Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #77

This is how one turns to a life of crime and indiscretion: When your older sisters force you to wear ridiculous costumes and then torment you further by laughing uproariously, despite their inability to arrange Grandma Bennett’s heirloom china in a proper table setting. The day will come, dear inebriated sisters. The day will come.

There was a knock at the door. Oh? Perhaps that day had come sooner than expected. One could always dream.

The older sisters did not respond in any way to the knocking, perhaps due to their inebriation or their general laziness when it came to proper social behavior. Little Sister sighed, hopped down from her chair, and trotted to the cottage door. She wrenched said door open with a little more force than necessary, because bitterness served at the dinner table often escalates into reactionary displays of anarchy at odd moments.

“Hello!” said the woman on the stoop, wearing an overly-frilly outfit and clutching what may or may not be a casserole dish containing Shepherd’s Pie. “My name is Mary, and I’m looking for my lost lamb.”

Little Sis: “I’m her.”

Mary: “But my little lambkins is white as snow.”

Little Sis: “There was an incident and I’ve been tainted. It was a wretched ordeal and I can’t give you any more details without being given a sedative.”

Mary: “And my lambie is a boy, not a girl.”

Little Sis: “Okay, fine. The incident partly involved a threshing machine. Are you happy now, making me relive the horror? I now have to use a different bathroom where all of the facilities are in the wrong places. In more ways than one.”

Mary: “Oh, I would never dream of acting in an inappropriate manner. That’s why I brought this freshly-baked Shepherd’s Pie on my first visit to your lovely home. It’s just proper etiquette.”

Little Sis: “It’s not a lovely home and etiquette has never been even briefly considered within these walls. There will eventually be a documentary made about what happened here, with neighbors being interviewed and asked why they didn’t report the screams. But I’d rather not be around when that happens. Please take me with you wherever you are going. You can dye my wool if that’s important to you. It wouldn’t be the first time today I’ve pretended to be something I’m not.”

Mary: “But what should I do with my pie?”

Little Sis: “It depends. If you’re talking about your personal pie, you can do whatever you want with it, I won’t judge. If you’re talking about the casserole, just leave it on the stoop. My sisters will eventually find it when they run out of beer and have to venture to the corner market in a lumbering and shameful manner that happens so regularly you set your watch by it.”

Mary: “Well, I don’t know. Doesn’t something seem to be a bit off here? Are you even of age to be making your own decisions?”

Little Sis: “I could be asking both of those questions about your pie. Either one of them.”

Mary: “Fair enough. Still, I’m not sure if there is any benefit for me in this situation. I mean, I would love to have my little lamb tagging along behind me again, as it’s part of my social-network branding and my followers expect to see such. Then again, your sisters sound spiteful, like those basement-dwelling people who make wretched comments on blogs out of pure meanness and nothing else. I really don’t have time to delete the poisonous remarks, not when I have to post at least ten daily images of myself in the latest Shepherdess Couture, looking pensive on a beach whilst gazing at the waves splashing on the shore.”

Little Sis: “Yes, it must be very stressful thinking of new ways to love yourself every day. Poor thing. But I think I can sweeten the pot, here. On my way to this door that I will hopefully be closing for the last time, I managed to swipe all the stock certificates, banking account access codes, powers of attorney, and online passwords that my sisters only thought they had hidden from me.” [These actions were not properly captured by the writer in his narrative because he didn’t think of them until now.] “With just a wee bit of deception, I can easily be in control of a family fortune that will allow us to have all the Shepherd’s Pie we could ever want.”

Mary: “Oh. Well, you should have led with that. I’m all about deception if it can lead to personal gain. After all, the poem about me was not meant to be a celebration of barnyard camaraderie. It’s actually a ribald ditty meant to encourage customers to visit the Red Light District in New Orleans.”

Little Sis: “Are we back to your pie again?”

Mary: “When is it ever not really about pie?”

Little Sis: “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Mary: “Stop trying to trump me with the best closing line.”

Little Sis: “Stop talking about your pie.”

