Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #517

Humphrey: “Say, what happened to your face there, doll? Has your man been wallopin’ you around? I can take care of him if you want me to. Just say the word.”

Ida: “Well, as much as I would like to belittle my husband for the wretched things he has done, I can’t really pin this on him. His crimes are fairly petty, mainly stupidity and aggressive flatulence. No, I did this to myself.”

Humphrey: “Aw, come on, doll. You don’t have to make excuses for your husband beating on you, like pretending you walked into a door or you got too rambunctious with your personal massager and the plug flew out of the wall and smacked you in the noggin.”

Ida: “I am telling you the truth. This isn’t a bruise, it’s a burn. I was doing a chemistry experiment and things got a bit out of control. I was too close to the action and… well, a small piece of plutonium made a break for freedom but it only got as far as my face.”

Humphrey: “Sorry, gal, but I think you’re just blowing hot air.”

Ida: “I’m not blowing anything, and certainly not you, although I hear that Lauren Bacall might be making you an offer in a few years. Really, I was testing isotope variances when you walked in. Your Neanderthal gait startled me and I quickly shoved my test tube in that lamp over there.”

Humphrey: “What kind of dame would be doing chemistry experiments?”

Ida: “The kind of dame that can sometimes win Nobel Prizes. Women can do anything. Even direct movies.”

Humphrey: “Like that will ever happen in Hollywood in our lifetimes. Now, quit runnin’ your mouth and let me take a look at where the massager dinged ya. It might leave a scar.”

Ida: “I strongly suggest you not get any closer to the impact site.”

Humphrey: “Why, you tender-headed?”

Ida: “No. I’m radioactive.”

Humphrey, sighing: “Making movies just ain’t what it used to be.”

Ida: “Tell me about it. Now, you go back over there and wait for Lauren to eventually put her lips together and blow, and I’m going to call my HMO and see what my deductible is for underestimating radical plutonium.”


Previously published, slight changes made.


23 replies »

  1. Yup, I dealt with lots of sexist crap too. Sadly, I still run across it, and much more than I should. A few days ago, someone I was interviewing for job condescendingly called me, his potential employer, “dear.” This was for a position that pays in the six figures. He immediately lost any chance. Despite all the work we do, some things really hang on, don’t they?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you commented on the sexist angle, as I wasn’t sure if that part was coming through as I intended it to do, especially since Humphrey was, in reality, a really decent guy who fought for equality in a number of areas. (He was one of the actors, along with his wife Lauren Bacall, who boldly went to Washington to support the folks accused of communism during the infamous HUAC trials in Congress, a witch-hunt led by, you guessed it, Republicans.)

      And the interviewee who called you “dear”? Bye bye.

      But six figures, eh? Is the position still open?

      Just kidding.

      Sort of.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. THAT’S Ida Lupino??? Funny (in an odd sort of way) because she looks remarkably like Elizabeth Perkins. Maybe I’m the only one who sees it. Ida really is older than I thought too (is she still among the living?) To me, who actually did the denial dance and stated that I ran into door frames and such, that mark on the face was made via fist (well F/X fist…I mean it was the movies after all). I’ve not seen that film, although I’ve seen much of Bogie’s work, and that has the decidedly film noir cast to it, does it not? Someone getting slammed in the puss (a dame) was standard operating procedure in such films. Usually the broad was mouthy too (not excusing the behavior. GENTLEMEN know that one never hits a ‘lady’, however dubious the mantle of “lady” is….)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I do see a bit of Elizabeth Perkins in Ida. I really enjoyed Elizabeth’s work when she was “big” (ahem) back in the day, and then she disappeared forever (at least for me) until she was in that “How to Live with Your Parents” series, circa 2013. I thought the show was creative and quirky so, naturally, the executives killed it off because the major networks still don’t know what to do with creative and quirky shows. (You’d think they would have learned by now, since creative and quirky is BOOMING on Netflix and Hulu and such, but nope).

      Hmm. I seem to have lost the thread of your comment. What was the question, again? 😉


    • Misogyny in Cinerama! Misogyny Noir! Misogyny Musicals! Ain’t Hollywood grand?

      P.S. And if you continue to leave The Pocket in the micro after the ding? It never, ever decays. And we’re putting that mess in our bodies… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your explanation of the bruise so much more than the movie’s, any movie as far as that goes. (They just love to slap women around.)
    This led me to look up Ida Lupino and wow, she was a dynamo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ida was phenomenal, full of gumption and constantly breaching barriers. Sadly, we still have many of those barriers today.

      As for the bruise explanation, this whole bit was based on how part of that lamp looks like a test tube. Tiny triggers are all I need… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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