apparent reason: “This is why I don’t care for the invention of spoken dialogue in movies. Things were so much simpler when all I had to do was look pretty whilst a violin played on the soundtrack.”

Blogger from Texas: “Girl, I hear ya. Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end, we’d sing and dance, forever and a day.”

Garbo slaps the Blogger. “Did it ever occur to you that sometimes you push the trivia too far?”

Brian: “Um…”


Originally published in “Crusty Pie” and “Bonnywood Manor”. Slightly modified for this post. No green bean casseroles were harmed in the making of this production.


Brian: “Wait! I do have an answer. There are some lovely guests at Bonnywood who actually appreciate dated entertainment trivia.”

Tumbleweeds blow through the Echo Chamber.

Brian: “Okay, maybe not. “

Gloria Swanson: “Don’t worry about it, love. You’ll get another chance to be a star.”

Brian: “Really?”

Gloria: “Um…”


29 replies »

  1. Joan: Remove thy filthy paw from my person!! Immediately!!
    Cliff (?): I will grab you when and where I wish! I’m the MAN here.
    Joan: Oh yeah? Let’s compare cojones and see whose are bigger.
    Cliff: I KNEW there was something off about you…now it’s been explained!
    Joan: Oh, everyone else got that memo the first time I was featured in a dramatic role. What do you think those eyebrows are about anyway? My facial hair waxing bill was more than the national debt at one point. But I digress. Are you going to remove your hands from my pristinity? I have my lawyer on speed dial and the cops don’t play when domestic violence is even implied!
    Cliff: *sigh* You win. But then you always do. Tell me, does it ever get lonely at the top?
    Joan: No. Because it’s MY rarefied air up here and I enjoy the solitude. No paws on me..
    Cliff: Yeah, but plenty of flies … both kinds apparently.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Excellent job, Sister, with many great bits. My personal faves: “more than the national debt” and, for some reason, “remove your hands from my pristinity”: (That just killed me.)

      I don’t understand why both of us haven’t been hired to write smartly witty sitcoms. It’s a disgrace, really… 😉


    • Bechamel sauce? O woe is me!! My green beans were unfestooned by sauce! Oh the human-beanity of it all!! Alas! What is bechamel sauce anyway? Mine had the onion thing *gag* and everyone (but me) ate them, so I guess they tasted okay… 😐

      Liked by 2 people

      • Honestly Melanie, I am a Green Bean Casserole novice. 🙂 I only know about it because I was living in Phoenix and was invited to a colleague’s house for your Thanksgiving. I had never heard of it before. The one I saw had a bechamel sauce (butter, milk, flour, salt, pepper and other seasonings if you want them – I call it bechamel because I’m French-Canadian, but maybe it’s called something else in US) in it and everyone adored it. It was the first ( and only) time I’ve tried it. There were also lots of onions in it and crunchy fried onions on the top. I’m thinking this is some sort of alternative recipe that one only finds in Phoenix? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m a novice too, this is only the second time I’ve ever made them. My own recipe is very very simple: beans, mushroom soup and milk. I suppose you could add onions to that. I hate onions and so the crunchy topping of onions (demanded by the people who wanted the casserole) is all that mine gets. I bake it for 25 minutes and voila! Green bean casserole made easy (the last five minutes of baking are with the onion stuff on top). Yours sounds better, so give yourself some credit! And yeah, Arizona is different from Utah. Very different! 😉

          Liked by 2 people

          • Thank you. 🙂 I didn’t make it, only tucked into it; I brought Nanaimo bars (a very yummy and rich traditional Canadian dessert that is in three layers – a walnut/coconut/chocolate base, then a custard layer, then chocolate on top) to this dinner. There was a LOT of food! I was sent home with leftovers. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Without the obscure trivia, where would we be? For it is in such obscurity that we find our meaning. But the young ones, we fear, do not understand us. And while that is true, what else can we do? Do we give it up altogether?
    And then…
    Through the door there came familiar laughter
    I saw your face and heard you call my name
    Oh my friend we’re older but no wiser
    For in our hearts the dreams are still the same
    La la la la la la
    La la la la la la
    La la la la La la la la la la

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wait, you have me in a quandary here. These are great words, but (please forgive me) I’m not sure if they are your own (would not surprise me), you a paraphrasing (possibly) or you are quoting (I googled a few phrases but found nada, although I did stumble across some interesting lyrics to a rap song by someone I don’t know).

      Since your lead-off was trivia, you are most likely taunting me with some obscurity, yet I’m floundering. (My only defense is that I’m still taking meds for this nasty crud I’ve contracted, and I’ve been light-headed for a week.)

      Please enlighten me, Lady Chatter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • *sigh*
        Starting at “through the open door” – that’s the last verse to the song YOU referenced above.
        The words before that were my own, in an attempt to make my quoting the last verse make sense. The fact I had to explain it proves I failed.
        Which is true for far too many of my jokes, now that I think about it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you! 🙂

    Thanks for the info. I was in flight school at the time (at Deer Valley) and there were many of us from all over N America, so it’s not surprising to find out that Green Bean Casserole isn’t from there either. 🙂

    Jello? In a salad? Is that supposed to be an aspic? On second thought, I think I may want to leave that alone too. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t even know what to say except … well, nothing. I am a bit speechless. But, you could do a series of posts about this! You could call them something like “recipes that should go nameless.” 😉
    I’m reminded of an article I read somewhere a number of years ago. It said that Americans tend to like sweet more than salty, and that Canadians like salty more than sweet. Maybe the tendency toward sweet should be more closely defined as midwestern American. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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