Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #375

Cary: “So, did you sneak in the hacksaw so I can cut through these bars and blow this joint?”

Katharine: “I might have. Or maybe I didn’t. You need to answer some questions first.”

Cary: “I got nothin’ else to do in here except hope that I don’t become somebody’s girlfriend. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ask away.”

Katharine: “Well, since you mentioned girlfriends, the word on the street is that you have plenty of them. I don’t think you take me seriously.”

Cary: “I always take you seriously. Especially your hair. One wrong move and I could lose an arm.”

Katharine: “You got a problem with my hair?”

Cary: “I think you’re the one that has a problem with hair.”

Katharine, pausing and blowing smoke: “You got a lotta sass for somebody that’s about to assume the position and pray for daylight. Maybe me and the hacksaw should consider our options.” She hands her cigarette to one of the extras playing a cellmate/potential lover and sashays toward the exit.

Cary: “Don’t leave me this way! Now come on girl and do what you gotta do.”

Katharine: “I’ve heard that song before, Cary. I ain’t no Thelma Houston.” She grabbed the knob of the security door in a dramatic manner that she had learned during her thespian years at Bryn Mawr College, then she paused. “Of course, I do recall how you satisfied the need in me.”

Cary, hope surging: “Only my good lovin’ can set you free.”

Katharine plucked her cigarette out of the cellmate/potential lover’s mouth with an audible pop (said cellmate was oddly used to things being taken out of his mouth by force and did not complain) and she took another drag. “But you have to understand that I’m NOT at your command.”

Cary: “Duly noted. Now pop me out of here before something else gets popped.”

Katharine reached under her skirt and pulled out a jackhammer. “Where can I plug this in?”

Cary: “Honey, I think you’re burnin’ out of control. I just asked you to bring a hacksaw. Was there a misunderstanding?”

Katharine: “I’m a very busy girl and I just grabbed the first thing lying around the house on my way out the door. Do you want out of there or not?”

Cary, reassessing his limited options: “Do what you need to do. And then I’ll do you. But I’m not sure I can compete with the jackhammer.”

Katharine: “Nothing ever can. That’s why it was lying around the house. Now stand back.”

Cary, doing so: “I think I finally understand the hair.”


Previously published, tiny changes made. Interesting trivia: After I had rewritten most of this bit, I looked up the song on Google to make sure I was fairly true to the lyrics. One of the songwriters of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is named Cary Grant Gilbert. Kid you not. That’s an eerie bit of cosmic overlap…


24 replies »

  1. I never ever knew that Katharine Hepburn tried to look/be ‘hep’. O_o Talk about Twilight Zone overlap…I think I’ve gone there now. You can ‘leave me this way”. It’s better than reality right now..

    I think Cary and Katharine would agree.

    Liked by 2 people

      • It does indeed. I suppose the glamour was all part of the package, and they were just ‘real folks’ in their private lives. But wasn’t the mystique something grand? I remember the first time I saw a picture of a ‘star’ (of television) – Farrah Fawcett – sneaking out to somewhere, her hair under a scarf, no make-up and of course big sunglasses that didn’t fool the paparazzi… It was an epiphany moment for me, that the stars were illusions and there were real people under there, living ordinary lives (or wanting to). I wouldn’t mind the money, but I’d mind losing that level of privacy! Now that kind of shot wouldn’t even get noticed as it’s the same old same old for today’s crop of luminaries.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m sure this will please you to hear, but this caused me to open YouTube in another window so I’d have Thelma crooning to me as I read. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience.
    Also, I can never decide what is more perfect: Katharine’s cheekbones or Cary’s dimpled chin. What’s your opinion?
    Speaking of which — a plastic surgeon wrote of meeting Grant and while I have no idea if it’s true, it’s a great story:

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, it did please me, what with you opening extra windows to get the full effect of this piece.

      Second, I love Thelma’s version. Useless trivia: I love The Communards “Son of Gotham City Mix” of this song even more. You will never be able to use this worthless bit of intel, ever, so I do apologize for that.

      Third, how on earth did you find this article?

      Fourth, I also have a dimpled chin, although a must admit that things are not as defined as they used to be. Still, I will fully testify that trying to shave around that indentation can lead to personal dissatisfaction with life in general…

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I only know Katherine Hepburn in this post and she’s looking even better in front of those bars. I didn’t know the decorative effect of those bars until now. Or is it the effect of her cigarette? Or is it the effect of a black and white photo? Or just the Hollywood studio of that era? Or the cheekbone?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, in that the mystique of this photo is hard to pin down. But I love it, anyway. I think part of it is the fact that movies used to be very cinematic, even with small, intimate scenes. Now? It’s all about explosions and special effects and a blaring soundtrack, at least with the Hollywood blockbusters. You can still find visual poetry, but usually it only happens with independent films, where it’s more about art and not profit…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember the first time I watched a black and white movie from Hollywood. It’s in our local theater, which I think doesn’t have the money to show more than several recent Hollywood movies a year. The rest are old movies. I am not a fan of movies in general, but I went to one with my friends. It’s a black and white with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. I can’t even remember the name of the movie now but I still remember how much I was intoxicated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the Peck/Bergman movie you watched was “Spellbound”. It’s an Alfred Hitchcock movie, which is actually quite good, overall, but it’s famous for the scene wherein the two stars kiss each other for a very long time. But they never had actual lip contact for longer than three seconds, because that was the Production Code rule at the time: Actors could not kiss for longer than three seconds. Isn’t that crazy? The movie was made in 1945, when we were in the midst of a world war, but Hollywood censors were worried about people showing love for one another…

      Liked by 2 people

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