Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #102

It was at this point that Gladys and Lottie realized that things might be a wee bit out of control. Then again, perhaps it hadn’t been the wisest move to don lackadaisical attire in a town where everyone else took couture quite seriously. Perhaps it was time for a bit of negotiation.

Gladys: “Excuse me, sir. Whilst I would have greatly enjoyed being swung through the air when I was six, I feel compelled to admit that I’m not really finding it to my liking at this particular moment. Might I inquire as to the reasoning for my hoisting?”

Bert, hoister: “We’re roundin’ up the tramps in this town and runnin’ ‘em out.”

Gladys: “I see. And what might be the protocol in this situation? How does one identify a tramp? Because I feel there might have been an error of some kind in your detective work.”

Bert, non-scholar: “I ain’t afraid of your fancy slut words. You just hush up and quit fightin’ me so much so’s I can get you in this here truck.”

Gladys: “I’m not fighting you at all. I was just startled to be wrenched off my porch in such an unexpected manner. This doesn’t normally happen when one goes out for bagels in the morning.”

Lottie, still firmly gripping the door frame of their SoLo Loft: “Gladys, what the hell are you babbling about with that man? Kick him in the berries. And I’ll kick this old biddy in her ancient coochie. The dust from that thing should give us cover to make an escape.”

The riotous crowd gasped in unison. Not because Lottie had besmirched the fading honor of Spinster Ruth’s hoo-hoo. (Hell, everybody knew that her cargo hold hadn’t seen any action since the War between the States.) And they were no longer all that invested in ridding Crackerville of harlots, having had time to reflect upon the matter whilst they gathered their torches and bibles. Let’s face it, if there weren’t any sluts around, there wouldn’t be as much scandal, and then they wouldn’t have anything to talk about at church socials. No, the outraged gasping was centered on Lottie’s ignorant suggestion to malign another man’s berries.

After all, this was the height of the Blueberry Festival, the town’s one worthwhile contribution to society and the only reason that they still had a working post office. People came from miles around to buy incredible amounts of the infamous Crackerville Crack, an intoxicating ambrosia composed of blueberries, blueberry juice, more sugar than you can shake a stick at, and just the right amount of moonshine that would overcome the resistance of anyone who was not all that fond of blueberries.

Every citizen in Crackerville made their yearly income during the weeklong festival in one way or another, especially the harlots, and then they spent the rest of the year inbreeding and not progressing as a society in any significant way. It should come as no surprise that a Democrat hasn’t appeared on any local-election ballot since Spinster Ruth’s receiving chamber was closed for repairs.

“But what about Prohibition?” asks Young Sheldon Cooper in the viewing audience. “How did the town survive during that misguided debacle?” The rowdy rioters glanced upwards, as they were often wont to do, firmly convinced that White Jesus would send them a bit of scripture that they could subvert to their own needs.

The heavens above initially had no comment, perhaps due to the overcast condition of said heavens. But then the clouds parted due to a brisk wind that suddenly arose, one that smelled like hypocrisy but no one noticed because they were so used to the aroma, and a falsetto voice came from somewhere not here.

“I’ll take that question,” said Archibishop Henry Bucksworth, whose diocese unfortunately included the questionable burg in our story, much to his never-ending chagrin. “The beloved Pope Benevolencio the Sixth happened to tour Crackerville in 1921, due to a scheduling error of some kind, and at that time he absolved the citizens of their juice-making sins from here to eternity. Some have claimed that he may have been under the influence of the Crackerville Crack when he gave his blessing, but I should point out that such thoughts are considered heresy, even if Pope Benny belched repeatedly during the proclamation ceremony in that early YouTube video.”

Gladys, still clinging to Bert the Hoister: “What was that all about? Do you often get voices from the sky in this dump?”

Bert: “Well, I reckon the voices are almost as famous as our Crack. Isn’t it great to live in a place where there’s moonshine and the clouds tell you what to do?”

Gladys: “Well, I’ve never been to Spain, but I’ve been to Oklahoma. And I know all about getting my fill.” She glanced over at Lottie. “Ready, girl?”

Lottie: “As I’ll ever be.”

Gladys kicked the berries and Lottie kicked the mausoleum and the ensuing cursing and clouds of dust allowed them to escape to another county where there was a rumor that more than one political party was allowed on the ballot. Both of them hoped to do good things, both of them hoped for an all-inclusive society, and both of them tromped into the voter registration office, full of hope.

