Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #523

Greta, left: “I’m sorry, Daddy. I’ll try to do better.”

Henry, right: “Splendid. So let’s review what we’ve just learned.”

Greta: “I will stop stealing vodka from your private stock and then trying to seek validation by sharing said stock with my impressionable friends.”

Henry: “Good. And?”

Greta: “I will stop using variations of the Latin word for ‘wedge’ to describe my private school teachers.”

Henry: “Admirable. And when it comes to your mother?”

Greta: “I will stop calling her a fascist pig because she won’t buy me a diaphragm.”

Henry: “I’m so proud of you. You’ve grown so much since the beginning of this blog post. Still, you and I both know that your mother will continue to be a fascist if I don’t punish you in some way for your indiscretions. Therefore, I must banish you to your room and you are not allowed to make any non-essential travel from this dwelling until your mother gets distracted by something else.”

Greta: “But Daddy, I’m supposed to be on a ship tomorrow, one bound for America where I will soon be a major motion picture star who becomes famous despite not really wanting to be a famous motion picture star.”

Henry: “Oh? Perhaps I should be paying more attention to current events. Does this quest of yours involve an admirable income?”

Greta: “Yes, Daddy. I have a contract. And within two hours of arriving in Hollywood I’ll have made enough money to redecorate this wretchedly ugly parlor that is the real source of all of our family issues.”

Henry: “I see. Well, I suppose I could keep your fascist mother medicated for a day or two. Run free, my child. By the way, when you become enormously famous, will you be expecting Mother and I to join you in Hollywood?”

Greta: “No, Daddy. Despite my impending fame and fortune, I want to be let alone.”

Henry: “That sounds like a line that could easily be misquoted.”

Greta: “Trust me, it will be.”


Previously published. No changes made, despite the unavoidable realization that the success of the ending depends on folks knowing Greta Garbo’s life story. Sometimes you just have to trust in the minimal value of movie-star trivia…


22 replies »

  1. Rug: I’ve got the worst job in the world. People tromping on me all day, dragging their filthy shoes and hairy toes all over my lovely weave. No one can see what I’m really made of!
    Painting: At least you’re not a faceless blank! Look at me! I’m just a nothing in a frame!
    [A cry from the bathroom down the hall] Toilet paper: Did someone say worst job?? Did someone say blank?? You furnishings have no idea what work is all about!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Latin word for wedge reminds me of a meeting I was in about thirty minutes ago. I had to plead with my colleagues to not say the plural form of the noun “platypus” without telling them why or saying it myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Did you know she was an art collector? Had a Renoir and a Kandinsky when she died, worth millions. She also roamed the streets of NY in solitude, my mother swore she saw her one day outside Sachs… but my mother was a lady who lunched and by lunch I mean the liquid variety so who knows?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Greta, having successfully fled the ‘domicile o’ doom and gloom – where no one ever dusted and things were simply clogged with bunnies of the dust variety. She made a fortune being silent because no one (well the rare soul maybe) believes women CAN be silent. Well not for more than two minutes or things start to implode. Thus the vodka. Of course the wise woman knows that keeping silent (within reason) garners far more than delicious iced alcohol. One can learn all sorts of interesting things, things which are useful later when sordid words like “black mail” and “passive aggressive” litter the dusty floor. There’s money involved, sometimes enough to keep a girl in solitude for her entire lifetime.


    • Oh, this is a nice furthering of the goings on. And it’s also a furthering of the concept that neither one of us should ever be placed in a position of authority. (Well, not anymore. Been there, suffered that.) We have reached that point where our mild nefariousness has grown too witty and subversive for the common good, even if we entertain ourselves immensely…


    • I really don’t know much about Henry, but I’ll agree that he certainly dressed in a satisfying manner for the time period. And I may have imbued him with some characteristics I wish I had observed in my own paternal unit…

      Liked by 1 person

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