Writer: “Can both of you just stop yammering? It’s after midnight and I’d really like to post this thing and go to bed.”


Previously published. Slight changes made.

More Important Note: Until just a few minutes ago, it was still the Third of July, at least here in America, a date otherwise known as “The Day When Drunk Americans Can’t Wait Until the Fourth to Set Off Fireworks”. There have been explosions in and around the neighborhood for several hours now, and it will be even worse tomorrow night.

I’m probably preaching to the choir for most of you, but it’s against the law to set off fireworks in the city limits of Dallas, as I’m sure it is where many of you live. Yet these idiots insist on doing so, creating a cacophony of terror for pets and veterans and people with anxiety and folks who just want to write a blog post. It’s just another sign of how so many twits these days couldn’t care less about their fellow man. Sad.

Don’t be an idiot. Leave the fireworks to the professionals you can watch on TV. And let you neighbors have some peace.



22 replies »

    • You know, I didn’t realize there were so many variations on the Mary ditty. I just googled and found one page with 40 different versions, hinting that perhaps some folks have too much time on their hands and should get out of the house more. Just not right now…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, thank you Brian. Your comment is particularly well received today when feeling, don’t like to use the word ‘down’ , but definitely not feeling as positive as usual & think damp, rainy weather of this last week and recent further lifting of covid restrictions, impending Sunday birthday and seemingly futile attempts at checking on friends. I suppose generally Brian I tend to adopt that role with people ‘wanting the last drop’ but it would appear some of them not happy with virtual ‘safe’ contact (my terms). Hey, all that sounds deep. I suppose this period shows people in their true colours or not?
        Anyway you have cheered my day > On desktop today so sorry can’t send a sun e moji 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pie? Any post with pie is a winner!! (not personal pie. I’m not even touching that with YOUR fork)!! The woman on the left is stoned, not drunk. In my not so valuable opinion anyway. Or that’s a morsel grasped in her meaty paw…but the way she’s holding it tells me (who watched the ritual over and over and over when hubby was alive) it’s a joint. And she’s a tokin’ – even if it ain’t one step over the line. The black sheep (lamb? Is that sheep DRESSED as lamb?) at the table is sitting in my personal chair. I took my pie and went home the last time I sat in it though, so I suppose it’s fair game. … I hope she takes her sheep suit off and runs far and fast from that ‘tea party’. As we all know, tea parties never lead to anything useful..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never noticed the herbal activity of the lady on the left. And now that I study things more, the lady on the right seems rather buzzed as well. And what ARE those things in the doilied footed bowl? And what happened to whoever was sitting in the now-empty chair? Holy cow, I missed all kinds of plot triggers with this one. I might need to consider remedial therapy of some kind. It’s sad when the mind starts going. And some days I think mine has already gone, with no forwarding address…


  2. As I was reading this, some idiot let off a firework that sounded like a cannon. I know it’s the fourth, but come on! It’s 3:00 in the afternoon!

    P.S. the picture is hilarious! I marvel at your ability for finding these treasures. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • This photo is actually one of the few photos that I didn’t find myself. It was contributed by the same person (a friend from high school, actually) who found the llama snap that inspired the “Lady Penelope” bit I recently reshared. Perhaps I should do another casting call with the fine guests at Bonnywood?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I strongly endorse your closing statement on fireworks–on the Fourth, near the Fourth, or on any day of any month.
    As far as the preceding essay, obbverse’s Lecterian observation matches my thoughts. Or George Harrison’s thoughts from the White Album, about the little piggies “clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.” J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now see, this is why blog-comment discussions can be fascinating. I was intrigued by your Harrison quote and I went digging. I had no idea that the “Piggies” song had such a cultural impact. Did you know about the Charles Manson connection? Life is far stranger than fiction…

      Liked by 1 person

      • As a fan deeply immersed in the Beatles, I was already aware of the Manson interpretation of the White Album songs, as well as their various clues that “Paul is dead.” Strange how a quality work of art can provide so many peculiar avenues of interpretation rather than merely a casual hour or more of diverse and enjoyable music. J.

        Liked by 1 person

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