“Welcome to Denialville!” said the automaton at the front desk, eyes glassy and wearing a sheepskin halter top and camouflage flip-flops. “If you want to register as a Republican, there’s a gift basket from Rudy Giuliani waiting for you in the Executive Lounge. If you dare to register as a Democrat, we will destroy you and gerrymander your voting district so your vote doesn’t count. Which will it be?”

Gladys and Lottie tightened the laces on their kicking boots. Game on.


Previously published, some changes made. And here’s to all the decent people who lace up their boots despite the odds. We shouldn’t have to be fighting for decency in this day and age, but there are still so many people out there who drink the juice and never question the ingredients…


32 replies »

  1. LOL! The Blueberry Festival in Crackerville. Hahaha. Some towns along the coast in South Jersey are like that. One big music festival and several smaller ones during the summer are all many folks base their livelihood on. I’ve never been there as I know that’s not a place for an Asian face to show up. However I’ve always wanted to know how it is like, and wished to discover one or two characters, like Gladys and Lottie, those feisty people who populate Bonnywood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Music festivals can be a lot of fun, with plenty of folks like Gladys and Lottie who don’t care one whit about what your face might look like. You just have to find the right festivals. But thank you for that last line about the “feisty people who populate Bonnywood”. I really enjoy working with the characters at Bonnywood, both real and imagined, and I do hope there is a sense of inclusive community and commonality on these pages…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Goodness!! This berry patch is just full of ripe berries and low hanging fruit, waiting to be reaped (one way or another). I scarcely know where to begin, so I’ll just jump on in, as I usually do.
    Fred Mertz (very very startled to be beamed out of an “I Love Lucy” (c) marathon and on to a platform in a place that smelled oddly of berry juice (the drinkable kind, not that other unmentionable ‘quaff’) . He scratched his belly and then his own berries, which itched. Damned horsehair trousers anyway. His attention was drawn to a young woman, clinging with some desperation to an odd door jamb while some old woman tried to pull her towards a whirling dervish with legs. (I guess dervishes, whirling or not, have legs usually…these legs however didn’t match the gender of the face..and it’s getting too complicated ain’t it?) Okay. Fred, clad in a dark gray ‘wife beater’ undershirt watched in some horror as things progressed, and a high pitched scream came from the dervish, when his low hanging fruit became the target of a large shoe. Then waves of dust, smelling oddly of blueberries and despair, billowed, cloud-like as the young woman to Fred’s right, kicked the old woman trying to pull on her right in the cooter. Fred vowed, then and there to swear off drinking, because Ethyl was right. It did bring on dem Delirium tremens (DTs) (is a rapid onset of confusion usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol. When it occurs, it is often three days into the withdrawal symptoms and lasts for two to three days. Physical effects may include shaking, shivering, irregular heart rate, and sweating. People may also hallucinate.). Damn woman was NEVER wrong!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Once again, you have grabbed my prompt baton and run with it, wildly and deliciously. I’m not sure which part I like best, so I will simply grace the entire contribution with beloved approval and admiration.

      Side Note: I never could stand the Fred Mertz character. He was just SO annoying to me. Same with Barney Fife on “Mayberry, WTF”. And Ralph Kramden on “The Honeymooners”. And Gilligan on that damn three-hour island. Actually, almost everybody on that island, except for Mary Ann and the Professor (whom I actually had the hots for at one point, true story). And… well, I guess I should stop, as I really don’t know where I’m going with this, and I have failed miserably with my commentary.

      I’ll try again tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day! (Never liked Scarlett, either. Honey, dial it down a notch, free the slaves, and move on!)


  3. I’m glad they escaped, those two bring hope to us all. Also appreciated the Three Dog Night song – it’s one of my favorites.

    By the way, I’m impressed with how many reblogs Love Alone has been granting you. Something tells me she Loves A Lot. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am greatly fond of that song. If it comes on the radio when we drive to a writer’s retreat in Colorado, I’m singing it, plan accordingly.

      Love Alone does seem rather appreciative of the Bonnywood content. And that’s fine by me. Sharing among bloggers is so much better than idiots storming the Capitol…

      Liked by 1 person

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