Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #403

Mary Pickford: “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

Mirror: “I said that you really shouldn’t leave the house wearing such a mess. Especially if you plan to flop your hands around like that. You’re not six years old anymore, honey.”

Mary: “But I’m America’s Sweetheart!”

Mirror: “Well, you look like America’s Simpleton. Go change. There’s no tea party here, Alice.”

Mary: “But-”

Mirror: “Go!”

Mary paused briefly, unsettled, then she burst into tears and raced off the stage, wailing and lamenting and rending her fake hair, because melodramatic silent-film stars never did anything with even a modicum of reserve. Three seconds later, shouting ensued as Mary accused the young gossip-columnist Hedda Hopper of destroying her career. This was the absolute worst thing that Mary could do, as Hedda hadn’t been on the set for any malfeasance other than to swipe some shrimp puffs from the craft services table. Now, however, Hedda’s intentions quickly veered from crustacean-crimping to personal vendetta. Mary was about to find out that Sweethearts had expiration dates that could easily be adjusted by the venomous typewriter of sexually-repressed columnists.

As the verbal fireworks intensified, Joan Crawford stepped out from behind the mirror, laid a microphone on the now-vacated wicker bench, and smiled slyly. Then she turned and exited the stage in the opposite direction, now intent on the next phase of her nefarious plan to conquer Hollywood.

The director, having witnessed all of this without anyone noticing because movie stars rarely understand who is truly responsible for their ascension, turned to his assistant. “I think we need to rework the script if we’re going to salvage this movie. Go find a writer who can craft a story where a major star gets killed off in the first twenty minutes of the movie. It’s never been done before, but our choices are limited since Sweetheart’s career is toast as soon as Hedda’s next column hits the newsstands.”

Assistant: “Actually, sir, I’ve already written just the script you need. We’ll have to change one of the character names to Norma Bates, but otherwise it should work splendidly.”

Director: “That sounds rather smashing. You’re a good man…uh… sorry, I’m not sure of your name. Production Assistants come and go around here like virginity at a barn dance.”

Assistant: “Oh, I believe it. I plan to fire many of them in the future. The name’s Hitchcock, sir. Alfred Hitchcock.”

Director: “Hitchcock? That sounds like something that will never get past the censors.”

Alfred: “Trust me. I can get around those censors.”

There was a sudden clatter offstage, and then Joan Crawford raced back on the set, ignoring the director and focusing on Alfred, lust in her demented eyes. “Just so you know, I’m perfectly willing to appear in a nude shower scene.” Then she raced off toward somewhere that most likely served alcohol.

Director: “I didn’t see that coming.”

Alfred: “And neither will the shower.”


Previously published, slight changes made. And for the record, “Norma” Bates does appear in the “Bates Motel” TV series which ran from 2013 to 2017. I think I’ve babbled about this series before (not sure), and it’s not for all tastes, but if you like dark and twisty, it’s a very addictive romp. And the final episode of the show neatly ties together all the preceding seasons, which doesn’t always happen, making it very satisfying. Check it out, if intrigued.

Still, I never want to see Joan Crawford in a shower scene. Just, no.


18 replies »

  1. Mary looks like something in a Vintage store window. 🤔 America does love plastic. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    I hope I don’t have nightmares from Joan’s exit line… *shudders*

    That show sounds wonderful! Twisty and Dark are two of my favorite things. I’ll let Daughter know too, she seems to have more time to watch shows than I do🤔 She’s not required to do Arts and Crafts🙄

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, you are spot-on with some Americans loving plastic. That explains a whole BUNCH of things and situations.

      Yes, Joan’s exit line chilled me to the bone.

      As for “Bates Motel”, from what I think I’ve learned about you, I really think you would enjoy it. But I understand you may not have time, what with your perpetual serfdom. And you certainly can’t watch it with Ben. Nope…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I might peruse the Bates Motel series. I think I’m more than at home in Dark and twisted.
    Looks like a change in career coming up for ‘Mericas Sweetheart, gone from grace and innocence to starring in ‘Rebbecca Of SomeNooky Farm.’ Hey, a gal fallen on hard times has gotta make ends meet somehow. (That phrase has taken on quite a salacious bent, now I see it written down. Oh well.) From Sweetheart to Sweet tart in one Willy Randy Hearst newspaper column.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Didn’t Joan Crawford marry Mary’s stepson? After the wedding, Joan jumped in the shower, her eyebrows washed off, Doug Jr ran screaming into the night, and Mary moved on to a career behind the mirror. Ain’t Hollywood grand?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, Joan did marry Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, the first in a long string of career-advancing husband selections. I truly relish it when lovely folks like you are able to decipher the vaporous, often deeply-buried trivia nuggets that fall out of my twisted brain into these stories… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gah! Joan Crawford, nude, is enough to put anyone (man, woman or metrosexual) off sex for the entire length of their lives. And the plumbing bill after the shower, shocked beyond bearing at the sight, will be expensive, making some plumber somewhere very happy. I just hope the Joan has exited the building before he/she arrives, because we’d have a lot of corpses piling up in that bathroom. Oh my gawd. I’m glad I ate a light breakfast this morning. I feel my gorge rising..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to assume that you’re not a member of the local chapter of the Joan Crawford Fan Club. I do admire her determination, although I think she went about things in completely wrong-headed ways. But her acting? Meh. I think she was actually much better in her earlier films (“Rain” comes to mind), but that’s probably because she was still young and trying to prove herself, just like most of us….


  5. Great bit on Hitchcock’s name — “never get past the censors”… *snicker*

    Speaking of dark and twisted, have you seen Good Omens yet? (Amazon Prime) Great stuff. Especially David Tennant. If anyone can make a fallen angel sexy, it’s the Doctor. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have NOT seen “Good Omens” but, since I completely trust your judgment, I will hastily inform Partner that he simply MUST put it in the queue. He will argue and demand to see your credentials, of course, but I ALSO know how to get things past the censor… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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