Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #587

Prunella: “Will this car take to me to Broadsplat Station?”

Driver: “Well, this is a cab, and I know where that is, so, probably. But you gotta leave the bird.”

Prunella: “I don’t get the reference. What bird?”

Driver: “The one in your hands. The one that is bigger than you. I can’t even fathom how you’re able to carry it. But it might explain those sturdy shoes you’re sporting.”

Prunella: “In my hands? Are you referring to my wife?”

Driver: “That was not my intention, but if that bird is your wife, then yes.”

Prunella: “This is my beloved, Lady Penelope. We’ve been married for 27 years. Most of it in secret, of course, until Parliament passed the Feathered Fetish Facilitation Act.”

Driver: “I can understand the secrecy. I don’t see much of that in my line of work. And I’ve seen a lot. If that backseat could talk, half the country would be in exile. Including most of the Royal Family.”

Prunella: “Can you also understand that my wife goes everywhere with me? Doesn’t yours?”

Driver: “Do you see anybody else in this cab?”

Prunella: “How sad. Perhaps one day your relationship can be as strong as mine with Lady Penelope. We never leave each other’s sight.”

Driver: “I wouldn’t put any money on that, but thanks for the optimism.”

Prunella: “So we can enter? We have a yoga class in Broadsplat.”

Driver: “I suppose that will be alright She won’t chew on things, will she?”

Prunella: “Most likely not. She’s already molted for this season, and that’s when she gets the most persnickety.” [Prunella gently places her beloved on the back seat. At first, Lady Penelope is not appreciative of the placing, snapping a bit and ruffling about. (“This cushion smells like Prince Andrew!”) Then she settles in and begins nesting, plucking discarded Underground tickets off the floor and using them as foundation material.]

Driver: “Oh, she’s rather good at tidying up, isn’t she? That’s got to be a plus.”

Prunella: “We haven’t had to worry about termites for years. It’s been lovely.” [Prunella opens her travel bag to review the contents, something she should have done before leaving the house but most people are poor at planning, thus resulting in the shocking election of Boris Johnson. Naturally, things were not in order, and she gasps.] “Heavens! I seem to have forgotten Lady Penelope’s yoga mat. She has a special one, you know.”

Driver: “I can’t even begin to consider how I would know such. Is there an important book I didn’t read?”

Prunella: “If you’re going to be obtuse, I don’t have time to explain how important it is that one have the proper yoga mat that will prevent them from tooting during the really strenuous bits.”

Driver: “There is so much going on in this world that escapes me. No wonder I can’t make it into management.”

Prunella: “I’ll be right back.” [She scurries away to wherever one might keep a yoga mat that curbs capricious cacophony.]

Driver, muttering: “I am obviously not getting paid enough to do the things I do.”

Lady Penelope: “I hear ya, brother.”

Driver’s eyes flick to the rearview mirror. “You can talk?”

Lady Penelope: “Of course I can. This is a Bonnywood story, so just go with it. And in that spirit, I have a proposition for you.”

Driver: “I’m so scared right now that I could pee.”

Lady Penelope: “Trust, I know all about that. Just hit the gas and let’s get the hell out of here.”

Driver: “But what about your wife?”

Lady Penelope: “She’s not my wife. And I’m not her wife. I have a penis. Well, that’s not the real name of it, but I’m trying to relate things to your world.”

Driver: “You have a what?”

Lady Penelope: “If you’re asking me to show it to you, we don’t have time. I’ve been a prisoner in that house for 27 years. One day I’m eating minnows in a pond and the next I’m walking down the aisle of a church while a gospel choir is singing ‘Freebird’ using duck callers.”

Driver: “I knew my doctor wasn’t prescribing enough medication. I knew it!”

Lady Penelope: “That’s really not important to me. It’s more important that we flee before she comes back with that damn yoga mat.”

Driver: “But somebody has to pay the fare. Do you have money along with your penis?”

Lady Penelope: “I own half her estate, thanks to the Feathered Fetish Facilitation Act. If you can get me back to the Minnow Pond in Upper-Lower Trenchmouth-on-Avon, you’ll have more than enough money to get the smell of Prince Andrew out of this car.”

Driver was barreling down the driveway before Lady Penelope could finish speaking.

Back in the Manor, Prunella watched them go, hidden behind a window curtain that smelled faintly of carefully-plotted retribution. She then glanced down at the pre-nup agreement on a clever side table, and she smiled. Prunella was rather fond of a clause that could be found on page three, wherein it was made clear that, should Lady Penelope ever stray from the love-flock, she would lose all claim to Prunella’s vast fortune.

Lady Penelope had strayed twice.

Once, just now, with her subversive manipulation of the befuddled cab driver.

The other time? When Lady Penelope showed her penis to Prince Andrew after a raucous night of carousing in the West End. The Prince and The Bird were photographed leaving the Hotel Indulgence the next morning, courtesy of a clever camera-brooch fastened to a Chanel overcoat worn by Prunella as she stood across the street, clutching a packet of birdseed for her once beloved.

Prunella patted the pre-nup and then went to make herself a nice cup of tea…


Photo courtesy of Rivergirl.


26 replies »

    • Thank you! I don’t understand my own mind, so I’m sure others are a little concerned when they peruse my scribblings. I had no idea where I was going with this one when I sat down, other than the “wife” thing. And it just flowed from there….


  1. Awesome photo! How on earth… Anyway, the FFFA had me laugh out loud in the commuter train. People think I’m ready for the looney bin now, but I think I might just go stay at Bonnywood for a while. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel bad for the driver, but free and broke is still free! I know from my own escape.

    I’m sure the FFF Act wasn’t intended for anything but mutually loving relationships, so Penelope might get her (his?) money after all . I believe bird-napping invalidates the pre-nup🤔

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fair enough, there is a bit of quibble with the bird-napping angle. At the same time, Lady Penelope apparently had ample freedom to run about with Prince Andrew, so maybe she wasn’t quite as captive as she proclaims…. 😉

      But yes, I fully understand chucking it all just to get away. Been there, wrote poetry about that…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘Freebird’ sung via duck calls? Gleefully insane. Capricious cacophony? Oh, this soooo sounds like a name in some future Bonnywood tale. (Speaking of names, is the anti-heroines full name Prunella Swann-Leda?) Again, your free-to-run-in every direction mind needs to be metaphysically restrained…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot reveal Prunella’s last name, as there’s a certain court case pending. But I will not deny your assumption.

      My mind is whirring about the Adventures of Capricious Cacophony and her sidekick, Whimsy Mayhem…


    • Well, I didn’t want to reveal too much, in an attempt to rebut future litigation, but I did find an odd sticky note slapped on one of my pages of research for this story, wherein “someone” had scribbled “Give my regards to Clive”. I ignored the message during the initial discovery (who has time for sticky notes?) but now the light is dawning…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Humorous story and all that, but I must say how relieved I am you corrected Lady Prunella’s gender. When I first started reading I thought, “Oh dear! Brian doesn’t know a girl swan from a boy swan! Do I risk shedding my cool image, becoming a true bird nerd and tell him? Oh the dilemma!!!”
    Good on you, Brian. You saved my image. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are actually giving me more credit than I deserve. I actually wasn’t sure WHAT species we were dealing with here, though I was leaning toward the swan angle. This is why I simply used “bird” throughout, to play it safe. And the gender reveal thing? Pure happenstance. It was all about the story and not so much the veracity…

      Liked by 1 person

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