Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #418

Awards Show Producer, rushing on stage and out of breath: “Ladies, we’re having a bit of difficulty with the sound, mainly because the last actress on the stage was rather enamored by the shape of the microphone and she took it home as her, um, date for the evening. Just keep smiling and we’ll be back in business in a sec.” Then he raced off to fire as many people as possible.

Shirley Temple, left: “Golly gee. What do you suppose the sweaty man meant by that? Why would a lady want a long thing she can hold in her hand as a boyfriend?”

Claudette Colbert, right: “Sweetie, that’s something we really can’t really talk about until you’ve played your first adult role. Just relax and be still. It’s uncomfortable enough up here as it is.”

Shirley: “Oh, I’m not uncomfortable at all. This is so exciting, getting to hand you your Academy Award for Best Actress! My curls are tighter than they’ve ever been.”

Claudette: “Yes, dear. It’s very exciting. Thrilled to be here. That’s why I brought my coat with me onstage so I can blow this joint just as soon as we’re done.”

Shirley: “That seems rather rude. One should always appreciate people who show up to clap for you. I sang about that in one of my movies, The Little Dancing Orphan Who Didn’t Know She Was an Heiress until the Third Reel.

Claudette: “Well, after you’ve been in this business a while, you learn what’s important and what’s not. And hopefully you’ll get an agent who would never agree to such a wretched title.”

Shirley, mask slipping slightly: “Oh, I don’t have an agent. I don’t need one. I’m the cutest damn thing you’ve ever seen and all I have to do to get a part is walk in the room, kick in the perkiness, bat my eyes at the casting director and spit out some baby talk.”

Claudette, temporarily stunned: “What? Do you mean to tell me that-”

Sweaty producer, briefly back on stage: “Okay we found another mic and we should be good to go in two minutes.”

Shirley, mask firmly back in place: “Golly gee, I’m so nervous that I don’t know what I should say or what I’m doing.”

Claudette: “Oh, you’ll get used to those feelings. Just wait until you get married in a few years. Those tap-dancing skills of yours will come in real handy.”

Shirley: “Oh, do you suppose I should sing a song and do a dance right now? Maybe something from my movie Anne of Green Gables Learns How to Raise Horses and Play the Harmonica?”

Claudette: “Absolutely not or I will throw you off this stage and not think twice about it.”

Producer: “Miss Colbert, you realize we have a firm anti-bullying policy. You can only belittle those who don’t have a studio contract.”

Claudette, swiftly recovering: “Oh, Shirley and I are just improvising. We’re practicing lines from a movie we might do called Gone with the Innocence.”

Shirley, playing along because this was fun: “I might get to play the role of the second-grader who learns that her teacher has been stealing microphones and I sing a song called ‘I Can’t Really Use That Anymore Because I Know Where It’s Been’. It’s a duet.”

Producer, pausing briefly but quickly realizing that he doesn’t have time for this: “Okay, then. I’m off to meet Guido in the alley for a completely unrelated matter.” Then he races off to fire some of the people he forgot about during the first round.

Claudette, turning on Shirley: “Okay, I’m done with the games. How is it that you know so much for a seven-year-old?”

Shirley, not having to turn because Claudette already did so: “Because I’m not really seven, you twit. And I’m not really Shirley.”

Claudette: “Then who the hell are you?”

Not Shirley: “Jimmy Cagney.”

Claudette: “That’s impossible!”

Not Shirley/Maybe Jimmy: “Have you ever seen both of us in the same movie?”

Producer, still sweaty, smelling like Guido: “Here’s your microphone. And go!”

Shirley/Jimmy/Somebody: “It is a great honor to give this award for Best Actress to Claudette ColdBear for her performance in It Flattened One Night.”

Claudette: “That’s not the name of the movie, sweetie.”

ShirJimmy: “I’m not talking about the movie. I’m talking about your career. This is Hollywood. Youth will always triumph over experience.”

Announcer: “And we’ll be right back to the awards ceremony after a word from our sponsor. In the mean time, everyone in the studio audience with a will to live should run get a cocktail from the lobby bar. You know these things can last for hours.”


Previously published in “Crusty Pie” and “Bonnywood Manor”. Slightly revised for this post.


11 replies »

  1. Has the Hollywood tinsel tarnished? Will Claudette rise above all the tawdriness? Can Shirley smile more saccharinly? Will Cagney top this act? Can anyone do a sound check? So much drama at the Manor! (There seems to be a slightly soapy feel to these comments.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Are you SURE that was Mr. Cagney in there? I’d have thought Mickey Rooney was more likely…right height, right demeanor…hmmmm How tall was Jimmy anyway? We now also have a clue as to where playing with long things that are inanimate (mostly) came to be popular. Epic!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe what you composed made a bunch of sense.
    But, think about this, suppose you were to create a killer
    title? I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your blog, however what if you added something that grabbed folk’s attention? I mean Past Imperfect
    – #418 – Bonnywood Manor is kinda vanilla.

    You could glance at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create article headlines to get people to click.
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  4. Um… I was about to say how much I liked this and how it reminded me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon — know the one I mean? Where the baby turned out to be a gangster and smoked a cigar?
    Anywho, I was gonna leave a comment like that and then I read the comment right above me and… well, golly gee willikers, Brian, I sure hope you take that wonderful advice and glance at Yahoo’s front page! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I do remember the cigar-smoking gangster baby, especially since many of my cousins could have played such a role…

      And I was also thrown off by the “heart notes” comment above yours. As I’m sure you noticed, I haven’t responded yet, as I’m waiting for my scattered mind to come up with something witty and clever. Give me time… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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